So I finally tried hemp soaked in pure VG for a few days. I used VG because I also use it as a pre-shave oil to soften my beard. Anyhow, what a friggin' mess! I did have success drying the wick back out by pressing it in a clean rag. Initially it seemed just as stiff, but I get the Bellus back together in recorder time. On the next fill, the wick was as supple as cotton. That said, I am not sure it was worth the extensive extra mess...my hands, clothes, tank, and ohm meter got slimed.
I have now used several wicking materials, rayon, and hemp. Once broken in the best flavor goes as:
all other cottons -> kendo gold -> rayon -> hemp.
I have to say that for about 3 tanks, rayon is THE BOMB but the flavor rolls off to be well under that of hemp, which stays very consistent and lasts forever. 6 weeks of daily use -ish at 2 tanks a day is a rough idea. Rayon works about that long too, but flavor becomes progressively muted.
Finally, I can get another few weeks by throwing my decks in a glass of cheap vodka and running them hot in the USC for awhile. Obviously, if you are vaping known coil gunkers, you'll need to replace the wick. I vape mostly fruits and teas and use 40%PG, so my coils rarely gunk at all.
All, this is just my opinion, it doesn't invalidate someone elses. I hope it's helpful info.