Miele dishwasher - something is not right

dfpotterriJuly 9, 2012

We have had a Miele Dimension for a little over a month. At the beginning, it cleaned spectacularly well. On some days, it still cleans spectacularly well. But most other days now with no rhyme or reason, things come out spotty and sometimes greasy-looking. Some days, there is almost a powdery residue on glassware or plasticware.

We were using old detergent so we bought a new box of Finish (powder, not tablets). The rinse aid dispenser is full. We use Ecover for rinse aid. The bottle is a few months old. I cleaned the filter, which didn't really have anything in it, but it was a little icky as the filter can get. There is VERY little water at the bottom of the unit. My previous Bosch always had about an inch of water in the bottom of it at all times, but this is less than half that. I don't know if that's a sign of anything.

Please help! I want to love this dishwasher and on the days it cleans well, it is spectacular- it cleaned the coffee residue right out of my very old stainless thermal mug, and glassware gleams.

Any thoughts?

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The issue is probably the detergent. You're old box probably had phosphates. I don't know about Finish Powder but I now use Finish Quantum tablets and they work spectacularly in my 10-year old KA.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 2:06PM
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There are a series of questions to be asked but let's start at square one:

How much of the powdered detergent are you using per load?

I've had 2 Mieles and still have the original 9 y.o. one with no issues. It can take a bit of adjustment but don't worry. You'll get there.

Have you called Miele Customer Care? They can help you adjust the rinse aid dispenser as that also can make a difference. (From my experience that I'd go with Jet Dry or Somat rinse aid.)

I'd also check the two upper spray arms to be sure the holes are not clogged.

There's no more than 1/2-inch of water below my filter.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 2:06PM
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I'm using a scant teaspoon of detergent per load. The old detergent was Trader Joe's w/ no phosphates. Worked fine in our old Bosch, but it sat in a storage unit for 3 months so I could believe it had gotten stale or something. I bought the Finish last week when an appliance repair guy told me about it. He mentioned the tablets but I hate tablets. They seem so wasteful. That being said, I had a box of old Ecover tablets that I had brought in my suitcase home from the UK last year and they worked really well.

I'd certainly believe the rinse aid isn't dispensing properly. The spots on the dishes look like that. I will call Miele.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I'd also check to be sure you don't have your machine set on Tab when you're using powder since my understanding is that the machine doesn't dispense rinse aid when the Tab button is down and that could well be the issue.

A few of us here are legacy Miele folk and swapped notes on the various detergents for longer than I care to admit.

Larsi came out for Finish Quantum tabs and I agree that they really seem to do the best job. Fauguy touted Method Smarty Tabs (grapefruit-rose is best smeller) after he had a reformulated Miele tab fail. Those seem to be the consensus choices and they're my current #1 and #2. I keep thinking the Method might be kinder to my septic system so I switch them out.

After that it's whatever works best with your water and machine.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Yes that is correct, do not use the "Tab" button, as that you will actually turn off the liquid rinse aid dispenser. When mine was installed 2 years ago I started by using the Miele brand detergent tabs and rinse aid. Had no problems. Then after about 6-8 months Miele changed their detergent tabs, which to me didn't clean as well and made a lot of suds in the bottom. I then changed to using the Method Smarty Tabs. There is 20 in a bag for $6, but I cut them all in half, so that gives 40 wash loads. So with one half tab of the Method and the Miele Rinse aid, it has continued to clean very well with no issue. I also use a bottle of the Miele Dishwasher Cleaner every 6 months, as it's citric acid cleans the inside of the unit and makes it look brand new, but also cleans anything that could be in the hoses, sprayers, etc.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:41PM
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BTW, last year I did try a box of Finish Quantum, and they did clean well, but I found them to be too harsh (powerful) as some plastic cups started to discolor. The Method tabs didn't do that.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:44PM
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I do not appear to have a Tab button? I looked all over and read the manual again but no mention of a Tab button. All it says is that if I use a Tab product I might want to disable the "refill rinse aid" messages.

