Why Is My Salt Lamp Leaking? (5 Reasons Why)

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Brandon Porter

Brandon Porter is an architectural draftsman of 25 years and a self-proclaimed handyman. He loves renovating homes and making them his own, whether it's fixing up the plumbing or painting the walls.

So, you’ve just bought your very own Himalayan salt lamp. You place a light bulb inside the lamp and turn it on to bask in its warm light.

Yet, one of the things you’ll soon discover about your salt lamp is that it leaks. Some people refer to it as ‘crying,’ ‘weeping,’  ‘sweating,’ or ‘melting.’ So why does this happen?

Why Is My Salt Lamp Leaking?


1. Low Wattage

The most common cause of a leaky salt lamp is that the bulb wattage is much lower than what the lamp is designed to handle. This can render the salt crystals ineffective, thus increasing the rate of the accumulation of condensation on the surface of the lamp.

To help avoid this, make sure you’re using the correct bulb for your lamp. The best wattage is 15-watt LED bulbs. Yet, it’s worth noting that if you live in a humid area, you should consider getting a 25 or 30-watt bulb.

The higher wattage will create more heat, causing the condensation on the lamp exterior to evaporate quicker. In other words, no more ‘crying’ lamp.

Another benefit of the quick evaporation process is that it results in an increased amount of negative ions. When inhaled, these ions boost serotonin levels, the ‘feel-good’ hormone that makes us feel happier, less stressed, and more energetic.

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2. Water Retention

Most of the lamp structure is basically just one big chunk of a salt crystal. These crystals are known for their hygroscopic features, soaking up water vapor from the surrounding atmosphere and storing it away.

So, if you live somewhere where humidity levels are mostly high, the salt lamp will absorb more and more moisture. Then, when it can no longer hold on to any more vapor, it’ll start to leak.

The best way to prevent the lamp from taking on too much vapor is to place the lamp in an area where there’s plenty of airflow and ventilation.

Another option is to use a dehumidifier or moisture absorber. These units draw in moisture-laden air, filter it, then release it back out moisture-free. By lowering humidity levels in your home, you should notice a difference in the amount of leakage coming from the lamp.

3. Salt Dissolving

Salt Dissolving

Through hydrolysis, the big salt crystal can start to break down into small, fine bits of salt. This usually happens because of the atmospheric pressure surrounding the lamp.

When these microscopic salt pieces dissolve, they gather inside tiny condensation droplets on the lamp’s surface. Then, when they become denser, they’ll drop down to the base of the lamp, creating a puddle.

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While it won’t affect the lamp in any way, it does make a bit of a mess. So, to make clean-ups easy and hassle-free, place a decorative dish underneath the lamp.

This will prevent the water from damaging the shelf or the lamp itself. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of electrocution or a fire hazard if the water gets near a power source.

4. Surface Cracks

It’s perfectly natural for lamps to get knocked over for one reason or another. Yet, with salt lamps, even a minor fall can cause cracks or fissures in the crystal. If this happens, you’ll likely see more leaks, especially around the cracked areas.

Of course, the best way to avoid knocking over your lamp is to place it away from high-traffic areas. Also, if you have children or pets, put it on a high shelf where it’ll be safer.

5. Direct Sunlight

Is your lamp getting too much sunlight? This could be one reason why it’s ‘weeping’ more than it should.

Needless to say, the heat from the sun can cause the salt to heat, resulting in its tiny crystals to break down. This kind of ‘melting’ contributes to the salt dissolving and, ultimately, leaking onto your shelf or table.

Therefore, to help maintain the integrity of your salt lamp, place it somewhere cool and dry. Find a space for it on a high shelf or dresser.

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Another pro tip: position the lamp away from any heating vents. Even if the heat is minimal, it can still affect the chemical structure of the lamp.

Conclusion

Now, the next time you buy a salt lamp, you’ll know a few possible reasons where the leak is coming from. Even though finding water puddles around your lamp can be frustrating, it’s easy to fix.

Go through all the tips we mentioned here. Hopefully, they’ll help stop your lamp from ‘crying,’ and you can enjoy all the benefits these Himalayan lamps have to offer for years to come!

Author

  • Brandon Porter is an architectural draftsman of 25 years and a self-proclaimed handyman. He loves renovating homes and making them his own, whether it's fixing up the plumbing or painting the walls.

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