Help with cotton wicks

Discussion in 'Rebuildable Atomizer Systems' started by Cjax, Oct 21, 2012.

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  1. Cjax

    Cjax Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    RVa USA
    Been hearing so much about cotton wicks thought i'd give it a try. I have some 100% cotton balls and boiled about ten for 20 min or so, squeezed them out and let dry out overnight. this morn they were dry so I pinched off a little and rewicked my phoenix with them. Hardly any vapor and a horrible cotton taste. Also a very loud crackling noise when i fire it up. What did I do or not do? Am I using too much cotton? Not boiled enough? Not dry enough? Kanthal is so cheap on ebay, I was looking for something as cheap and easy for wick. Luckily I have another phoenix with silica that tastes just fine (for now). Please help.
     
  2. badinfluence357

    badinfluence357 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I know a lot of people talk highly about cotton wick I prefer fiberglass wick for Phoenix clone...its easy unbraidible after boiling 2 to 3 times cycling of the water is recommended. do not use the filler in middle just the strands...

    Un-treated Un-waxed Candle cotton wick can be used to rebuild you vivinova heads also must boil and remove the center strand of filler ....

    Then last, silica wick, fire rope, you also use only the strand not the center filler after boiling and letting dry. all 3 have diffrent texture and produce different taste of vaper..I like the cotton and fiberglass better then silica they hold their composer better than silica, that usaly breaks up when unbraiding. Unless you buy the size needed. I usualy buy a thick one and use strands




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  3. badinfluence357

    badinfluence357 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    Here are pics for reference....
    View attachment 144326
    From left to right, fiberglass wick, cotton candle wick, and silica wick fire rope. All purchased on ebay!

    Sent from my SCH-R910 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. Cjax

    Cjax Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    RVa USA
    Ok, so i didn't want to give up on using cotton, it being so cheap and readily available, so i gave it a couple more tries. The second try I used a little less wicking and thread my coil. It still filled tightly, though, threading it through. Same bad flavor, but a little more vapor. Couple hours later i tried one last time. By this time the cotton I'm sure was more dried out fom last night's boiling, also this time I used just a tiny bit of cotton and threaded the coil. It seemed pretty loose, just barely filling up the coil. Added a few more drops to fully saturate the wick and fired it up. Still a hint of that "cottony" flavor, but not unbarable like before. Only took a couple puffs on it so far, not great, but will work when i run out of silica. I guess with cotton, less is more!
     
  5. P1NkY

    P1NkY Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
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    My experience on cotton for use as wicks (limited as it may be, I'm still new in the cotton wick dept) is that it all depends how the particular cotton has been "treated" (cleaned, processed, etc.).

    I've read about somebody whose cotton tasted like a Bounce sheet, no matter how much they boiled it.
    Another said it tasted like medicine.

    I must have been one of the lucky ones, as I just taste my juice and only get a weird burny taste if it starts getting dry.

    My first wick was from a cotton ball. I unrolled it, cut a strip about 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long. Rolled it between my palms into an about an 1/8 inch rod. Preformed a 6 turn 32 awg nichrome coil on a 2 mm thick jeweler's philips screwdriver and slid it off. I rolled the end of the cotton stick so it'd be pointy and I fed it through one side of the coil. I pulled it through the coil with no trouble at all whilst holding the coil between my fingers, so it would not deform much. Installed it in my Phoenix clone and trimmed the ends so I'd be able to pack them in the bowl of the Phoenix. I wet the coil thoroughly, and made sure I had a small pool of juice in the bottom of the atty before I fired it up.
    I was sold on the first hit. Thick cloud of vapor and tastes from my juice which previously had been very subtle, now jumped out at me.

    I continued to use this wick until I got hold of some gauze, which I wanted to try, as the cotton ball seemed to go dry way too fast on me, and I'd heard gauze threads wicked great.

    I did the same coil, picked apart my gauze till I had long parallel threads and got a bunch of them about 1/16th of an inch worth. I didn't bother to braid it or anything, just laid it crosswise on a 3" piece of nichrome, bent the wire in half trapping the center of the cotton threads and used this wire to thread my coil. Threaded the coil no problem.

    This setup yielded less vapor, but more throat hit along with lots of popping juice (I love it when it does that!).

    Both setups were from unwashed, unboiled cotton, because I'm lazy and impatient. However, they did not have any funny taste to them; no taste at all, really.

    TL,DR: I suggest finding a different source of cotton, as they seem to vary widely in how they are processed. Try cotton yarn, or cheesecloth. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like! Cotton has won me over, for sure! Good luck!

    ETA: Sorry in advance for the long post; forgot to say I threaded the premade coil, so obviously the dry cotton slid in pretty easily. Cotton swells up quite a bit when soaked! OK, I'm done now ;)
     
  6. xMackx

    xMackx Super Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    I had been having the same problems as you with a slight singed cotton taste.

    I took my rotary tool and ground the slot wider and a hole shape at the base of the slot on my vivi mini nova. Wrapped 5 tight wraps around my 2mm cotton cheese cloth wick for a 1.8 ohm coil. Then I wrapped a really thin 1mm wick to lay over the coil (over wicking). It wasn't the tightness of the coil choking the wick, it was the slots choking it! Taste great right from the start, no singed cotton taste at all now and vapes like a champ even at low volts. Cotton cheese cloth is great because you can choose your wick thickness easy, just remember cotton can expand 8 times wider when wet.
     
