Cleaning your teeth is important. But if you use a water flosser, knowing how to clean your Waterpik is of equal importance.
Here at The Toothsayer we’ve reviewed a number of the most popular Waterpik products. And if you now have one, you will want to know how to care for it.
A water flosser that hasn’t been cleaned can introduce more bacteria in to your mouth, undoing the good that it achieves. In hard water areas, mineral deposits can form, causing your Waterpik to lose pressure and effectiveness, and even break down.
In order to maximise effectiveness and protect your investment, it is vital that you clean your water flosser properly and regularly.
How To Clean Your Waterpik
When cleaning your Waterpik, there are 5 key areas you need to focus on:
- Internal parts
- Flossing tip
- Handle (countertop models only)
To clean your water flosser, you will need:
- White vinegar
- Soft cloth
- Mild detergent (such as a dish detergent)
- Soft toothbrush
Optional: hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial mouthwash.
Waterpik recommend that you clean your water flosser with a white vinegar solution. It has many benefits over other cleaners including:
- Kills bacteria
- Breaks down mineral deposits
- Gentle on your Waterpik
- Better for the environment than harsh bleaches
1. Cleaning the exterior
It is very easy to clean the outside of your Waterpik water flosser. Unplug it from power if necessary and wipe gently with a soft, damp cloth.
Focus on the part that contains the pump, the motor, and the base of the electrical cord. You should never place this part of the water flosser into water.
For stubborn marks, use a small amount of a mild dish detergent. Allow the device to air dry before use.
2. Cleaning your reservoir
The easiest way to clean your Waterpik reservoir is by putting it in the dishwasher but there are other options.
If your water flosser reservoir has a rubber valve, remove it by gently pushing from the bottom. Clean the valve under warm running water by gently massaging it with a mild dish detergent.
You can then place the reservoir on the top rack of the dishwasher for thorough cleaning. Waterpik recommend letting the reservoir air dry instead of using a heated drying cycle.
To clean without a dishwasher, simply use a dish detergent and hot water to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the reservoir. A toothbrush can be helpful helpful to clean the hole for the valve.
Leave the reservoir to air dry before reassembling by pushing the valve back in place. It should be domed side up with the 4 prongs visible from the bottom of the reservoir.
3. Cleaning the internal parts
Fill the reservoir with a solution of 1:8 parts white vinegar: warm water.
Run half of the solution through the water flosser, before letting it sit for at least 20 minutes. This allows time for the white vinegar to dissolve any mineral deposits. It also helps to eliminate lingering bacteria, mold and mildew that can build up inside the Waterpik hose.
After 20 minutes, run the rest of the vinegar solution through the water flosser.
4. Cleaning the flossing tip
Cleaning your flossing tip is very simple. All you need to do is remove the flossing tip from the device and immerse it in an antibacterial solution.
This could be: white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or an antibacterial mouthwash.
Leave the tip to soak for at least 5 minutes, then rinse the tip with warm water.
Cleaning your flossing tip helps to maintain cleanliness, but Waterpik advise that you change your flossing tip every 3-6 months for optimum results.
5. Cleaning the flossing handle (counter-top models)
For countertop models, you can also clean the flossing handle.
Remove the tip and then immerse the handle in a container of white vinegar for at least 5 minutes.
After soaking, rinse with warm water and dry.
Can I clean my Waterpik with bleach?
You should never clean your Waterpik with bleach (or chlorine) as it is often too harsh and has the potential to case damage to your water flosser. Doing so can void your warranty.
Also remember that your Waterpik cleans your mouth, so only use cleaning substances that you would be happy putting in your mouth.
How often should I clean my Waterpik?
Waterpik recommend cleaning your water flosser every 1-3 months, depending on use and the hardness of your water.
The tip should be cleaned more frequently — as often as once a week.
How can I prevent mold and mildew from building up?
Regular use can prevent mold and mildew from building up inside your water flosser.
Remember to let all the water flow out during every use so that stagnant water does not build up inside the device.
If you have not used your water flosser for a long period of time, be sure to complete the steps for cleaning the interior and the tip before using.
My Waterpik is completely backed up — what can I do?
Regular maintenance helps to prolong the life of your water flosser, but if it is already full of mineral deposits, the water flow won’t be able to function properly.
Try using a higher concentration of vinegar solution (or even vinegar alone), and let it sit for an extend period of time.
How can I clean a cordless Waterpik reservoir?
Cleaning a cordless Waterpik reservoir is much the same as cleaning a regular one. The reservoir is removable for ease of cleaning and is also dishwasher safe.
Due to the shape of the cordless Waterpik reservoir, you may wish to opt for the non-dishwasher cleaning method outlined above.