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This actually has a basis in fact, based on research done in India. Researchers were trying to figure out why some people would get sick from drinking river water while others didn't. They discovered that when the water was filtered through four layers of a cotton sari, the result was virtually pathogen-free. If you take a CLEAN piece of 100% cotton material (i.e., T-shirt), fold it into four layers, and pour the water through that, 99.9% of the pathogens (worms, bacteria, etc.) are filtered out. This works on fresh water only and will NOT remove pollutants. To do that you'll need to filter the water through some kind of charcoal -- NOT the stuff you use at cookouts, because they have binders and other chemicals in it. Also, you can only use the cotton filter ONCE. After each use, it needs to be washed, boiled in water for at least 30 minutes, then air-dried in the sun before using again.

I'm doing a science fair project on water distillation and i am wondering if you could direct me to this website/article on the researcher's information? (i'm not very sure if you will still be active after 6 years, but it would mean a lot to me if you could).

Apologies. I didn't get a notice that you had replied, and only by chance checked my account now. I don't know if it's too late for your project, but if you do a Google search on "water filter cotton sari" you'll find quite a few articles on the subject. I've also got some articles on making your own clay and sawdust water filters.

is there a way i can delete this instructable?!!? I alreaady entered it in a contest before, and it is over. Now i want to delete this instructable

Go to edit and then delete each step, one by one.

bacteria = not at all
salt = maybe but i doubt

my question would it be possible to still the salt out using the same idea as a liquer still but using salt water

Let's see... it won't remove any salt, nor any pathogenic bacteria, but it will effectively filter out small rocks, crabs, minnows, and some insects.

So, it's not completely useless... but overall, this instructable is wrong, and misinforms the reader.

I find it hard to believe that your shirt (or cloth) will be germ free. Also, germs / bacteria are smaller than the pores in cloth, so I can't see them being filtered out. Yes, you will catch larger particles like dirt and rocks, but I wouldn't feel safe drinking that water. If I were to use a cloth like material for filtering water for drinking purposes, I would want to make sure that it was sterile first. A better idea would be to put your water inside a clear container, and have it sit in the sun for several hours, and let the UV from the sun kill the bacteria / germs in the water.

I was intrigued by this "UV decontamination" procedure, and worried because *I* know that many plastics and glass absorb UV light, especially in the shorter wavelengths that are usually considered "germicidal." But apparently it DOES really work, with PET soda bottles being the "ideal" container.
Here's the link. Keyword "Solar water disinfection."
Still doesn't do anything for salt, though.

yeah, i was going to add a link to that.