Can't get a good rinse on my Miele 4842

RoundRockMomFebruary 4, 2012

OK, it's been a couple weeks, and I went on a serious detergent diet with the new Miele washer, having taken all the suggestions to heart and having read dozens of historic threads on the subject.

We do have softened water feeding the washer. (We don't know how soft - hubby is supposed to find out for me) I am down to 1 tablespoon (10ml) of Miele color powder detergent for a full load of clothes. A typical load: Kids jeans, tshirts, fleece PJs etc.

I still had soap residue in the clothes - they felt funny, kind of stiff. After a full wash (Custom: Hot with Max Spin) with the 'sensitive' setting (which I believe adds a rinse?), I would run the Quick Rinse on the same load and still see bubbles in that rinse water. Not huge suds, but that water is not running clear off the clothes. I could run the Quick Rinse TWICE and still see soap coming off the "clean" clothes in that second cycle.

I entered service program mode and increased my water to Water+/Extra Rinse.

I just ran a full load on that new setting. Then I ran a Quick Rinse and there are still soap bubbles in that separate rinse.

Water conservation is not the highest priority for us at the moment, but I shouldn't have to triple rinse everything to get the soap out either, right? I also really don't have time to babysit the washer to see if it's doing its job.

And if I were to use less than a tablespoon of detergent, I'd worry the clothes won't be clean either.

What am I doing wrong here?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There has been a case here before, where a person also complained about bubbles in the rinse water. I think it turned out that the water was so soft that mere agitation of plain water caused bubbles to form. Maybe someone can find this old thread.

Have you tried running the washer empty? A clean machine cycle?

Besides this, have you tried to set the washer to Maximum Water Level - can also be done via the service menu. 10 ml really seems like nothing, I agree.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't have Miele machine, but I can tell you a few things you can trust.....

1) Water-and-detergent wise, Miele's operate just like every other machine out there. They slosh the clothes around in soapy water, then rinse them in clean water. That's it.

2) There is only one kind of "soft" water -- zero grains. Everything else is some gradation of "hard". If your softener is working properly, you'll be measuring zero grains outbound regardless of the level going in. From your evidence of residue, I strongly suspect you're at zero grains. With soft water the amount of detergent will always be less than with hard water. Depending upon previous hardness, a whole lot less. However, I agree a tablespoon of just about anything is getting down there.

3) What you're seeing is, indeed, evidence of residual detergent. What you don't know is the source. Is it the detergent you're using? The amount? Or is there residual detergent impregnated into your clothes via your previous machine? You can find out quickly enough. it will be a nuisance, but you'll learn from it. Try this.....

Assuming your machine has a "clean machine" cycle, run that. Observe the amount of suds seen at the beginning, along the way, and at the end. At the end there should be nothing, just water bubbles from the agitation. They've made youtube videos of what you should see in case you may wonder about it. If you still see suds, run it again until you don't. At the end of that, you'll know your machine's clear.....which is where you must begin.

After that, get a load of clean clothes that have never been in the machine.....clothes that were only washed in the previous machine. Run them through your normal cycle WITHOUT using ANY detergent at all. I'd suggest wash temperature of 105F or above. Observe any detergent bubbles seen during every phase of the cycle. That will answer the question about one possible source of the residual you've described.

Next, take a normal dirty load and run that through WITHOUT using ANY detergent at all and make the same observations. You'll learn still more. With the dirty load you can also see how close to your standard of "clean" is accomplished without adding anything at all.

I know this is a pain in the butt, but the machine doesn't care. All it knows how to do is run. Assuming you'll be living with it for the next decade or so, it's important to know what you're dealing with. If you're willing, you can learn a lot in a single day and likely get back to where you'd like to be. Once you've got a handle on this, you can go back to considering how much detergent to use normally.

FWIW, I have a seven-year-old Duet 9400 which is a 3.8cf FL machine -- very similar to yours functionally. I have soft water. I use a little more or less than 1/4-cup of Tide powder (less than that if 2x version) for a full dirty load. I get clean clothes and no residue. If I use even a little more than that, I do get incomplete rinsing.

