Best Safe Safest Wick Wicks Silica vs or SS Stainless Steel vs Cotton vs Hemp vs Bamboo vs Ceramic vs anything else

Discussion in 'Wick and Wire' started by veganvap, Feb 11, 2013.

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  1. veganvap

    veganvap Super Member ECF Veteran

    Trying to make a simple and conclusive guide comparing the pros and cons of each.
    The Safe Wicking Material thread's like 500 pages. Threads specific to each type go a lot more into deatail, but I hope to make a simple sort of noob guide. The Wick Summary thread as a result of the 500 page thread isn't as good as it should be.

    I'm probably wrong about some of this so correct me if I'm wrong or just say it should be disregarded and write your own and I'll edit mine out. This might just be an example:

    Least safe.
    Wicks faster than everything else.
    Needs to be burnt with a lighter/torch for few seconds before use to remove chemicals.
    Doesn't add unwanted taste.
    Not good as a bottom coil atty extra 'flavor wick' that isn't connected to anything and just sits on the coil wick because the strands eventually come undone and the flavor wick comes out of the coil head causing flooding and/or less juicy hits.

    Suposidly the safest material; however there's this thread with lab tests that may show SS to be less safe than currently thought to be. The results aren't in yet though:
    Makes sense to me that a plant-based wick like cotton, hemp, or bamboo would be the safest.
    Ties with hemp in that it wicks slightly faster than all the rest except for silica being the fastest and cotton being the slowest.
    Wick can be re-used and last very long.
    Needs to be pre-oxidized with a blow torch to red hot numerous times before using and care is needed when wrapping coils to not create shorts or hot spots.
    Doesn't add unwanted taste.

    Is on the safer side of the spectrum along with hemp and bamboo. I don't know which is the safest of those. Whatever you buy, make sure it has zero addatives and organic is a plus. Maybe contact the manufacturer with a trick question as if you hope for them to tell you that it has addatives so they're less likely to lie or give an answer that's not fully researched. Something like: "I want to know the complete chemistry of this product to see if it has addatives that will help it hold up better with proiducts I'm using."
    These filters linked probably have nothing at all added to them. I double checked with the manufacturer without a trick question, but got no reply. RAW Rolling Papers
    Should be boiled a few times before using to break up the fibers to make it wick better and also to remove any pesticide or fertelizer traces even if it's organic. Between boils and after the final boil, put the pot under slow running cold water because the addatives suposidly rise to the top and will flow out of the pot so each boil's water gets cleaner and little to nothing's re-collected when the cotton's finally pulled from the pot.
    Cotton soaks and holds the most juice so it gives the biggest juciest hit, but it wicks the slowest and is prone to dry hits and burns the easiest. If it burns you'll always get a burnt taste. It needs about an hour soaking in juice before vaping.

    Same thing I wrote about cotton for safety, boiling, and finding out if it has zero addatives.
    The manufacturer told me there's nothing whatsoever added to these hemps that say undyed and unwaxed: Organic Hemp Twines
    100% Hemp Braided Cords Organic European
    The 12 strand type is said to wick the best.
    Possibly gives the most unwanted taste.
    Hardest to burn besides bamboo.
    Ties with SS in that it wicks slightly faster than all the rest except for silica being the fastest and cotton being the slowest.
    Doesn't give as juice of a hit as cotton, but juicier than bamboo.

    Same thing I wrote about cotton for safety, boiling, and finding out if it has zero addatives.
    Hardest to burn and doesn't give as much of an unwanted taste as hemp.
    Wicks the slowest besides cotton.
    Gives the least juicy hit

    Edit: I forgot Ceramic, which wicks the slowest unless it's very porous, which then is very difficult to work with without crumbling when carving out a small piece. If you can even find that.
    One of the safest materials.
    lasts long if boiled in vodka or something to unclog it.
    gives no unwanted taste and won't burn for burnt taste
  2. Bmays

    Bmays Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Looks like you have most everything covered and in good detail. Cant comment on some because ive not tried them all. Looking forward to trying the hemp wicks.
  3. wonderland

    wonderland Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That's quite a bizarre title you used there!
    One thing to amend: SS mesh does not have to be oxidized. I'm vaping an non-oxidized wick right now! It only requires a more precise method of building the wick and coil.
  4. veganvap

    veganvap Super Member ECF Veteran

    I made the title like that so it can be Googled easier and hopefully help others.

    I thought you always haveo oxidize SS unless you do the trick of putting rolling paper around it first, then burn the paper with the coil, which still oxidizes it. Or wrap the coils so they don't touch the SS which seems too delicate.
  5. chargin

    chargin Super Member ECF Veteran

    I am also interested in trying hemp wicks.
    Have yet to do any research on them.
  6. Valsacar

    Valsacar ECF Administrator
    Social Groups Manager
    Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Add references? The most commonly used wick material is the least safe?

