How To Clean Waterpik Flosser – Oral Irrigator Cleaning Tips

By | November 14, 2023

Have you ever noticed a decrease in the performance of your trusty Waterpik water flosser? It’s a common issue for many, as even the best oral hygiene tools need regular maintenance to function optimally.

Neglecting to clean your Waterpik can lead to buildup, affecting both its efficiency and your oral health. Imagine your frustration when this tool, meant to keep your smile bright, becomes a breeding ground for bacteria due to lack of proper care.

But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of keeping your Waterpik in tip-top shape. From a step-by-step cleaning process to helpful tips, I’ve got all the details you need to ensure your Waterpik continues to support your oral health journey, maintaining its performance and durability.

Don’ts – Never Do This When Cleaning Waterpik Flosser

Before you get to cleaning, know about certain things you can’t do. Here is a couple of them.

Never Submerge

All of us know that electricity and water never mix. So, ensure you never submerge the flosser’s base in water. However, you won’t find much dirt on the dirt. Even if you do, a simple wipe with a clean rag and warm water will do the cleaning job perfectly.

Related reading: How To Prevent Mold In Waterpik And Other Water Flossers?

No Concentrated Liquids and Additives

You should never use concentrated liquids and additives while cleaning Waterpik Water flosser. These include bleach, essential oils like tea tree oil, iodine, and baking soda. All of these can damage the water flosser and shorten its life. Meanwhile, you can saline solution in countertop units but it’s a big no-no when it comes to cordless ones.

That said, you must check the user manual or ask the oral irrigator manufacturers to know if you can use anything extra. Make sure it’s compatible with the Waterpik water flosser units.

No Abrasive Materials

To clean the tip or reservoir, you should never use abrasive materials such as rough pad or scour. These can cause damage to the parts too. Instead, it’ll be wise to use a soft cloth. This will greatly do the job.

Cleaning Waterpik

Now comes the dos. Here you will get a detailed step-by-step guide on how to clean Waterpik water flosser thoroughly. I have added separate guides for each part of the unit.

Outside of the unit

Before cleaning the outside of the Waterpik water flosser, make sure to unplug the corded device or power off the cordless. Usually, the device comes with a plastic surface that can catch moisture, grime and dust. To remove them, wipe the surface with a slightly dampened, soft cloth or a paper towel.

Remember that some may advise you to use soap, but I wouldn’t do that as soap can damage plastic parts fast.

Water Reservoir

Waterpik reservoir can easily build up debris. The good news is, it’s easy to clean it. You will just have to put it in the dishwater. However, you can try other options too.


If the reservoir comes with a rubber valve in the base, gently push it from the bottom and remove it. Massage it gently with a mild dish detergent and clean the valve with warm water for 30 to 40 seconds. Now, place the reservoir facing down on the dishwasher’s top rack for thorough cleaning. Make sure to air dry lastly rather than using heated drying cycle.

Dish Detergent Solution

If it’s not dish-washable, you can use hot water and dish detergent to clean the inside and outside of the reservoir. Clean the hole with a toothbrush. Then, leave the reservoir to air dry.

Moreover, ensure the dome side of the valve faces up, and the 4-prong side is visible on the reservoir’s bottom.

Internal Parts

Debris and minerals can build up in the unit’s internal parts. The parts include a pump, filters, tip, and hose.

To clean these with a flosser, use either antibacterial mouthwashes or white vinegar. Both options help remove mineral buildup, break down grease and kill bacteria.

Mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of either of them with 16 oz. warm water. Then, fill the reservoir with the mixture and turn on the flosser. Now, clean it by running half of it through.

After that, turn off the flosser and put the handle with the tip in the sink. This will let the mixture drain out of the handle gradually within 20 minutes.

Afterward, run through the remaining mixture after powering it on.

Lastly, fill the reservoir with clean, warm water. And then run a full cycle to empty the reservoir.

Handle (Countertop Models)

If you’re using a countertop water flosser, then you must thoroughly clean its handle with white vinegar.

First, fill a container with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and warm water. Now take out the tip and immerse the unit’s handle in the container for around 5 to 7 minutes.

After that, rinse the handle inside and out with warm water. And lastly, let it air dry.

Flosser Tip

Cleaning the flossing tip helps maintain cleanliness. And it’s easy to clean it too. All you have to do is, detach the tip from the unit and submerge it in an antibacterial solution.

You can use 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or an antibacterial mouthwash.

Leave a tip immersed for around 5 minutes. Lastly, rinse it with warm water.

Related reading: Can You Share a Waterpik Water Flosser?

How Often Should You Clean a Waterpik?

Different parts of the Waterpik water flosser have different timetables. Since you know the way to clean them, this section will briefly tell you how often you should clean each part.