I also have not put in salt. I am in the Boston area and all I can find about local water quality is that we have softish water. But this might be wrong or incomplete information. I could not find anything in our local water info which listed specific measurement of hardness/softness.

All that being said, my symptoms do match what the manual says about needing more rinse aid so I bumped up the amount to 4 ml and will see what happens tonight.

I really do prefer to use powdered detergent over tabs as it is vastly more economical and less wasteful (I HATE those plastic wrappers!!). But if I must change, I will keep your recommendations in mind.

Have you ever had problems with the rear-most cutlery not getting cleaned well, no matter what the rest of the performance is?
And where do you put your cutting boards? We got used to not putting cutting boards on the right side in our Bosch, though everywhere else was fine, but on the Miele I can't determine where the best place is. I can tell that in the front-most spot it blocks the soap from getting to the dishes and nothing gets washed well. It's too bad because I use a lot of cutting boards.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Hi df,
I have never had a problem with cleaning with my Miele. I do use mostly tabs as the loads are full and dirty. I would suggest you try to use more detergent if the dishes are coming out greasy. One teaspoon just doesn't seem enough. Miele recommend using at least 30 ml which is 2 tablespoons of detergent. Here is an example of how I stack my Miele Diamond. I using place cutting boards at the back of the bottom rack, unfortunately this load doesn't have any.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele Diamond stacked

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 7:15PM
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VERY helpful, thank you! We only needed a teaspoon of detergent in the Bosch but clearly the Miele is a different beast. I did try more, but then there seemed to be a gray powdery film over some plasticware so I stopped adding as much. But in reading the manual it appears that the powdery film might be due to not enough rinse aid, so that seems like the first thing to try. I will only change one thing at a time to help me determine what exactly it was that fixed our issue, so this investigation might take a day or two.

I appreciate the help and will report back my immediate results tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 7:24PM
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An update on my poor cleaning results situation:

I first bumped up the rinse aid to 4 ml and that made a slight improvement but not enormous.

2 nights ago, I upped the amount of Finish powder to 2 teaspoons and also increased the rinse aid again to 5 ml. Together, they seem to have solved the problem.

Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I've never used Finish, but I use the ECOVER rinse aid and have from day one, so I don't think that is your problem. I also use the ECOVER dish tabs. I have no idea what the tab button is. My machine is going on 7 years old, a Premium Plus, and has no tab button and definitely dispenses rinse aid. Either that or I'm missing something.

I'm getting a little worried about the new Miele I'll be getting for the basement. The newer ones certainly appear to need more mollycoddling.

In any case, just wanted to say I doubt your rinse aid is the problem, unless the machine just isn't dispensing it. The brand you're using should work well.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Ivette, the newer machines have a tab setting so there isn't double rinse aid going in -- most of the tabs have rinse aid. I had an Optima with Tab button and it's no problem at all. In fact, I loved that machine and miss it was the best ever. Also had a quick cycle (Express). No worries.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:29PM
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To clarify, there is a TAB light that is turned on or off by a button below it that also ontrols Turbo mode (in my Optima).


    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 6:46PM
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My Dimension is a month old and there is no tab button. No tab button mentioned in the manual or anywhere else.

I don't know if my situation could be called 'needing to mollycoddle' the dishwasher. There has been a learning curve since I have used a Bosch for the past 12 years. All I did was increase the amount of rinse aid dispensed (Ecover), and increased the detergent a little bit. That seems a fair thing to have to do when you get a new brand of machine.

Now that we have proper amounts of detergent & rinse aid figured out, I probably will go back to the Ecover detergent, either powder or tablets. I also don't see a reason to not use the Ecover rinse aid. I just needed a bit more than I was using.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Thanks Jane. I understand now.

I've never had to adjust amounts of detergent or rinse aid. Just fill the dispenser and the machine does its thing. I have thought of trying a half tab of Ecover, but why mess with success.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:18AM
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