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Thread: Cotton Wick - To boil or not to boil , that is the question.

  1. #11
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    If you have to use cotton balls, boiling would be the best bet, as I do not see in any way how pre-burning it would help. If anything, I would think that would destroy some of the wicking ability by fusing fibers together.. But if you are open to something other than cotton balls, USP Rolled Cotton has done wonders for me. You can find it at CVS or Walgreens for sure, and a lot of times I just skip the boiling process with it.

  2. #12
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    I use organic cotton balls and have never boiled them, I look at it this way; they are manufactured for applying makeup, cleaning skin and the like. If there were any contaminants they could potentially cause allergic reaction in the user, also I figure you are probably adding more contaminants to by handling them after boiling than was in there to begin with.

    I only use cotton in my protanks now, here is the process that works best for me:

    roll 4-5 wrap of 32awg kanthal onto a 5/64" drill bit
    leave the drill bit in and insert the coil into the blank head (bit will fit in the wick slots on the head)
    insert rubber stopper and pin
    adjust coil if needed and gently remove drill bit
    pull a SMALL light wispy tuft of cotton off of a ball
    roll it tight
    feed through the coil until it gets snug, you should be able to pull more if you held the coil but the coil will move if you don't hold it
    trim to rim of head
    reassemble let it soak (never dry burn cotton, because it burns unlike silica)

    I don't use "flavor wicks" with this setup, if all is right you will see the dry cotton will fill the slots nicely and it will expand once it is wet.
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  3. #13
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    I also use organic cotton balls and not boiling them, I build the heads following Metalhed's process described above and also described even better with pictures etc. in this thread

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    I use sterile 100% pure cotton balls, no need to boil. never get a bad taste from them

  5. #15
    Full Member Verified Member Herb3's Avatar
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    I been using 100% cotton yarn here boiling it first

  6. #16
    Full Member metalhed73's Avatar
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    have not had a problem with the walgreens organic cotton balls but, doing some reading it appears they use hydrogen peroxide to clean them. While I have not seen any off flavors or issues I am a little weary of the hydrogen peroxide.

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    I've been using the sterile cotton balls sold at CVS recently with good results.

    Says 100% cotton on the package. Also says they're surgical grade and hypo-allergenic. Figure there can't be too much in there.

    Don't boil and have good results. Might try boiling out of an abundance of caution before I rewick next. Figure I can boil the whole bag in just a few mins and be good for a long, long time.
    PVs: Provaris, Sentinel V3, iTaste 134
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    I've been using Peaches and Creme white cotton yarn from Wal-Mart for a few weeks now to replace the flavor wicks in my Protanks. No boiling, and works fantastic. I just pop a loop of it into my Protank head, pop the cap back on and cut the ends off flush with the head. Lasts at least a day or two and then I replace it. Have yet to burn out a coil doing this, and at less than $2 for 120 or so yards the 2 rolls of yarn I got should last me longer than my Protanks.

    I even experimented with using the stuff as a wick on my RSST with quite a bit of success. Nothing as great as my ceramic wick, but dang if it didn't work just fine.

    Provari Mini 2.5, Sentinel V3, KTS Storm, Vamo V2. Rocket RBA, Fogger V2, RSST, Anyvape Davide, DB Puritank, Protank

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcannon1 View Post
    I've been using the sterile cotton balls sold at CVS recently with good results.

    Says 100% cotton on the package. Also says they're surgical grade and hypo-allergenic. Figure there can't be too much in there.

    Don't boil and have good results. Might try boiling out of an abundance of caution before I rewick next. Figure I can boil the whole bag in just a few mins and be good for a long, long time.
    To follow up on my previous comments, I did boil about 12 cotton balls prior to re-wicking tonight.

    Boiled them for about 10 minutes, let them cool, squeezed the water out, hit them with a blow dryer on low for a couple of minutes, and then let them air dry the rest of the way. Kind of a lot of work, but should make well over 100 wicks.

