You go to unload the dishwasher and find to your dismay that the dishes are still dirty. Instead of being clean as you expected, they feel slimy and are covered with a film. Before tossing out your dishwasher in frustration, try the tips below to help your old appliance to perform faster and better.

1. Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Clean your dishwasher once a month with baking soda for faster and improved performance. Empty the appliance of all the dishes, sprinkle the baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub and run it through a full wash cycle.

2. Dishwasher Soap

For sparkling clean dishes with no film buildup, use a gel soap that easily dissolves in water. Always add the correct amount of soap as instructed on the product’s package.

3. Proper Dishwasher Loading

Proper loading of the dishwasher is essential for clean dishes. Place glasses upside down on the top rack, plates on the bottom rack facing the same way and utensils in the utensil basket. Place bowls and pans on either rack. Put larger utensils on the top rack.

4. Rinse Additive

For quicker drying and spot free dishes, use a rinse additive in your dishwasher for spotless results.

5. Rinse First

Rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher to remove small food particles that can clog the drain.

6. Unclogging the Drain

Check the dishwasher’s drain regularly, at least once a week, to ensure it is clear of clogs. Remove any food particles clogging the dishwasher’s drain by wiping the debris away with a dishcloth.

7. Water Temperature

To properly clean your dishes, use hot water in the dishwasher. Set your water heater’s temperature to 140 degrees or as recommended by the manufacturer.