Waterpik Classic Professional tested and reviewed

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If you have ever used a Waterpik in the past then there is a good chance it was the Waterpik Classic. A great clean at a fair price, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular models of Waterpik available.

Does Waterpik’s newest version, the Classic Professional, offer you the same experience? We answer that question and more in our detailed review!

Waterpik Classic Professional

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Unboxing The Waterpik Classic Professional

If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Waterpik Classic Professional, this is what you would find inside:

Waterpik Classic Professional and accessories that come in the box

Let’s break it down:

  • Waterpik Classic Professional base station (WP-72)
  • Standard reservoir
  • Medication reservoir
  • Classic Jet Tip (x2)
  • Pik Pocket Tip
  • Instruction manual

Straight off the mark we identified that the instruction manual is VERY light on information. If you are someone who requires a detailed instruction manual to figure out how to work a machine then you will be disappointed by the lack of directions.

But if you are like us and enjoy figuring a unit out on your own, this wont bother you in the slightest.

Examining the Waterpik Classic Professional

The Waterpik Classic Professional (model WP-72) is the updated version of the Waterpik Classic (model WP-60). Truth be told, besides a color change there is very little difference between the two.

Like just about all water flossers, the Classic Professional is a little on the ugly side. The design itself is long overdue for an makeover, it remains unchanged since 2006. That’s over 10 years ago!

Waterpik Classic Professional front photo
Waterpik Classic Professional left and right hand side photos

The Waterpik Classic Professional comes with two different sized reservoirs (water tanks):

Waterpik Classic Professional high pressure reservoir and small medication reservoir

1. High-Pressure Reservoir – The larger of the two reservoirs can hold just over 35 oz of water. This reservoir used for all round mouth cleaning. For the majority of you, the large reservoir will be the only one you use.

2. Medication Reservoir – The Smaller Reservoir has been designed for delivering medications or therapeutic rinses directly into your mouth. Holding up to 10 oz of solution, the Medication reservoir is a handy alternative when you only need to use a small amount of liquid.

At the bottom of each reservoir is a small valve:

Waterpik Classic Professional water flosser rubber reservoir valve

The valve is made of rubber and it’s design is quite clever. When you remove the Reservoir from the Classic Professional and fill it, it will act as a plug.

No water will escape the reservoir until you place it back on to the base station. The valve will then lift up allowing water to be drawn through the Classic Professional and out the handle.

Both reservoirs are top-rack dishwasher safe, although you will need to remove the rubber valve each time run the reservoirs through a dishwasher cycle.

You may have noticed that the reservoir containers are open topped. There is no lid to be found. Nothing to stop dirt and dust from getting inside.

To keep the Classic Professional clean and hygienic, Waterpik has come up with a clever solution when the time comes to pack away the Classic Professional. You simply turn the larger reservoir container upside down and slide it over the base station like so:

Waterpik Classic Professional with reservoir upside down protecting main unit

And just like that the reservoir acts as a shield against dust and spray cans like deodorant or hairspray.

Let’s take a closer look at the base station. It’s when you remove the Reservoir that you will realize just how plain the Waterpik Classic Professional really is:

Waterpik Classic Professional with water tank reservoir removed

But plain is a good thing. Like all oral products you are going to want to keep your water flosser clean and hygienic. Dirt and grime is easily visible on the white plastic exterior and the rounded design doesn’t give these nasties anywhere to hide.

On the left of the base station you will find the power button:

Waterpik Classic Professional Power Button

The power button is little more than a oversized gray switch. While you are using the large water tank switching the Classic Professional on and off can be done with one hand.

But we noticed a problem when using the smaller medication reservoir. You can lift the whole unit up trying to turn it on. If you the reservoir is full this will no doubt lead to spillage.

Waterpik Classic Professional being lifted up with finger attempting to turn power button on

The problem that even when the medication reservoir is full it is not heavy enough to offset the force required to turn the machine on. This means that you will have to hold the base station down with one hand while turning it on with the other. This can be tricky because you will already have the flosser handle in your other hand.