From what you've described, I'd bet on residual detergent in the clothes before they ever got into the machine. Actually, from your description, I would be surprised to learn it was otherwise. If you're willing to go through this exercise, I would be interested in knowing you find.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The previous thread about residual suds in Miele that whirlpool trainee was recalling was:

Do I need to run Clean Machine cycle regularly?
Posted by izeve on Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 13:23

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Water-and-detergent wise, Miele's operate just like every other machine out there. They slosh the clothes around in soapy water, then rinse them in clean water. That's it."

I agree that is "essentially" it but I can tell you I see a vast difference in my current Miele W4842 and my previous Frigidaire front loader.

It appears to me that the Miele uses less water to wash and to rinse, yet the Miele appears to rinse better than previous Frigidaire. I always struggled with residual suds with the Frigidaire but seldom ever with the Miele. I always use the extra (sensitive) rinse as I want to remove as much detergent as possible.

This is where I also think one detergent dose does not fit every machine. Even if they are similar in drum size - do they use the same amount of water?

My water hardness is 8.7 grains/Imp gallon. I try to dose very carefully depending on size of load and soil level. I also consider what I'm washing. For example, towels cannot handle as much detergent so I dose down for them. I never just use a standard amount. I size up each load individually.

Soft water is not as good at rinsing as harder water.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@asolo said: "Or is there residual detergent impregnated into your clothes via your previous machine? You can find out quickly enough. it will be a nuisance, but you'll learn from it. "

I agree with this 110% because I had this problem. Months ago, I literally performed the same EXACT experiment @asolo has suggested. There were so much suds - from residual detergent impregnated in the garments - that I nearly had a cardiac arrest. Four to five inches of suds. They had all been washed in our previous conventional TL water hog.
In my case, they were clothes our son had outgrown and not been washed nor worn in years, so they were taken to GoodWill. But... I had my answer.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In addition to the suggestions for tests upthread, you can always cut your deteregnt down even more. There is no harm in it. The worst case is that a single load doesn't clean and then you will know what your lower threshold is.

There is no theoretical need for detergent, it's just one of the components used to facilitate soil removal. So don't "worry the clothes won't get clean." No great harm will be done by testing ever-smaller amounts of detergent until you hit the sweet spot for your stuff, your water and your machine.

Also be sure you are actually measuring your test doses, not eyeballing them. There can be serious dosage-creep if you just scoop, or pour, and go. Get a measuring device and use it every time during the test phases, otherwise the tests are pointless.

Another, more complicated, test would be to temprarily re-route your washing machine supply line from an outlet that is outside of the whole house softener system - an outdoor tap with garden hoses snaking in to your washer may work. This will give you an idea whether it's your water softener that's the culprit. There have been people here with whole house softener systems that had considerable trouble getting FLs to rinse properly.



    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@ RoundRockMom

The service menu option you need to activate is "Maximum Water Level". Keep Water+/Extra Rinse and also enable Max Water Level. This will give you high rinse levels about 1/4 of the way up the door on most of the pre-programmed and master care cycles. The water level settings are ignored in Custom and Sanitary modes (maybe others), so you will not have higher rinse settings there. But this Max Water Level mode is specifically for people with soft water. I'm in the same boat.

While I agree with all of the above advice, I should point out that Miele's user manual states that stiff clothes are indicative of insufficient detergent use. This advice goes against what you read above, and also goes against the advice of Miele's own field technicians. I'm mentioning this as a data point, since the advice given by Miele is contradictory.

The best advice is to test, test... and test again. I also have a whole house water softener (zero grains hardness) and struggle with detergent dosing. Enabling Maximum Water Level has made a huge difference in rinsing performance. I recently read a water softener FAQ online that stated you should start at 1/4 the manufacturer's recommended dose and adjust up or down as needed until you achieve a good balance between cleaning and rinsing performance. Tide HE w/ Bleach liquid is approx 3.5 TBS to line 2 (medium load) and 5.5 TBS to line 3 (large/dirty load). Tide HE Totalcare liquid is 4 TBS to line 1 (medium load) and 6 TBS to line 2 (large/dirty load).

