My “blog-sumer” Miele washing machine cheat sheet — a user guide with opinions and tips for best results.
Earlier this year, Mr. AM accidentally knocked over a drip filter cone of hot espresso coffee that was brewing on the counter. The scalding liquid and fine grounds splattered all over the front of his chinos. Fortunately he wasn’t burned but the spill was so bad he had to remove his pants in the laundry room. I forgot about them for a few days and when I recovered, they looked destined for the cutter pile. But I had recently purchased a Miele washing machine (3035) and dryer, an investment in making life easier when my 9 year-old washer failed. I felt pretty sure I would get the stains out.
The Mieles are basically electronic laundry robots with their own program tree. This is not your Mom’s washer. The manufacturer’s instruction book is unfortunately vague and disorganized. Water temperatures are in Celsius (not so useful in the U.S.). Plus there are annoying errors as it doesn’t appear the book gets updated even when machines do. I’m a quick study but, initially, I wasn’t finding it easy to use the machine.
Before buying the pair I had sought advice from Tina Amyes, a British-born PhD in enzymology, who I’d connected with on Gardenweb. Tina has been using her machine for about a year and is as particular about her laundry routine as I am. Not only did she encourage me initially to purchase the Miele washing machine over another brand I was considering, she patiently answered all my questions. Her command of the machine — including quirks of the various cycles, water levels, agitation, and reliability of wash temperatures — was amazing. And her experience and precise approach gave me a grasp of how to go about my laundry tasks. That’s how this Miele washing machine cheat sheet (it might also be called a user guide) began.
Mr. AM’s chinos were saturated with coffee. I put ½ tablespoon of OxiClean into the prewash cup, 1 tablespoon of Persil Megaperls white detergent into the wash cup, selected the Sanitize cycle, hot water and pressed Start.
Two and a half hours later, the pants emerged with no trace of the spill. I was hooked.
Laundry talk is wonky and crazy-clean, I know. But the manual for this machine doesn’t explain which cycles to use apart from general statements about fabric type. We felt we needed a better guide.
It helps to know a few of the basics, which weren’t immediately obvious to me:
Many cycles are adjustable. They can be modified to include a cold prewash and/or an extended wash, and/or an extra rinse and/or all three. Others are narrowly defined. Only after Tina compiled a reference chart of all the cycles, temperatures and options was I able to figure out how to wash what. First, though, I made my own water temperature reference chart and pinned it up in the laundry room.
Unlike my previous machine, which used only cold water and heated it to the set temperature, the Miele washer uses cold and hot water from the taps. However, in February, my cold water is 62F; in June it is 72F — both below Miele’s Cold 86F. This is one of the machine’s quirks, and there are others (which go unmentioned in the user guide).
What the User Guide Doesn’t Say but You Need to Know.
• Normal and Delicate cycles don’t activate the heater in the wash cycle. Anyone who likes cold or warm water washes can make good use of Normal. But if Normal is set for Hot, the wash will only be as hot as your house’s hot water heater setting (i.e. somewhere between warm and very warm). Aside from those two, we agreed that the machine’s heater produced accurate wash temperatures when we verified informally with thermometers. Click the photo [above] or this link for a printable copy of the Miele Wash Cycle Temperature Chart.
• Heavy Soil is actually a 13-minute cold-water prewash. It is the key to all stain removal since organic (food, blood, urine etc) stains will set on fabrics washed at 120F or above. If there is doubt about stains, use Heavy Soil and a cycle that supports prewash. Heavy soil and bleach should not be used together.
• For whitening, use a detergent with bleach or a powder such as OxiClean or Clorox II. These are especially effective in a prewash followed by a hot or sanitize main wash. Start with a small amount of powdered bleaching product in the first (right) detergent cup and halve the usual amount of detergent in the detergent cup to avoid over-sudsing. I don’t use chlorine bleach (i.e. Clorox) in the washer (a dispenser is provided) as liquid bleach is dispensed following the main wash.
• A Sanitize cycle with an empty machine is used for maintenance and clearing the drum of any excess suds. It is recommended to run once a month. The machine should be empty and rinse cycle water should be clear, with no suds. If suds show up in the rinse water, run a second Sanitize cycle.
• Delicate is basically a cold-water soak even when Warm water is set.