Cleaning any part of the water flosser daily can be excessive. And anything excessive will not be beneficial for the unit. So, if you use Waterpik daily, then I would advise you to make cleaning plans on weekly basis.


These are some areas and parts you must clean every week or two. This will help boost the performance of the water flosser.

Just empty the water reservoir and water pipe

Make sure to empty the water reservoir and internal pipework of water every week and clean it out. The best way will be to continue running the unit until it doesn’t have any more water. After that, run the water flosser for around 10 seconds. Draw in air through the water pipe. Lastly, push out any remaining moisture.

Make sure to have fresh water only in the reservoir to keep the unit and your teeth healthy.

External plastics

With a soft cloth, wipe the external surfaces, including the main body, handle, hose, and underside of the reservoir. Lift the latter of the water flosser to let the air reach the underside and the inlet.

After cleaning all the plastic parts, wait for some hours to dry out completely. If the reservoir has a lid, then open it and let it air dry.


There are some parts that require deep cleaning every 1 to 3 months. These parts play a big role in helping the flosser work in optimal condition. Let’s know about them here.

Water reservoir

The reservoir in the unit contains the water that passes through the tube and tips into the mouth to perform water flossing. Because the reservoir contains water, it can grow mold easily. For this, you must separately clean the water reservoir every month. This will help to prevent mold in Waterpik.

Internal parts

It’s important to clean the internal parts of the water flosser along with the reservoir every month.


Countertop water flossers come with a handle. If you own one, then cleaning it every month is necessary too.

Flossing tip

Just like the handle, you must clean the flossing tip every month. However, make sure to clean both at the same time but in separate containers.

Cleaning Waterpik with Bleach

While it’s tempting to reach for bleach when cleaning your Waterpik, it’s not the best idea.

Bleach is quite harsh and can cause damage to your Waterpik, potentially voiding its warranty. But don’t worry, there are safe and effective alternatives to keep your Waterpik in pristine condition.

One of the best options is a simple hydrogen peroxide solution.

How To Clean Waterpik with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a jack-of-all-trades in oral hygiene, and it’s fantastic for keeping your Waterpik tip in top shape. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide:

  1. Create Your Cleaning Solution: Start by filling a container with warm water – not too hot, just pleasantly warm. Next, stir in 2 tablespoons of a diluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. This concentration is safe for your oral care devices and effective in cleaning​.
  2. Soak the Tip: Immerse the Waterpik tip in this solution for about 5 to 7 minutes. This duration is just right for the hydrogen peroxide to work its magic without being too harsh.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, give the tip a good rinse under warm water. This step is crucial to remove any residual hydrogen peroxide, which, if left on, can leave an unpleasant aftertaste​.
  4. Let It Air Dry: Place the tip in a clean, well-ventilated area to air dry. This step is as important as the cleaning itself, as it prevents any bacterial growth due to moisture.

Cleaning Waterpik with Mouthwash

You can clean the internal parts, including the flossing tip, with mouthwash. The steps are easy.

  • Fill a container with warm water and mouthwash.
  • Keep it at a ratio of one-part mouthwash to one-part water.
  • Now pour this solution into the reservoir and turn the water flosser on.
  • Run it until half of the solution drains out.
  • Turn the unit off and then place the handle with the tip in the sink.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Use when all the parts are completely dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of cleaning the Waterpik water flosser?

There are four big benefits!

  • Kills the bacteria.
  • Helps break down mineral deposits.
  • Boosts the performance of the unit.
  • Increase the life expectancy of the unit.

Can you use tree tea oil to clean the unit?

No, you should never use tea tree oil for cleaning the water flosser. Any kind of essential oils like these can cause damage to the unit. Moreover, the brand has suggested you avoid using them in their user manual.

How to prevent mold from building up in the unit?

Daily use of the unit can prevent mold from building up in the Waterpik water flosser. Make sure to let the water flow out after every use. This way, there will be no chance of the buildup of stagnant water inside the unit.


No matter how long-lasting your Waterpik water flosser is, it’ll not perform well unless you maintain it properly. So it’s not only your teeth that need the cleaning. The unit needs the same.

Hence, I have covered all the necessary steps that you can follow to keep the water flosser clean. In case you don’t remember the timetable to clean each part, it’ll be great to mark the calendar or set a reminder alarm on your device.

This article has equipped you with vital knowledge and practical steps to clean your Waterpik water flosser effectively.

From disassembling the parts for a thorough clean, to using the right solutions for sanitizing, and tips for regular maintenance – these strategies are pivotal for optimizing the performance and extending the lifespan of your Waterpik.

By implementing these cleaning routines, you’re not only maintaining your device but also ensuring a healthier, plaque-free smile. A clean Waterpik is a cornerstone of excellent oral hygiene, vital for your daily dental care.