This highlights a bit of a problem with the Classic Professional. It’s just not heavy enough. Waterpik could have easily put a couple of weights on the underside of the unit or even made the power switch a little less stiff.

Since the majority of users will no doubt use the larger reservoir this problem will only affect a small number of users. But since it directly relates to usability we had no choice but to mention it.

Moving around to the front of your Classic Professional you will find four small holes:

Waterpik Classic Professional Water Flosser Tip Holder

These holes hold your flosser tips (nozzles) in place when they are not in use. You can store up to four flosser tips at any given time. Great for those of you who swap between tips or share with other members of your family.

The flosser tips are kept clean and hygienic when you place the reservoir upside down on the unit.

Waterpik Classic Professional four water flosser tips sitting in holder

We found that when in the holder the flosser tips sit just that little bit too close together. This makes it difficult to reach for your flosser tip without bumping the one next to it.

You should note that the holes run right through the base of the Classic Professional. This means that any wet flosser tips will drain directly onto your countertop.

During testing we noticed that a small puddle was left when all four flosser tips were used and left to dry. If you live in a damp environment then this is something you will need to pay attention to as still water can lead to mold or mildew.

If you peek underneath the Classic Professional you will see just why the unit is so light. The base is entirely hollow:

Waterpik Classic Professional water flosser underneath base with cord shortener and power cord

Four black rubber feet keep stop the Classic Professional from slipping and sliding all over your bathroom countertop. Unlike other models of Waterpiks, the black rubber will not leave marks on light colored surfaces.

Between the feet sits a feature that we wish every bathroom appliance had> A cord shortener. At it’s full length the power cord stretches to 4 foot. For some of you this will be too long and leave a mess of cable sitting on top of your bathroom counter.

Wrapping the power cord around the two plastic hooks on the base will help cut the length down to size. We recommend hanging onto the twist tie that holds the cable in place while the water flosser is in the box. You can use it again once you have shortened the cable to your desired length.

Finally we come to the last noteworthy feature on the base Station of the water flosser, the handle.

Waterpik Classic Professional Water Flosser Handle close up

Now depending on who you talk to the handle is also called the wand or bulb. When it’s not in use the handle sits inside it’s own designated holder in the base of the unit.

The handle is attached to the water flosser by a length of coiled water hose (tubing). With the power turned on, water is pumped through the body of the Classic Professional, down the water hose and out the handle.

Waterpik Handle stretched out and coiled water hose

The water hose can stretch just over 2 feet before it becomes so tight that directing the handle becomes difficult.

Most modern water flossers like the Aquarius Professional have a switch that controls the water pressure located on the base of the unit. The Waterpik Classic Professional controls the water pressure with a switch found on the front of the handle.

The switch can slide up and down selecting any one of 6 different water pressure settings. On the lowest setting the handle blasts out 10 PSI of pressure and 90 PSI on the highest.

Waterpik Classic Professional Water FLosser handle pressure selector switch

You will need to be mindful that you actually have less control over the water pressure than higher-end waterpik models. With only 6 settings, the increase in pressure from going up a single setting much larger than models with 10 settings.

On the rear of the handle you will find a round rubber button:

Waterpik Classic Professional water flow stop button on handle

Pressing this button will pause the flow of water mid-stream, allowing you to move the handle to a new position before releasing the button to let the water resume flowing.

Out of the full-sized countertop models, the handle of the Waterpik Classic Professional was our least favorite. The small size and light weight make it feel like you are holding a toy. It just feels cheap. We much preferred the handle on the Waterpik Ultra.

Waterpik Classic Professional Flosser Tips

The flosser tips attach to the handle and deliver the stream of water directly into your mouth. Three flosser tips are included in the box:

Waterpik Classic Professional Water Flosser Tips that come in the box

From Left to right<:

1. Classic Jet Tip -The standard flosser head that comes with all models of Waterpik. Two are included in the box.

2. Pik Pocket Tip – Delivers water deep into periodontal pockets. One is included in the box.

It is worth mentioning that while Waterpik offers a huge range of Flosser tips, only three styles will fit into the Classic Professional. This is much less choice than higher models of Waterpik.