My previous machine, an Asko W6761, recommended 1-1.5 TBS for a full load in soft water. That was for a 10 year old machine and before 2x and 3x detergents. So today, I would be using about 1/2-3/4 TBS for that machine if I were using any of today's 2x Tide HE products. The Miele W4842 has about 50% higher capacity than my Asko, so after adjusting for this we get a range of 3/4 to 1 1/8 TBS per load - still in the 1 TBS range. The only reason I'm going into all of this detail about my old machine is that Asko's recommendations are much more in sync with the suggestions in this forum versus what is recommended in the Miele manual. I am just using this alternate recommendation as a sanity check, and I always had excellent results in my Asko using their dosage recommendations. This small dosage agrees with what I'm being told by my Miele service technician.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All good feedback. Thank you.

I have run the sanitize cycle twice now in an empty machine, to ensure that any oversuds have been cleaned out. I was seeing bubbles in the sanitize cycles, even to the second or third rinse. So I think that was part of it. (the second time I ran the cycle, no bubbles at the end)

I am probably still washing a mix of 'old' clothes that may still have TL detergent residue. I will first experiment washing kids' summer shorts which definitely have not yet been washed in the new Miele. I will wash that with zero detergent and see if there are any bubbles.

Next I will try increasing the water levels.

The tshirts I washed this weekend just didn't feel as soft as they should feel. I truly think they felt softer the first couple washes in January, when I was using way more detergent. Perhaps I need to increase detergent slightly and increase the rinse.

I am using a kitchen measuring spoon now on the detergent, definitely not eyeballing it.

Thanks for all the support. Will report back shortly with results. (This is starting to feel like homework for my 4th grader's science fair or Cub Scout projects. Hypothesis, experiment, results.)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"This is starting to feel like homework for my 4th grader's science fair ..."

It will be worth it when you get it all figured out.

Although, nothing is ever perfect. I'm washing a load of my microfiber cleaning cloths and even though I thought I was dosing conservatively, I see WAY too many suds in there. I may be running an additional rinse and spin cycle.

Ah well, I get it right 98% of the time :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think we have a culprit.

I ran the "clean machine" cycle twice. Second time it ran clear.

I next put in a half load of my kids' shorts, not washed since the fall. (so, using the old TL). Used the "extra Whites" Mastercare cycle, so HOT water. No added detergent.

Less than 10 minutes into the cycle, I see suds down the glass and accumulating down at the gasket!

Definitely must be the clothes with detergent residue (and heaven knows what else) from the old TL. I had no idea this was possible.

So do I now wash every single garment in the house, then start from there? Add an extra rinse cycle to each load for awhile?

Is the tablespoon of Miele powder too little, or too much, given the residue of the regular (non HE) detergent that may still be in some clothing?

Is there ANY acceptable amount of bubbles I can see in a rinse, or should I wash and double rinse every load til it's clear, and then quarantine those clothes? (with messy four kids and a husband who covers his clothes with sawdust, this is going to be a challenge for awhile unless I do it all at once.)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Assuming previous detergent used was non-HE, the total rinse-out for all of your impregnated clothes may take a while.

The good news is, with soft water you'll see the evidence of that impregnation very early in the cycle. Especially in soft water, non-HE detergent residue will suds-up right away. That means you can start the cycle with no detergent and wait a few minutes. If you're seeing suds-residuals, leave it alone and complete the cycle "naked". If you see nothing, pause the cycle and add a teaspoon or so of HE.

I know this is a pain. However, in a week or two as your previously washed/impregnated clothes are all cycled through the situation will abate and you can begin "normal".

It is clear to me that you understand what's going on. I have no doubt you'll be fine with everything in due course.

Are we having fun yet?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't get too nutso about remaining suds unless excessive. (Excessive is what you've described.) Actually it can be easily demonstrated that NO machine and NO procedure entirely rinses every vestige of everything out of your clothes no matter what machine you have or what your water quality is or what your procedures are. We're still in the real world.

Keep in mind that you were satisfied for years with your old machine's performance without knowing then what you know now. The one you have now will be better. It will not be perfect, but it will be far superior to what's come before.