    Anyway, flavor was much improved after boiling. The flavor wasn't bad before and I wasn't getting any weird tastes or harshness, but it just seems more flavorful and cleaner post boiling. Could be that the boiling slightly changed the texture of the cotton (it's a little more dense and compacted now) so maybe it's just wicking better, or holding more juice in a smaller area, not sure.

    Using it with a 1 ohm micro coil with 28g kanthal in a Nimbus single coil setup sitting on an M16 clone with an AW IMR 18650 1600mah and getting nice clouds.

    e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?s=b4c8a28ce6de25a5c0e249162e334446&attachmentid=253726&d=1379740205" id="attachment253726" rel="Lightbox_10760501" >Cotton Wick - To boil or not to boil , that is the question.-screen-shot-2013-09-21-1.09.11-am.jpg
    Last edited by dcannon1; 09-21-2013 at 05:20 AM.
    PVs: Provaris, Sentinel V3, iTaste 134
    Attys/Cartos/etc: Rebuildable Drippers, Protank II, HH357
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  10. #20
    Ultra Member stevegmu's Avatar
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    If it isn't organic cotton, it probably isn't too safe to vape with-


    Of all insecticides used globally each year, the estimated amount used on traditional cotton: 16-25%, more than any other single crop. (EJF. (2007). The deadly chemicals in cotton. Environmental Justice Foundation in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network UK: London, UK. ISBN No. 1-904523-10-2.)

    Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are KNOWN cancer-causing chemicals. All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and II— the most dangerous chemicals.

    In the U.S. today, it takes approximately 8-10 years, and $100 million to develop a new pesticide for use on cotton. It takes approximately 5-6 years for weevils and other pests to develop an immunity to a new pesticide.

    600,408 tons of herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals were used to produce cotton in 1992 in the 6 largest cotton producing states. (Agricultural Chemical Usage, 1992 Field Crops Summary, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

    Number of pesticides presently on the market that were registered before being tested to determine if they caused cancer, birth defects or wildlife toxicity: 400. (US EPA Pesticide Registration Progress Report, 1/93)

    Amount of time it takes to ban a pesticide in the U.S. using present procedures: 10 years. (US EPA Pesticide Registration Progress Report, 1/93)

    Number of active ingredients in pesticides found to cause cancer in animals or humans: 107.(After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    Of those active ingredients, the number still in use today: 83.(After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    Number of pesticides that are reproductive toxins according to the California E.P.A.: 15. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    Most acutely toxic pesticide registered by the E.P.A.: aldicarb (frequently used on cotton). (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    Number of states in which aldicarb has been detected in the groundwater: 16. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    Percentage of all U.S. counties containing groundwater susceptible to contamination from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers: 46%. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

    The Sustainable Cotton Project estimates that the average acre of California cotton grown in 1995 received some 300 pounds of synthetic fertilizers or 1/3 pound of fertilizer to raise every pound of cotton. Synthetic fertilizers have been found to contaminate drinking wells in farm communities and pose other long-term threats to farm land.

    One of the commonly used pesticides on cotton throughout the world, endosulfan, leached from cotton fields into a creek in Lawrence County, Alabama during heavy rains in 1995. Within days 245,000 fish were killed over 16 mile stretch. 142,000 pounds of endosulfan were used in California in 1994.

    In California’s San Joaquin Valley, estimates are that less than 25% of a pesticide sprayed from a crop duster ever hits the crop. The remainder can drift for several miles, coming to rest on fruit and vegetable crops, and farm- workers. One year more than one hundred workers fell ill after a single incident of such drift onto an adjacent vineyard.

    In California, it has become illegal to feed the leaves, stems, and short fibers of cotton known as ‘gin trash’ to livestock, because of the concentrated levels of pesticide residue. Instead, this gin trash is used to make furniture, mattresses, tampons, swabs, and cotton balls. The average American woman will use 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads during her lifetime.

    The problems with clothing production don’t stop in the field. During the conversion of conventional cotton into clothing, numerous toxic chemicals are added at each stage— silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde— to name just a few.
    Statistics of Cotton


    Not sure you can boil out pesticide residue from cotton.
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