After seeing this project on countless websites, I decided to give it a try because it looked so neat. A homemade lava lamp. Of course, lave lamps are awesome, and if you’ve ever had one, you know how mesmerizing it can be to watch it continuously flow.
So, I’ve been meaning to try this really easy homemade version, and this weekend, I finally did. All you need is:
A bottle (plastic water bottle works fine)
2 parts oil (vegetable or baby)
1 part water
Effervescent tablet (like Alka-seltzer), broken in pieces
5-10 drops food coloring
Add the oil first, then the water. The water will sink to the bottom. Add the food coloring. It will blend with the water. Then add the effervescent tablet pieces one at a time and watch the concoction bubble up.
When I first started the project, it was my understanding that I was supposed to put the lid on and the bubbles would flow continuously. However, I soon figured out that that was not what going to happen. The bubbles flow upward for a few seconds (maybe up to a minute) and then stop until you add another one.
You want to leave about an inch at the top so the liquid is less likely to overflow from the bottle. If you put the lid on the bottle, it won’t keep it going, but it will make the bottle expand. You just have to add a piece of tablet to make more bubbles. Not quite like a lava lamp, but still pretty neat, and it could be used as a science demonstration about oil and water and it’s great fun for little kids!