Miele 1986 -Question about replacing boot

liriodendronMarch 13, 2011

I've just acquired a very lightly used Miele 1986 and I need to clean it up since it was stored closed! And frankly, it smells terrible. I suspect it also has a case of over-suds/cold temp biofilm-nasties, as well.

It's clear from the get-go that I'll need to replace the boot because even straight bleach doesn't budge the worst stains and odors.

So my question is: has anyone done this and do you have any idea what a new boot costs (part only, not installation since we do our own Miele-work)? If you've replaced a boot, is the job really difficult?

This poor little Miele has obviously been in a bad situation, but luckily has now been adopted into a Miele-loving household that believes in small amounts of non-HE powder, hot washes and open portholes between cycles. I'm sure its spirits will perk up as soon as I can get it cleaned up.

After wrestling for an hour with the skeeviness of someone else's build-up, I thought that maybe I was just being too finicky because the machine is new to me. So I went downstairs to compare the deep crevasses of the boot attachment points in my nearly 15 y.o. Miele 1918 with what I was seeing in this two-year old 1986. Nope, my little 1918's crevices and edges are clean as a whistle and the new one is slimy. Uh, oh!

Thanks for any info you can give me about the boot.


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OK, so now I have some of my questions answered:

Cost of new boot $83 (plus S&H) direct from Miele in NJ, in one day.

How hard is it to take off: easy-peasy, actually.

And I'm assuming also easy to put it back on after I carry out further deep cleaning of the machine. At the moment I have disassembled the entire detergent delivery pathway, the water filling system, and of course, the entire drain path, including breaking down parts of the drain-pump assembly. Still easy, so far.

Simple scrubbing and even a long overnight soak of the boot in a stiffish dose of clorox in water failed to dislodge all of the smelly crud. But subsequent careful scrubbing and an application of "Washer Magic" (cost $4.99) seems to be doing the trick. WM is pretty foul stuff, but better than leaving it half done. I also have on hand Affresh, a Carbona washing machine cleaner and the super-expensive ($20 of citric acid) "descaler" recommended by Miele. I just started with the WM, since it was the cheapest of all.

My plan is to clean all removable parts, then reassemble using the cleaned-up boot and run a few cycles using the descaler and Affresh, etc., to try and get at the parts I can't reach between the drums. Then I will assess and decide if I want to remove the cleaned-up boot and replace it with the new one, which I didn't want to install until the rest of the innards are as clean as I can make it.

I have never had this set of problems before so it's interesting to me to see how practical it might be to carry out the oft-suggested instruction to deep clean a machine to get rid of a case of bio-film and stink. At least on this machine, it's not very hard to do and requires no esoteric skills or tools; just patience and a determination to get into every crevice, no matter how tedious.

It will also be instructive to see how things work out once it's put back together - and whether thorough cleaning along with a change in operation (to my own, definitely not bio-film promoting practices) results in keeping the nasties away, permanently.

This is an unusual laundry-regimen challenge, and not one I've seen reported on here. It may help us to know if operator practice is more critical than machine design in preventing, or curing, bio-film, crud and foul stench.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:43AM
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Can you post photos? It would be very interesting to see, not to mention helpful, should others find themselves in similar circumstances.

When I got my 1213, there were a couple of mildew spots on the inside bottom of the boot, as well as some mineral buildup. I tried a few different things (including a small amount of bleach gel). The best thing seemed to be hottest water washes (a few sanitize) with powder detergents and oxygen bleach. Scrubbed most of the softened mineral discoloration out of the detergent tray and liquid insert and around the boot and drain holes.

Will be following this with interest.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:25AM
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OK, I'll put up some pics as soon as I can get re-organized on my Photobucket account. I'm taking pics sort of as breadcrumbs for the re-assembly pathway.

I'm breaking down the pint trap-to-drain pump assembly today. Hopefully not actually breaking it, IYKWIM?

Miele tech service is helpful, though somewhat wary and guarded, as they don't normally talk owners through repairs. I pointed they've nothing to lose as this machine is out of warranty and if I screw up and break something, then I'll need more ferociously expensive Miele OEM parts.

The washer was listed on Craig's List for $150 and I've already purchased almost twice that more in parts: $106 for a pair of water supply hoses (seller didn't have them, or at least wouldn't part with them - if I'd known how pricey they were I would have bargained harder); $83 for a new boot; $43 for a new drain hose (in case I can't clean it sufficiently). Plus the absurd $20 for the citric acid descaler.

BTW, does anybody know of a solvent for liquid floor wax? The previous owner apparently did squirt and mop cleaning and splashed some on the toekick piece. I was thinking that I might try ammonia.

Miele innards are quite straight forward (at least on this older machine) so I think this fix would be within the skill set of most people.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:52PM
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I would try and scrape as much of the wax off with a plastic scraper first. Then I'd try heat to soften it more.

There are stripper products on the market specifically made for floor wax, but I don't know what they would do to the finish on the machine.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:17PM
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Thanks for the tip re wax. I should have been clearer, this is not real paste floor wax, just that liquid goop people slop around on vinyl floors or maybe Swiffer chems? I haven't had a chance to try ammonia, yet. But that's my first stop.

The machine cleaning project is going well. I have only the drain hose and its associated tubing inside the machine left to do. Except that now I'm thinking I do want to pull out the drums and take them apart before doing any reassembly. Earlier I was thinking that I would just clean the boot, wipe the lip of the drum, disassemble and clean all the drain and water delivery parts and then rely on additives and machine-cleaners and very hot cycles to do the rest. But now that I've scrubbed off the slime from the other parts it seems a shame to take the chance on leaving bits of it stuck in crevices between the drums. Plus I think separating the drums would expose the cal-rods so I could get a gander at the condition of the heaters. I am pondering this step because so far everything is very straight forward. I've been wondering if reassembly of the drum would pose some rebalancing issues.

My DH is keen to try and I did ask Miele tech if it was possible, but I think I should ask them again for a more detailed explanation of how to do it.

They were very helpful with the last problem (separating the pin trap assembly from the drain pump). At the back of the pin trap is the impeller which is attached to the pump. It turns out that all you have to do to break 'em apart is tap the impeller out, backwards (towards the pump). It's just a tight friction fit. I just held it a few inches over a cushion and inserted the back, rounded edge of the handle of crescent wrench and knocked on the margins until it just popped apart.

Also, a cosmetic step, if you've got dirt or dust that has settled into the edges of the two display surfaces (one on the front of the detergent drawer and the one on the control panel) you can pop the face panel off by applying gentle pressure through the big hole on the back of the detergent drawer's front. On the control panel (after you've separated the door surfaces to expose the back of the panel) you'd have to pull the knob handle off first, of course. Once the first edge of the panel is loose, then gently insert a blade to lift the other edges out. The face is easy to clean and pops right back in. It makes the front look really pretty again.

I'm wondering if anyone knows if taking the drums apart is an enormous undertaking or not?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Have you tried Dadoes, a frequent poster here? Or automaticwasher.org (I think)?

It seems that if you've come this far, you would want to get to as much as you can. I am the MOST un-mechanical person on the planet. I admire what you are doing. Never in a million years would I have enough confidence to even try.

Was there a lot of slime/sludge?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:32PM
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