  7. Cjax

    Cjax Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    RVa USA
    Just rummaged through the kitchen drawers and found 2 rolls of 100% cotton cheesecloth! Gotta love the wife. I'll boil that a couple times tonight and dry it out to play with tomorrow. Fingers crossed, hopefully this will work out better then the nasty tasting cotton balls.
     
  8. Scott_Simpson

    Scott_Simpson Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
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    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I have two Penelopes and four Vivi Novas ... I've re-wicked all of them with 40-thread cheesecloth wicks using essentially the same method as demonstrated by Quigsworth in his video tutorial. Superb wicking, and after the first half-dozen hits, no taste at all other than the juice. In my VNs, the cheesecloth wicks suck the tank dry all the way down to the bottom, never a dry hit, no need to mod the slots at all, and until the last 1/2 ml or so, I never have to use the Tilt-A-Whirl swirl to keep the wicks saturated. Try it. You'll like it.
     
  9. Cjax

    Cjax Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    RVa USA
    Ok who am I kidding, I'm not a patient person in the least! Pulled the cloth out of the boil and ran it under a blowdryer. Again, gotta love the wife! This time I set up the coil vertically at 2.5 ohms, running my kick at 7 watts. Saturated the wick, and BAM!!:rickroll: Great vapor, great flavor, even at only 7 watts! I gotta say, cheesecloth has my vote for an easily obtainable wick!:smokie: Thanx everybody for the help!!:thumbs:
     
  10. boardopboy

    boardopboy MustachioedMechModManiac Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Sep 19, 2012
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    Castle Grayskull
    Pardon me for bringing back a month old thread.. but, yes to cheesecloth. Very much yes.
     
  11. MISTer E

    MISTer E Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Cjax, it sounds like your wick was still damp originally. I doubt a good wringing out & overnight air dry was enough. Dampness kills a cotton vape & I imagine could if damp enough slightly weaken the tank strength[flavors/nic]. I now use no need to treat usp rolled cotton, but I started cotton with balls. I would boil & then bake until nice & dry, but with as little discoloration as possible(350 degrees for about 15 minutes, but that varies so watch like a hawk :blink:

    I say, "do not give up on absorbent rolled cotton" aka rolls of the stuff cotton balls are made from. You would be missing out on the sensual vaporlicious folds :blink: of
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  12. xMackx

    xMackx Super Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    Have you tried all the different cottons, cheesecloth, braided, butchers twine, cotton ball ect. I would like to know what someone thinks of all the different cottons as I am sure the way they are prepared changes their performance.
     
  13. Lex0r

    Lex0r Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    If you are using cotton based wicks, you need to give it time to break in and the cotton flavor will be gone after a while. When I rebuild with cotton or cheesecloth, I just puff on it for a few minutes (without inhaling) and then it's good to go. Just takes a bit of patience.
     
  14. MISTer E

    MISTer E Senior Member ECF Veteran

    xMackx, I have most of my cotton vaping experience with rolled cotton. I tried some raw cotton that had been run through a cotton gin only & settled on usp rolled due to the no bake nor boil needed. Before I got the rolled cotton I used cotton balls & hand spun & braided it into twine. I personally like fluffy absorbent USP rolled cotton best. I may try cheese cloth one day, but its spun fibers are denser compared to fluffed rolled cotton & I am in no rush thanks to cottons rolled form.

    [ cool fact: Rolled cotton is for the most part "combed cotton" aka "cotton sliver". Cotton sliver is what most cotton threads & yarns are spun from.]

    I will likely try & grow some organic pesticide free raw cotton next year.

    P.S. It must be said that when it comes to cotton wick information & tips, TomCatt is the KING of COTTON!
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  15. Cjax

    Cjax Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    RVa USA
    Been wanting to get some different stuff. I found the first cotton wick was great and actually lasted almost 3 weeks. The leftover "boil-treated" cheesecloth I just put in a ziplock and stored it, thinking it would stay fresh. But when I rebuilt it, it had the same nasty cotton flavor again. Guess I should have reboiled it again. I want to get some of the rolled cotton gauze that doesnt need to be boiled each time. Hopefully I'll have better luck with that. not giving up, just putting it on hold temporarily.
     
  16. xMackx

    xMackx Super Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    There is a rap band called cotton mouth kings ( I don't like that type of music), but thought it was funny calling someone the cotton king lol... Mister-E you are so good at making moving pics, wish I could do it.


    A very important tip for anyone using cotton, let your cotton wick soak in e-juice for at least 1-2 hours before attempting to vape off of it. Even seconds after dripping juice on it, it will look wet and ready to go and it IS NOT ready. It takes an hour at least to absorb, expand, and take on the wicking properties that transfer juice to your coil.
     
  17. Esteveo

    Esteveo Super Member ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego
    I have had really really good luck with the target brand cotton pads. No weird tastes or anything! I dont boil them or let them soak. I have tried all types of cotton and these are by far the cheapest and best I have found.

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  18. burnndaylight

    burnndaylight Full Member Verified Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Location:
    WA
    I picked up a 500' Spool of 100% Cotton cooking twine from Bed Bath and Beyond for $4.99 I didn't boil it and it tastes like my juice but seems to look burnt kinda quick hasn't tasted burnt yet but I wanted to check on it after my first day of use. The cotton "rope" is made up of 8 strands so it has been easy to choose how thick I want it. So far I rebuilt my T3's and Ce3's.
     
  19. JD1

    JD1 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    I've been threatening to pick up some butchers twine or some cotton yarn for a couple of months now. So far I'm using cheese cloth or the make up pads with great results, but I think the twine types might be easier to use as it would save cutting the wick out of the cheese cloth or make up pads. I'm also wanting to try bamboo when I get the chance.
     
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