• This washer is designed to use very little detergent. My usual dose is 1/2 to 1 tablespoon as I have soft water. While detergent needed will vary with water quality, they way to gauge correct detergent quantity is by monitoring the suds level during the main wash cycle of a “Hot” wash. There should be bubbles or a very small amount of suds visible. If more than an inch of suds is visible during a hot wash, it’s best to cut back on the detergent dose.
Everyone has a different approach to laundry. We like hot water washes, are particular about whites, sort carefully, have special-care athletic clothes and the occasional wool load. We both like warm cycles vs cold for undergarments. Both of us favor Persil detergents. I also use Persil liquid, Perwoll black wash and Perwoll wool and silk wash (all sold on Amazon.com). For stain removal I like OxiClean in the prewash though I use only 1/2 tablespoon as it produces a high level of suds in my soft hot water.
Tina’s detergent library is more extensive.
Tina compiled the cheat sheet as an all-in-one reference guide to every cycle. We added our notes on the cycles as well as what we used them for. Please note that minutes on the chart added for Heavy Soil, Extended and Sensitive are approximate and change according to the water temperature. Click on the image or on Atticmag’s Private Miele Washer Cheat Sheet to print out the full PDF.
Disclaimer: this post is 100 percent fan-based. We received no input from Miele. Tina consulted them by phone and email to ask why the heater does not activate on Normal and Delicates cycles but has never received a complete response. I submitted a list of questions to the company to clarify issues in the user guide. Their reply was to send me a link to the online user guide. When I followed up with my questions, I received no reply. So if the company disagrees with anything in this post, they have had opportunities to respond. These are our opinions, based on our shared experiences and use.
Additional laundry notes:
• I do towels as the first weekly load because I use fabric softener only for towels (1/2 tablespoon of Mrs. Meyers or Vernel diluted by half with cold water) and want to be sure it’s completely gone. Setting: Extra White/Very Warm/Sensitive. Alternate setting for lightly used towels: Normal/Warm/Sensitive.
•My second weekly load is sheets. Also light duvet covers. Setting: Extra White/Hot/Sensitive.
•White cottons and knits. Light colored cottons. Setting: Extra White/Hot or Very Warm.
•Light colored knits, t-shirts, Polo shirts, warm ups, knitted sleepwear. Setting: Wrinkle Free/Very Warm.
•Black clothing. With 1/2 tb. Perwoll black wash. Setting: Wrinkle Free/Warm.
•Stretchy exercise clothes. With 1/2 tb. sport wash liquid. Setting: Dress Shirts/Cold or Warm.
•Lingerie. With 1/2 tb. liquid. Setting: Express/Warm or Dress Shirts/Warm. For larger loads Wrinkle-Free/Warm.
•Quilts, cotton blankets, bedpads. With 1 tb. Persil Megaperls. Setting: Pillows/Very Warm or Warm.
•Very soiled or stained cottons. With 1/2 tb. OxiClean in prewash cup and 1/2 to 1 tb. Persil Megaperls in wash cup. Setting: Sanitize/Hot/Extended.
•Biological stains (blood, urine) or bedding during an illness. With 1/2 tb. OxiClean in prewash cup and 1/2 to 1 tb. Persil Megaperls in wash cup. Setting: Sanitize/Sanitize/Extended.
•Dishtowels & kitchen cloths. With 1/2 tb. OxiClean in prewash cup and 1/2 to 1 tb. Persil Megaperls in wash cup. Setting: Custom or Extra White/Heavy Soil/Sensitive. (If someone is ill: Sanitize/Sanitize/Extended)
•Gardening clothes. Tina likes prewash to float away the dirt and debris. Setting: Custom/Warm/Heavy Soil/Extended/Sensitive.
•Household cleaning cloths/rags are always the last load so the heat in the washer will evaporate and it dries out (to avoid mold). With 1/2 tb. OxiClean in prewash cup and 1/2 to 1 tb. Tide HE (leftover) in wash cup. Setting: Extra White/Hot/Heavy Soil. If extra dirty or stained. Setting: Sanitize/Sanitize.
We do not use chlorine bleach in this washer. The reason is that this machine dispenses chlorine bleach (or starch) after the wash cycle and before the final rinses.
If you are a Miele fan and would like to contribute your experience to our Miele Washing Machine Cheat Sheet, we invite your comments below this post. You can comment by being logged into Google Plus, Blogger or other comment-based platforms. As we do not have children living at home, we especially welcome comments from Miele Moms on washing baby and children’s items.
More more information about washing machine detergents see My Laundry Soap Test-Drive.
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