    For ceramic, I haven't heard of anyone using actual ceramic (but it could just be that I haven't heard of it). There is ceramic wick, it looks almost the same as silica wick. The stuff that I've heard is the best (X-25 or something like that) is an export controlled item so only those in the US can buy it (and it would be illegal for them to ship it elsewhere). It does need to be burned first (apparently a kiln works best). I've had a few strands, it works pretty well but is thicker than most wicks so doesn't fit in all rebuildables.
  7. veganvap

    veganvap Super Member ECF Veteran

    No referances, mostly what I gather from the forum. I'd love for someone to write it better. I said it might be an example.

    There are some threads of people cutting off small pieces from ceramic air diffusers for fish tanks and other ceramic things to make wicks.
  8. Trick

    Trick Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    There's a lot left out there, such as some of the flammable wicks giving off toxins as they almost surely do when they burn (and they always seem to, at least a little). There's just not enough hard data to call any of these safer than any other.
  9. wonderland

    wonderland Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I don't use rolling paper, my wick goes in completely unoxidized. Oxidizing it allows you to have a sloppy coil and have it still work. If your wick is evenly cylindrical and your coil is evenly wrapped it doesn't short. You just have to be precise (and yes, my coil touches the wick).
  10. fatherdano

    fatherdano Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    i've got and old wool sweater that doesn't fit, can i use that?
  11. Bmays

    Bmays Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I ordered some 1mm silica today. Its not as bad as the rap it gets. If its wet, it aint gonna go far.
  12. hotrod3539

    hotrod3539 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Would you be willing to share your method with me? You can PM me if you dont want to post to the public. I am trying to find a good method without having to oxidize the wick but it appears no one is wanting to share.... :(
  13. Bmays

    Bmays Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    The only real method is to be very precise with your wick coil building. Use a drill bit and wrap your coils around that. Then fire the coils bare on/off several times. Insert the un-oxidized mesh into the coils. Should fit kinda loose, not tight. There will be hot spots but they should be able to be worked through by juice burns and or pulsing the coils on/off and after a little but they should all glow evenly.

    No juice should be in the tank until you get the coils glowing good.
    View attachment 177935
    View attachment 177936

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you need to use a lighter and do juice burns to get a coating on the wick you should be fine. The only fuss about the SS wicks have been the heating to extreme amounts and that may not even be an issue. Time will tell. Until then, use whatever works or if you have the time/patients try creating an un-oxidized.
  14. hotrod3539

    hotrod3539 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks for the info!! i will give it a shot and see how it goes! The biggest worry i have is will the mesh cause shorting if not oxidized? My PV bounces around a bunch as i am moving around alot for work.
  15. Bmays

    Bmays Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Basically after you use this for a while it will oxidize itself. But yes, it will short at first until the coil itself gets a little burnt coating on it. Bouncing around should not matter. I'm constantly knocking my devices over and its been fine. If you have rubber gloves wear them during your mesh fondling. :p You wont soon forget the nasty taste of finger funk! I got excited and didn't do that. Or, wash your wick and hands at the same time. Also, (I didn't) but you should boil your mesh first to remove the oils etc. I would not head out for a long days work with this setup just yet. Let the wick/coils break in throughout the evening until you get a good coating on there. Nothing worst than being out and have a malfunctioning setup.
  16. hotrod3539

    hotrod3539 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks so much for the help!! I will defanatly give this a try as it is time to rebuild my AGA-T+! :toast:
  17. wonderland

    wonderland Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Yep! What Bmays said ;) Search ECF for the PetarK method and you'll find lots of discussion and tutorial videos. (I'd post links for you but I'm on my phone at the moment) Good luck and feel free to PM if you have more questions about it.
  18. veganvap

    veganvap Super Member ECF Veteran

    Now I realizing dry burning on any wick that can burn (silica, hemp, cotton, bamboo, etc) in between tank re-fills or whenever, likely burns and ruins the wick. One would have to take the wick out of the coil or do the vodka soak or something instead.

    Reposting this from another thread to steer others away from non-organic wicks. Things absorb easier through the lungs than eating non-organics. Though a non-organic berry has no skin to scrub clean and is basically a poison sponge vs a non-organic coconut.

    repost: "Was the cotton organic,regular cotton is treated with chemicials and pesticides.

    Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop and epitomizes the worst effects of chemically dependent agriculture. Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides -- more than 10% of the world's pesticides and nearly 25% of the world's insecticides"

    OT, IDK which kills more insects- spraying with pesticides might make bugs leave and not return but then we sort of kill ourselves with pesticide, whereas organic, they stay to eat and get ground up in harvest machines. Maybe veganic green/hot house is best and for reasons besides insect contamination, like if alternatively-powered, omits importing and saves energy by growing a full veriety of nutrients year round. And can be built on top eachother to minimize footprint. IDK right now. Anyway.

    Edit to OP: the cotton people say to soak it 48 hours before use.

    Any more corrections to the OP?
  19. comptechltd

    comptechltd Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I'm sure you posted that as a joke but under NO circumstances use natural wool. IF and I say IF it would get too hot or burn it produces toxic gasses.

  20. veganvap

    veganvap Super Member ECF Veteran

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