How To Make a Simple Lava Lamp At Home

Lava lamps are as easy to make as they are fun to look at.


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You Will Need

  • An empty plastic soda bottle (with cap)
  • Vegetable or mineral oil
  • Food coloring
  • Effervescent tablet (like Alka-Seltzer)
  • Sequins and glitter
  • Salt
  • A flashlight


  1. Step 1

    Rinse soda bottle

    Empty and thoroughly rinse a large plastic soda bottle.

  2. Step 2

    Add oil

    Pour vegetable or mineral oil into the bottle until it is three-quarters full.

  3. Step 3

    Fill with water

    Fill the rest of the bottle with water.

  4. Step 4

    Add food coloring

    Add several drops of the food color of your choice.

  5. To make things more interesting, add sequins or glitter to the mixture.

  6. Step 5

    Break a tablet

    Break an effervescent tablet (like Alka-Seltzer) into several small pieces.

  7. Step 6

    Drop one piece

    Drop a piece into the bottle. Watch the oil begin to fall to the bottom and then rise in small droplets.

  8. Step 7

    Add the rest of the pieces

    Continue adding the tablet pieces until they have all dissolved.

  9. Don't have an effervescent tablet? Slowly pour table salt into the mixture to create the same effect.

  10. Step 8

    Move the bottle back and forth

    Put the cap back on the bottle. Begin slowly moving the bottle back and forth in your hands until the oil droplets begin to form one big glob.

  11. Step 9

    Enjoy the show

    Enjoy the show! To really bring out the colors of the blob, illuminate the bottle with a flashlight.

  12. In 2006, the town of Soap Lake, Washington, agreed to spend $100,000 to install the world’s largest lava lamp, which is 50 feet tall and had been on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square for several years.