I would recommend a few weeks of starting your loads with no added detergent and observing whether or not suds show up in the early going. Either add a little HE detergent or refrain from adding depending on what you see. Notwithstanding the annoyance of having to pay closer attention for a few weeks, I'll bet you get clean clothes throughout and I'll bet you'll have clear-sailing ever after.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi RockRoundMom,

I would suggest to activate the max water level rinse in the programming mode and then possibly use the prewash option with no detergent for those clothes you have worn and just add some detergent for the main wash. At least the prewash will rinse some of the residue out and you can use some HE detergent for the main wash.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@RoundRockMom - What @asolo said. With our W4842, when you add the detergent later, you'll have to put it right into the drum instead of the detergent cup/dispenser. Just because you do not see suds during the first five minutes of the 'wash' cycle, this doesn't mean you won't have detergent residue suds. This machine uses so little water that I often don't see the suds until the rinse cycle, and that's on the wrinkle-free with the higher rinse level.

Furthermore, in those initial few months of our first FL, I wouldn't see any suds until I ran the Rinse/Spin cycle after a load completed. That cycle put enough water into the drum that I could see a fair amount of suds.

It took a few months to get all the old TL detergent residue out of our laundry. Yet our clothes felt soft enough from the old conventional TL washer. I never imagined any of this would happen.

Our son and DIL now live in our area and are on the same water supply. The place they're renting has a Whirlpool Duet 'ht' FL washer. Yesterday, while I was over there, she was washing some thick 'shag' type bath rugs, had reduced the detergent, and we could both see a good amount of suds. There was even a pile of suds on the gasket when the cycle finished. They had an old conventional TL washer in Atlanta, so this was detergent residue in the rugs. I had her run a Rinse/Spin only cycle to flush out the unsee-able suds between drum & tub, then ran the rugs through another wash cycle with no detergent. The suds were minimal enough on the glass door, during the final rinse, that we declared it sufficient to toss into the dryer.

Just know that you are not alone in this. Been there, done that, with the detergent residue. :o)

FWIW, the most recent issue of Consumer Reports has a small article about HE detergents, the difficulty of seeing the dose lines in the plastic caps, and . . . dosing itself! I suspect the author has been reading this forum. Mention was made of having to dose detergent with an eyedropper.... not far from the truth, IMO, with these newer FLs and the minimal water they use.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@ RoundRockMom

I agree with and echo all of the above recommendations. This is all good, solid advice from folks who have been around the block a few times with FL machines. I will simply add that with a water softener and zero grains hardness, it takes only a tiny fraction of detergent that would be otherwise necessary to generate suds. According to the folks at Charlie's Soap, as little as one part per million of detergent in softened water will be enough to display sudsing when agitated. However, this microscopic amount of detergent will not cause stiffness or residue buildup - just bubbles.

EXPERIMENT - Most water softeners have one or more bypass valves. When enabled, these valves bypass the water softener and deliver unsoftened water to your taps. Hard water is much more effective at rinsing detergent than soft water. If you suspect a certain batch of clothes may have residue, start washing them in soft water. If you see suds, turn your bypass valves before the rinse cycle starts. This way you will be liberating the detergent residue using softened water (good) and rinsing it away using hard water (good). This should be an effective combo.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Well, not exactly. Bypassing will provide unsoftened water to the cold-water taps pretty quickly but the hot-water tank will still be filled with previously softened water. Typically takes days for full change-over to take place there.

Soft water throughout is fine for washing and rinsing provided the inbound detergent dosage is correct. I agree that soft water requires lower detergent dosage than hard water. Depending on hardness at the specific location the difference can be HUGE. At my location, the difference between my soft water and the city's provided 7-11 grains hard water is that the detergent required for consistently good results in my laundry and DW is reduced to about 1/4 of what is otherwise needed. Other locations would be different but the difference should be known and considered by every machine owner.

Over the years there have been countless posts here and at the appliance forum (about DW's) describing symptoms of over-dosing with detergents. It seems almost nobody knows their water quality or pays much attention to dosage requirements. Also seems most folks blame the type of detergent first and start changing brands without considering further. That's a shame. Knowing what one is dealing with dosage-wise and water quality-wise is basic for everyone and every machine. The machines can't do what they're supposed to if they're compromised at the outset.

