The plates are working out great and they're easier to clean. My afterbath water is still full of dark red sludge and more black stuff. I'm doing one bath in the morning and one later in the day. The reason I do 2 is urgent health issues....hypertention and macular degeneration. I also do the Neti pot cleansing and that is making a huge difference in allergy symptoms. Somewhere I read that we are to do a sauna or steam bath after the footbath to get rid of the toxins. I thought that was what the footbath was doing with all the sludge in the water. I have a portable sauna and can use that too. Boy! Are we ever high maintenance!