In addition to the two types of tips included in the box, a tongue scraper is also available to buy separately. For detailed information on all the different flosser tips be sure to check out our complete guide to Waterpik flosser tips.

The flosser tips sit in the hole located at the very top of the handle:

Waterpik Classic Professional Water Flosser handle tip holder

Unfortunately, the instruction manual is quite light on information and doesn’t actually tell you how to get the darn tip to lock into the handle. After a bit of trial and error we figured out how to do it, but we feel this is an obvious step that should have been documented.

In order to install the flosser tip you press down on the bulb-like head at the top of the handle with one hand while pushing in the tip with the other.

We found the whole process to be quite fiddly with too much effort required to insert and remove the flosser tip.

Waterpik Classic Professional water flosser tip installed on handle

With the flosser tip installed you can rotate the head of the handle 360 degrees. By doing this you will also change the direction that the flosser tip points in and can help make your aim more precise when flossing those hard to reach areas.

With your flosser tip inserted into the handle you are now ready to take your Classic Professional for a test-drive.

Testing the Waterpik Classic Professional

With the flosser tip inserted into the handle and the reservoir filled with water, it’s time for you to use your Waterpik Classic Professional

Waterpik Classic Professional water flosser handle held in right hand

Before you turn the water flosser on let us warn you that this thing is LOUD. The pump thuds and bangs away making your bathroom sound like a construction site.

Needless to say the classic professional will wake anyone who is sleeping nearby, so be sure to pick the times you use it wisely.

There is a huge variation in the strength of the water flow from the lowest to the highest setting. When beginning we recommend starting on the lowest and slowly working your way up. If you have sensitive gums the highest pressure can feel like a stream of needles.

We said it before and we will say it again. We didn’t care for the handle. It was especially hated by testers who had larger hands who had to daintily hold it in their fingertips to get a good grip.

The pause button on the handle (that stops the water flow) is very stiff when you use the Classic Professional for the first few times. If you don’t press hard enough water will leak out. Testers with a weaker grip particularly struggled with this. But with continued use the button loosened up and all testers were easily able to pause the water flow.

With the flosser tip in the mouth the Classic Professional works just as well as any other water flosser, removing plaque from along the gumline and between the teeth. The handle definitely did detract from the overall experience though.

The larger container held more than enough water to complete a full flossing session without needing to refill. Unless you need to spend time on a particularly difficult spot, the 90 seconds of water flow will be more than enough to satisfactorily clean your entire mouth.

The medication reservoir performed great for those of you who need to mix a small amount of medicated solution. You will have to be careful with the pause button, the medication reservoir empties quick!

Once you have completed flossing you return the handle to the base unit. The water hose pipe has a memory and will coil back up into it’s original position which is nice.

While the reservoir doubling as a lid seemed like a good idea in theory, in practice it was a little awkward.

The reservoir just doesn’t dry well if it’s used as a protective cover. This means that you will need to remove the reservoir from the base unit to let it dry. During this time dust and debris are free to cover your handle, flosser tips and everything else.

Like all water flossers, if you have hard water you will need to spend more time maintaining the Classic Professional. One tester commented that Flushing the water flosser out with a warm vinegar solution once a week helped prevent deposits from building up.

Final Thoughts

While the Classic Professional adequately flosses your teeth, we feel that it makes the whole process harder than it needs to. There are just too many quirks and flaws. While this is on the lower end of price in terms of Waterpik models, it is far from cheap.

An instruction manual that basically says “figure it yourself” , a cheap feeling handle and a limited selection of flosser tips were just some of the frustrations we had with the unit. While this Waterpik design may have been the star of 2006, that was over ten years ago and the Classic Professional is now in great need of an update.

If you are looking for a good countertop model from Waterpik, the Waterpik Ultra should be your starting point. As for the Classic Professional, while it does it’s job we can only call it average at best.

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