My Worst Purchase This Year

aaron_image1For years I've been looking for a magical solution to painful and annoying flossing.

So when I saw it sitting pretty next to the George Foreman Grill and the Vitamix Turboblend at Costco, I had to have it.

“If I get it, I'll floss every day and won't get bleeding gums the next time I visit the dentist,” I thought to myself. “I hate to floss.”

I grabbed one and scanned the bar code with my Amazon PriceCheck app (as any good thrifty guy would do). 

“It's a fair deal.”

water-pickI set it down in the cart. While the price tag of $90 was a bit steep, I knew it would pay for itself in about 50 years by never having to buy dental floss again. I'd finally found the solution to my flossing woes.

Or so I thought.

When I got home I unwrapped the thing and tried it out right away. After wrestling with it a bit, I grabbed the waterpic, aimed it at my teeth and hit the button.


Water with the intensity of a sandblaster hit my teeth with full force.

I flinched.


After a few tries I learned that the best way to operate this high-pressure water hose was to keep my mouth closed when in operation.

“Maybe I should have read the directions.”

Soon my wife entered the bathroom to see what all the fuss was about.

“What are you up to?” she asked

I turned around, took the waterpic out of my mouth and promptly squirted her right between the eyes.

“Oh! I'm sorry!”

I had forgotten to release the button.

It took a week or so before I finally started to get comfortable with my new dental flosser. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It kinda hurt while I was flossing. There was the filling and refilling of the water reservoir and then the clean-up of all the water on the counter.

The dental floss sitting in the drawer was starting to beckon me.

Had enough?” it called out.

After a conversation with my dentist – who didn't think the waterpic would do as good a job as the stringy stuff – I soon quit it.

Just a couple months after I thought the waterpic would change my life forever, it sits in the corner of the bathroom waiting to squirt the next unsuspecting victim.

(What's been your latest purchasing regret?)

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    • Haha.. I like the pressure washer idea!

  1. What a great laugh, you just gave me!!!

  2. LOL, great story….although here’s a question for you – did you then start flossing the old fashioned way? If so, maybe the total outcome wasn’t all that bad?

    • Not yet. :) Good point though

  3. My father bought me one. maybe a different brand. try usind the lowest pressure and shoot it to the back of your mouth. it works for me.

    • Thanks for the tips. I think it was the hassle of it all too

  4. I, too, bought what you did Aaron and had the same dismal results. Clean grout, great idea! However, mine is look gone. Live and learn!

    • :) Live and learn is right

  5. Really?! Sorry, it didn’t work out for you. My husband and I looooove our Waterpik! We bought one 6 years ago when we still lived in Asia and when we moved here to the states 4 years ago, we bought one again. Even my daughter has one. I’d like to think that I floss well, but the Waterpik just does the job better, IMHO. :)

    My latest purchase regret was a Nespresso. I know a lot of people like Nespresso but I still like the taste of fresh ground coffee. :)

    • Julie – maybe I’m just not smart enough to operate the thing. :) I’m sure there are others out there like you who love theirs. Just wasn’t my cup of tea. Never heard of the Nespresso.

  6. I actually had the same experience with the Waterpic…thought it was great a great idea and it quickly started collecting dust.

    • Glad I’m not alone in this.

  7. A Hoover Floormate. I have dogs and I had this great idea that it would help me keep the floors sparkling clean. People raved about them. The reality was that it was a pain to lug out, fill with solution, it traumatized the dogs and left the floor wet so that I had to keep everyone off it unless I wanted more muddy paw prints. A broom and a mop is much quicker and easier.

    • Sometimes the simpler the solution, the better :)

  8. Aaron, what did you have to buy/honey do to make it up to your wife? Could that powerful jet be used to clean grout?

    • Haha – she’s forgiving :) That’s a great idea bout the grout cleaner! Gonna try it out.

  9. My worst purchase this year? I impulsively bought some cute desk items from container store. Totally adorable and the container store is the only quality office supplies store near me.

    • Ahh. Hit send too soon! I meant to say that the next week, I went to IKEA on a whim and they had the same office items for 50% less. Despite to say, I was pissed!

      • Ah – I hate that. Does Container Store price match?

  10. i find that brushing and flossing are the best. I never had any good luck with water picks either. I also use a flouride rinse and occasionally I use Coconut Oil and swish it around in my mouth for 20 minutes they call this Oil Pulling…..just make sure you spit out the oil after 20 minutes.
    it makes flossing incredibly easier and also seems to help gums

    • Oh – we’ve used the coconut oil rinse too – great natural solution to getting rid of nasties in your mouth!

  11. So when you got to you squirted your wife between the eyes because you forgot to release the button, I laughed out loud. Great story. Thanks for brightening my day.

    Few years ago I bought a Dazzle. Think that’s what it was called. It was supposed to allow you to hook up a VCR to a USB port, so you could transfer video to DVD. Had these grand plans of getting rid of all these VHS tapes. It worked if you didn’t mind the fact the video was poor quality and took up about 5% of the screen. Not quite what I intended. Oh well. I got what I paid for.

    • Thanks Bob. Haha.. never heard of that device. Guess some things better to leave to the pros? :)

  12. When I hear myself saying “This will change my life” about a purchase, I try to walk away. Or at least wait a while before actually making that purchase. Clearly I’ve lived this long without it, a few more days won’t hurt.

    • Good thoughts Leslie! Wish I had you shopping with on that fateful day.

  13. Oh no, that sucks! It’s been a while since I bought something I thought I’d love but didn’t (mostly because I haven’t really pulled the trigger on any out of the ordinary purchases for years- the benefits of being broke, hah).

    • There are benefits to brokeness – such as avoiding purchases like this :)

  14. I use similar product that uses much less space and water, Philips Sonicare AirFloss.

    Quite happy with it.

    • Thanks for the recommendation!

  15. Oh, I have been there. I bought a rechargeable tooth brush. It was top of the line. I really enjoyed it, but then found out that they discontinued it right after I bought it. I couldn’t find brush heads anymore, so I finally had to stop using it. Though I thought it was a good purchase, I realize that I never made the ROI!

    • Aw, that’s the worst when that happens. :(

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