A classic lava lamp contains a standard incandescent or halogen lamp which heats a tall (often tapered) glass bottle. A formula from 1968 US patent consisted of water and a transparent, translucent , or opaque mix of mineral oil, paraffin wax , and carbon tetrachloride .  p. 2, line 30 The clear water or mineral oil can optionally be coloured with transparent dyes .
Have you ever caught yourself being hypnotized by a lava lamp? You hold it in your hand, move it slightly, and watch as the liquid quivers and separates into different shapes and colors. Then you look at the price tag - and put it back. To do your wallet a favor and make a lava lamp with household ingredients, follow these instructions.