My personal favorites are the folks with soft water who use the pre-pak dishwasher detergents and then complain about etching of their glasses. With soft water, those non-divideable paks are a many-times overdose.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was suggesting bypassing the water softener for the rinse portion of the cycle only. There shouldn't be a need for hot water in the rinse cycle, so bypassing the softener just before the rinse should provide hard water to the machine. That should at least help with rinsing away some of the liberated detergent.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that hard water will show less or no suds-bubbles. I do not agree that hard water actually rinses better than soft. What it does is bind and precipitate rather than dissolve and suspend. That's what soap-scum rings are made of and that's why they appear and why they cling. Happens with clothes, too.

I'm going to stop here. This is a different topic.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only time I have had suds issues was after a month without a softner system in our new home. Once it was hooked up every load had to be rinsed multiple times after the regular cycle. Hard water is terrible for rinsing. Cold water isn't ideal either for the same reasons it isn't ideal to wash in.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I read this today;

"Hardness minerals affect laundry in a gradual manner often not obvious in today's automated washing processes. People accustomed to hard water may not notice the increased detergent use, faster fading of colors or yellowing of whites, shortened fabric life, greater demand for hot water, increased wear on the washing machine, and extra wash and rinse cycles.

Wasteful Hard Water

... Everything from soap's ability to clean to the life span of the washing machine can be affected. A study conducted by the American Institute of Laundering determined that detergent and laundering costs can be as much as twice as much in hard water as compared with soft water.

Most modern detergents also contain builders, but in much greater quantities than soap. Unfortunately, the builders tend to be consumed in softening hard water. This limits their ability to clean, and requires greater quantities of detergent to be used to get laundry clean.

Rinse Cycles and Water Temperature

It's a well known fact that the hotter the water the cleaner the laundry, and this is particularly true in hard water. Hard water's effect on soap and detergent, which reduces cleaning ability and hampers the rinse, means hotter water and extra rinse cycles may be required to clean laundry. The energy used to heat water and to operate the washing machine for extra cycles translates to higher costs and wasted expense to consumers.

Fabric Life and Appearance

A Purdue University study found that fabrics washed in hard water tend to wear out as much as 15 percent faster than fabrics washed in soft water. This is probably due to the presence of hardness residues left in the fabric after laundering, making it stiffer and causing increased friction and wear on the fabric as it flexes.

The Purdue study also found that hard water has a generally negative effect on colors and whites. Colors were found to fade and whites to darken more quickly in hard water. In addition, the study found that laundry washed in hard water became resoiled with greater ease.

Washing Machines

The dissolved minerals in hard water tend to collect in water-using appliances, shortening their life. Washing machines are not immune to this process, and the buildup of these minerals can clog pipes and cause excessive wear on moving parts. A study by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) found that washing machines used with hard water can wear out up to 30 percent faster. A washing machine, which might otherwise last 10 years, will likely last as few as 7 years where hard water deposits can be formed."

Here is a link that might be useful: The Water Quality Association - Soft Water

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:50AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Speed Queen washer
When you all are discussing your Speed Queen, did you...
which compact washer/dryer?
I really wanted the Miele touchtronic washer/dryer...
Getting ready to buy Speed Queens
Actually did purchase a pair of Speed Queens for home...
Fisher+Paykel Eco Intuitive not working properly
Hello, I hope someone out there can help me! I have...
Advice on machines (Frontload vs HE Top load; LG vs Electrolux)
Hello there! I am doing a renovation/redesign of my...
Sponsored Products
MTI MTSB-4842 Shower Base (47.5" x 42")
Modern Bathroom
Sophia Outdoor Teak Outdoor Dining Table, Patio Furniture
Cielo Outdoor Teak Outdoor Dining Table, Patio Furniture
Trans Globe 4842 PA Roubaix Patina Outdoor Post Light
Littman Bros Lighting
Twist Black 28 to 48 Inch Curtain Rod
$33.95 | Bellacor
Ash Gray Bench
$249.99 | zulily
Nesco 4842-47 Professional Roast Air Silver 12-quart Convection Roaster Oven
George Foreman GRP4842R 2-in-1 Ceramic Plates Evolve Grill
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™