How to dispose of a lava lamp

how to dispose of lava lamp

Lava lamps have been a groovy and mesmerizing addition to home decor for decades. However, like any other household item, there may come a time when you need to dispose of your lava lamp. 

Lava lamps contain a mixture of wax and liquid that can be potentially hazardous if not disposed of properly. Let’s walk through the steps to safely and responsibly dispose of a lava lamp.

Unplug the lamp and let it cool

Ensure that the lava lamp is completely turned off and unplugged to prevent electrical accidents. Lava lamps can become extremely hot when in use, and handling them while hot can result in burns or other injuries. It's crucial to let it cool down to a safe temperature before proceeding.

While waiting for the lamp to cool, you can take this time to prepare your workspace. Clear a clean, flat surface and gather all the necessary materials you'll need for the disposal process, such as a sealable container for the liquid, a plastic spoon or spatula for wax removal, and gloves for safety.

Remove the bulb

Once the lava lamp has cooled down, carefully unscrew and remove the bulb. You can use a cloth or glove to provide a better grip if needed.

Allow the bulb to cool before disposing of it separately. In most cases, incandescent bulbs can be placed in regular household waste, but some regions have specific recycling programs for bulbs.

Drain the liquid

Pour the liquid from the lava lamp into a sealable container. The liquid in lava lamps is typically a mixture of water and special oils. Carefully tilt the lava lamp over the container for the liquid to flow out. Be patient and allow gravity to do most of the work. Avoid shaking or tapping the lamp, as this can mix the liquid with the wax.
It is important not to pour this liquid down the drain or toilet, as it can potentially clog your plumbing or harm the environment. Instead, store it in a container for proper disposal according to your local regulations.

Remove the wax

After draining the liquid, you'll be left with the waxy substance at the bottom of the lava lamp. To remove the wax, use a plastic spoon or spatula. Using plastic utensils is crucial to avoid scratching, damaging, or breaking the glass vessel.
Slowly lift the wax out of the lamp. If it doesn't come out in one piece, you may need to break it into smaller, manageable chunks. Allow the wax pieces to cool and harden before disposal.

Place the collected wax in a separate container designated for disposal. Wax, once solidified, can be safely discarded in your regular household trash. Or, save it for crafting use, such as making candles.

Clean the lamp

After removing all components, it's essential to clean the glass vessel of the lava lamp to ensure it's safe for disposal or potential reuse.

Start by rinsing the inside of the lamp with warm, soapy water. Use a bottle brush or sponge to reach the interior. Rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining residue from the wax or liquid. Dry the glass vessel completely, ensuring there is no moisture left inside. You can use a lint-free cloth or allow it to air dry.

Once the lamp is clean and dry, it's ready for disposal, recycling, or upcycling. Check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept glass, and if not, consider repurposing the glass vessel as a decorative container or vase.

1-800-GOT-JUNK? will help dispose your lamp

1-800-GOT-JUNK? can help properly dispose of your lava lamp 

You can follow all these instructions yourself to safely dispose of an old lava lamp, or you can leave it to an expert. Contact your local 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise and we will take care of it all. We take all sorts of junk that you won’t want to bother with anymore, safely and responsibly. We’ll recycle what we can and dispose of the rest.

If your decorating tastes have changed and it’s time to get rid of your lava lamp, macrame, and hanging beads, give 1-800-GOT-JUNK? a call!

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