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

Discussion in 'Tanks, clearomizers and drop-in coils' started by jozef-3d, Jun 28, 2013.

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  1. jozef-3d

    jozef-3d Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I just recently bought a Kanger ProTank and have been reading about rewicking with cotton. Upon reading forums and watching videos, some of them suggested to boil the cotton. This was kind of a hassle to do, is this necessary? Some of them suggested to pre-burn the cotton with a lighter, which I tried but thought it was dumb because I'm using the interior of the cotton ball so burning the outside didnt seem like it would really do anything. I did this for the first time last night and man this tank is now heaven!!

    P.S. I am using cotton balls
  2. Feyd-Rautha

    Feyd-Rautha Full Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    Upstate, NY
    Interested in seeing the advice on this one. I have been looking for a video on wicking from cotton balls but haven't found one. I have a protank on the way from Fasttech.
  3. danny4x4

    danny4x4 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    Well I haven't heard of the pre burn, but like you said, it sounds stupid. Lol
    It never hurts to boil the cotton first. Yes, it's a hassle. I've never boiled them myself because I'm simply too lazy!
    But I guess I will boil them the next time....... better to be safe than sorry.
  4. BlueMoods

    BlueMoods Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 19, 2010
    USA - Arkansas
    I use cotton in my protank, usually cheesecloth or flour sack towels just because I have those around for wine making and canning uses anyway. I do rinse them first, but, that's because they need rinsed before being used for food. I have used cotton balls right out of the package, no problem. Even butcher's twine would be fine as is to me, yarn, I'd boil first, it was never intended for use with food and is not sterile as cotton balls are.
  5. jaynole

    jaynole Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 6, 2012
    Lakeland, Fl
    I've been rewicking with small rolled cotton from cotton balls, I'm not doing something right. I slide it through until it gets tight, then back it out until it's barely snug to allow for expansion. About the same size rolled for the flavor wick, trim to about the length of stock. First time was amazing, at least for a couple of hours, my rewicks since have been atrocious. No flavor, burn cotton taste, and not as much vapor. Pull it apart and the wicks look great, no burns, loaded with juice....what gives. I'll take any suggestions and pics, if they are available. I'm starting to think maybe I've got vapors tongue, lol. Thanks

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  6. mgmrick

    mgmrick Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    New York
    Remove the rubber gasket on air tube. Allows it to wick fast enough for hv vaping and does not leak
  7. mgmrick

    mgmrick Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    New York
    I dont use any extra cotton just the cotton through the coil

    fairweasel2323 likes this.
  8. jarreddizzle

    jarreddizzle Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 2, 2013
    Oxnard, CA, USA
    How to boil is the question!
  9. bikerbeagle

    bikerbeagle Moved On Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2009
    Wichita, KS USA
    I tried using "sterile" cotton balls right out of the box yesterday, but it tasted 'medicinal', after that, I've been boiling. Just toss about 5 or so into a pot of boiling water (some recommend purified water - I didn't, but whatever ...), boil for a couple of minutes, empty the water and repeat the process a couple of times.
  10. MrFabius

    MrFabius Full Member Verified Member

    Jul 19, 2013
    Miami, FL, USA
    I use organic colorless Yarn.
    It needs to be boiled at least 4-5 times for about 15 min each time, change the water every time.
    It is the best and purest flavor then.
    If it is not boiled, then vaping will taste "cotton"
    Karstine likes this.
  11. Rifty

    Rifty Full Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    United States
    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.
  12. metalhed73

    metalhed73 Full Member

    Aug 1, 2013
    United States
    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.
  13. kkanix

    kkanix Full Member Verified Member

    Jul 28, 2013
    Athens, Greece
    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
  14. AlB53

    AlB53 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Feb 7, 2012
    Rome NY
    I use sterile 100% pure cotton balls, no need to boil. never get a bad taste from them
  15. Herb3

    Herb3 Full Member Verified Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    South Carolina
    I been using 100% cotton yarn here boiling it first
  16. metalhed73

    metalhed73 Full Member

    Aug 1, 2013
    United States
    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.
  17. dcannon1

    dcannon1 Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 16, 2012
    Savannah, GA
    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.
  18. BDUAres

    BDUAres Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    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.
  19. dcannon1

    dcannon1 Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 16, 2012
    Savannah, GA
    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.

    Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 1.09.11 AM.jpg
  20. stevegmu

    stevegmu Moved On ECF Veteran

    If it isn't organic cotton, it probably isn't too safe to vape with-

    Statistics of Cotton

    Not sure you can boil out pesticide residue from cotton.
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