Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top? (Do This, Not That)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Lava lamps are an attractive type of lamp and an excellent choice to set a relaxing mood.

These lamps contain lava inside, a mix of wax and other components. It works by heating the wax through the lightbulb at the bottom of the lamp.

Many people love the beautiful and unique combination of light and motion. Therefore, they opt for it in therapeutic lighting sections.

However, sometimes, your lava lamp gets stuck at the top, and you begin to wonder why. This article will clarify the issue of why your lava lamp wax gets stuck at the top.

Overheating is the primary reason your lava lamp wax gets stuck at the top. If there’s an error in the flow of heat or you let your lamp run non-stop for more than 10 hours. It’s bound to overheat. Additionally, it may be stuck because the cap at the top of the lamp has come undone.

Why My Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top?

Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top

Your lava lamp can stop working when the wax stops flowing and gets stuck at the top. The flow of the wax is essential to prevent your lamp from ruin.

If you got yourself a lava lamp and after some time, you’re experiencing issues like wax stuck at the top, here’s why.

Mainly, if your wax got stuck at the top, it is because your lamp is overheated. The lava lamp’s design is such that it shouldn’t run continuously for more than 10 hours.

It needs to rest and cool down for some time before you use it again. Letting it run for more than the stipulated time will result in overheating.

Another common reason for the wax getting stuck may be the cap at the top. The cap is a decorative cover meant to keep the bottle’s contents.

The cap is on the top of the lamp with a strong adhesive, so it doesn’t loosen. However, some low-budget lamps aren’t well sealed to the top, making the cap undone.

The surrounding where you place the lava lamp is very vital. The temperature where you keep it should be between 69 – 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

It would help if you did not place your lava lamp close to a TV, radiator, fireplace, or directly under sunlight.

Your wax can get stuck at the top due to an error in heat flow. Additionally, you may have a defective heating coil.

It is advisable to get professional help when unsure why the wax is stuck, especially if it’s a newly purchased one.

The liquid and wax that combine to give the lava are insoluble and have different densities. Therefore, if the wax got stuck at the top after cooling, it may be a result of the lava liquid separating.

The less-dense wax gets separated from the denser one; therefore, a portion of wax gets stuck at the top.

Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top While On

The ideal time for your lava lamp to stay on is 8- 10 hours. Anything past this limit will cause it to overheat.

The lava needs time to cool, so it’ll get hardened; you shouldn’t leave it running too long. Overheating can make the wax stick at the top while it’s on.

The temperature for the room where you keep your lava lamp should not be above 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature drops below 69 degrees Fahrenheit, you may find wax stuck at the top.

Ensure you don’t keep your lava lamp outdoors or near heat sources. It would be best if you stored it at the right room temperature.

Furthermore, if you tamper with the cap and it is not screwed on properly, the wax may get stuck at the top.

If you purchased a cheap lava lamp of poor quality, you would likely experience loosened cap problems.

Moving or shaking your lamp might also disrupt the lava flow, and the wax gets stuck at the top. 

It’s also possible that a faulty heating coil is responsible for the wax sticking at the top while it’s on.

Additionally, because the wax is the less dense component of the lava, it gets separated, floats, and sticks at the top.

This separation occurs because the wattage of the bulb used is too low, producing low temperatures.

Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top And Bottom

Lava lamps are a beautiful addition to your home decoration. Most people enjoy the soothing effect it adds to a room.

However, there are typical problems you may encounter with it, such as wax stuck at the top or bottom.

For example, when the wax hardens, it tends to get stuck to the top or bottom of your lava lamp.

Table Showing Reasons Why Lava Lamp Wax Gets Stuck At Top or Bottom

The wax hardens when the temperature dropsWax hardening as a result of a drop in temperature
Overheating of lampLava lamp overheating
Faulty heating coilUsing a bulb of low wattage
Unscrewed or loosened capSeparation of lava components
You installed the wrong bulbShaking the lamp unnecessarily

How To Fix Lava Lamp Wax Stuck At Top(Step By Step)?

Before successfully fixing your lava lamp when the wax gets stuck at the top, you must find specific things. Knowing why it got stuck is the first step in fixing it.

It would be best if you noted that each lamp is built differently, works differently, and you should treat it as such. You must carefully follow these steps to get your lava lamp wax unstuck.

#1. Use a Hair Dryer or An Alternative Heat Source

The wax hardens due to a drop in temperature. Therefore you’ll need a heat source to increase the temperature and get it unstuck.

The wax solidifies if the lamp gets placed in a cold surrounding below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

A hairdryer is a good heat source because the lamp isn’t compatible with other heat sources. The heat will melt the wax and get it unstuck.

Placing it near a viable source of heat will melt it. It would help if you were careful as the lamp is glass and kept moving the heat source patiently to protect the glass.

#2. Move the Lava Lamp Slowly

The lamp has to be moved slowly in a circular motion. This movement can make the wax fall off easily. It’d be best to move the lamp as you applied the heat.

The motion and heat effect prove very effective in getting the wax to melt. Ensure that you swirl it gently and carefully.

#3. Insert a Higher Wattage Bulb

The wax may be stuck because the wattage from the bulb isn’t sufficient for it to flow. Wax can even get unstuck just by inserting a higher wattage bulb. The heat from this bulb is high and effective in melting wax. 

It’s advisable first to make a lava lamp bulb change. If it doesn’t work, then you switch to other options.

A 40-watt bulb is a maximum recommendation for most lava lamps. However, even if it’s the correct wattage, you must check if the bulb is the required type and is in good working condition.

#4. Check Your Lava Lamp Cap

The lamp cap is supposed to keep the bottle’s contents inside. A leak occurs if it isn’t tightly screwed on or sealed with a strong adhesive.

First, you have to check your cap and ensure the problem isn’t from there. If it is the cause of the problem, then you must get it fixed.

#5. Inspect the Heating Coil

The heating coil controls the amount of heat that keeps the lava melted. However, your wax may be stuck because it is faulty.

Therefore you must inspect the coil and check if it’s the cause of the problem. If it’s faulty, then you have to get a new coil.

Learning to be patient when getting a lava lamp unstuck would be best. Rushing things may do more harm than good to your lamp.

Follow the steps carefully; don’t expect it to work immediately like magic. You should know that It’s normal for a lamp wax to delay getting unstuck. 


Having your lava lamp wax stuck at the top or bottom isn’t a strange occurrence that you can’t correct.

However, there’s no need to panic when it happens or purchase another. Just try out the solutions mentioned above and get your lamp fixed efficiently.

If you’re inexperienced in dealing with such things, then contact the manufacturer and get it fixed.

Sharing is caring! Spread The Love!

Why Trust Our Information

At, we are dedicated to delivering precise and trustworthy information. Our content is meticulously developed and validated by a panel of Expert Contributors, adhering to strict Editorial Guidelines. Our commitment is to ensure that you receive thoroughly researched and expertly crafted information.