Miele 4842

bobbi1023July 15, 2010

Last week my Miele 4842 washing machine arrived! This is my very first front loader and so its a big learning curve for me. I tried my first load and from reading on this forum for the past 6 months before purchasing my machine, I decided to start with 3 tblsps. of detergent. There were no suds to speak of, nor was there any real water either..to my horror! I was rather expecting maybe 2 or 3 inches of water to be seen swishing around the glass window. The laundry seemed clean and rinsed well, but then my laundry isn't exactly filthy, dirty to begin with! Next I try a load of towels. They washed yet again no real suds or water. I put them in the dryer and they came out scratchy. I've never had scratchy towels. EVER! I stopped using fabric softner about 7 years ago. I want as little chemicals as possible. My hubby was not happy with the towels. Oh I happened to use Nature Clean detergent. Its a hypoallergenic natural detergent, made in Canada. I thought maybe this might be the issue. So the following day I spent going to supermarkets looking at all the brands of detergent. I knew I wanted nothing with an optical brightener for sure! I thought I might be able to live with an enzyme (but still hesitant and figured that could be used on non clothes). I purchased HE Zero, complete laundry, Tide Free and Seventh Generation. So I gave each detergent a try. The Zero I tried with the towels again. Oh my word! I had suds, way too many suds! I ran the machine thru two more cycles just to get rid of the suds. Towels again were horrid.The tide free and seventh generation barely suds, which I thought was good, I think! Yesterday I went looking for the dirtiest bit of laundry, the backdoor mat. It's a thick plushy ivory coloured mat. The test was on to see if Nature Clean actually cleaned. I used did a custom cycle with cold water and high spin. I threw three old dog towels with the mat. No suds to speak of yet again! Hardly any rinse water, yet to my shocking delight, the mat came out sparkling, better than it ever did in my top loader with two cycles. So I believe that this load showed me that I do not need to see any suds (I used 1/4 cup of detergent) nor do I need to see any real water either. This is all so new and a bit frightening. Day one I really thought I had made a huge mistake by getting a front loader, let alone spending such a horrid amount of money. I am feeling a bit better. Although the towels are still a huge problem. I figure since they dry in the dryer so quickly there is not enuff fluff time and in the case of cottons, not enough get the wrinkles out. I started to use the permanent press cycle on my dryer, so that it gives a much longer cycle. This has worked great for clothes,but those darn towels are still an issue. I am not sure if I have toasted my towels on sanitize and that nothing will bring the softness back. I am thinking of going and purchasing new towels and washing them only on warm and seeing how that goes. Any ideas for me? Also I am pondering to try to get into the programming mode and finding the water+ feature, since I have whole house water softner. Our water here is very very hard (60 grains). If I get brave enough to do the programming after I make my selection, do I simply hit cancel to get out of the mode? No one has spoken of what you do after you make your selections. How does one get out of the programming mode. I own a Miele dishwasher and am use to programming the water hardness feature for it, so I am familiar. Or would it be wiser on my part to call Miele and have them send out a tech to do this for me? Is it a free service, or will it cost me the usual 200 dollars for him to come and do it? Its all a bit overwhelming at the moment. I would appreciate feedback on...should I have suds? should I try to programme water+ myself or should I just pay the tech to do it? Thanks in advance....bobbi1023

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Relax and take a deep breath! See...all better :) First off, congratulations on your Miele W4842. I LOVE mine!

It is normal to see very little suds, if you use the right detergent. About 80% of the time I use 75ml of Persil Color Gel...and I have only the tiniest of bubbles on the glass.

For towels, trust me...USE liquid fabric softener. I have NEVER had any absorbency issues, and the chemicals used have been tested & tested for decades!! I like April Fresh Downy and Purex Sensitive Aloe and Almond milk. I would NEVER wash clothes, especially towels without using some fabric softener!

STOP washing in Cold. It does not clean the clothes, and it is not good for the machine. Almost everything can tolerate Warm or Very Warm. Also a few times a month, use Extra White (or Hot) and a Sanitize here and there. Keep the door open when the machine is not in use, and I always keep the detergent tray out, when not in use. Front loaders for decades...and NEVER any mold or odors.

When done selecting options in Programming, you just keep scrolling down, until it says Exit!

I have selected: Water+ and Extra Rinse, Maxiumum Water Level, Automatic Load and Hygiene Info Off.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:18AM
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I have the the service manual for the W4800 line. Send me an email if you'd like it.

Heads up, some features disable others when activated so pay close attention when you make changes. Rest assure, the option to set everything back to default is there so you can undo anything. Some options shouldn't be tampered with but you will know those when you see them in the menu. You will be getting a load of advice on this so I will shut up and give you my email. The W4842 is seriously a great machine, hope you enjoy.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 2:43AM
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Hello Larsi
I've read so many of your posts I feel like I know you! I generally wash things in either HOT or WARM water. The backdoor mat has strips of rubber on the bottom, so that we don't go flying down the basement stairs, thus the cold water use for this item. I only ever use cold water when washing this particular item and was blown away how clean it came out of the washer with no suds and no water to speak of...it boggled my mind. I know I have to change my way of thinking about suds.I've used Santize cycle with my sheets and they came out soft, fresh and clean, but in fear of wrinkles I used the permanent press on my dryer and reduced the heat, so that it would tumble longer. I think I will do that also with any of my cotton tshirts, since I've only washed them once (extra white cycle)but they came out of the dryer pretty wrinkled :l I know my rowenta hand steamer or iron will take care of that issue...but i'd rather just have them come out wrinkle free from the dryer! Thank you so much for the Exit information. I've yet to try to get into the programming mode, hopefully on the weekend I will have my hubby standing beside me for moral support as I go into the mode. Might I ask, why did you turn off automatic load? I am assuming that refers to when the machine is in santize cycle, the machine feels the weight of the load and bases that information for the water amount. Hygiene info off, I am assuming is about the Clean Machine cycle. I read somewhere that the machine will tell you to clean it after running so many cycles. Would that not be a good thing? Even though I do 99 percent of my laundry in warm, very warm, and santize.

What temperature do you wash your towels?

I know I am sounding a bit hysterical!!!! Its just such a different way of doing things. Hello little puddle of water, want to clean my clothes? Thank goodness I bought a Miele.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 3:03AM
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Hi Bobbi,
May I make the following recommendations:
Please don't alter anything but switching on the maximum water level for rinsing and make sure that the water plus option is set to water plus + extra rinse.
Do not switch off Automatic load control or Hygiene Info. The Auto load will adjust the time for the wash load and water usage, but if you set the machine to max. water level the machine will rinse with the max. amount of water regardless of the load. Hygiene info reminds you to clean machine if you have run too many low temperature cycles, usually 20 in a row the machine will tell you to run a cleaning cycle.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:34AM
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I do not have the Automatic Load Control OFF. I re-read my post, and it sounded like that. I meant, I have Automatic Load Control set ON, but I have Hygiene Info OFF...since it annoys me when the display on the machine keeps says HYGIENE INFO (funny the manual does not talk about this, and Miele said it was a big mistake on their part to omit this information).

Yes, MAKE SURE you set Water+ and Extra Rinse. If not, your Sensitive Option button will become inoperable. I highly recommend using the Water+ / Extra Rinse option!! I do not mind the low water usage for the wash cycle...but a proper, high-level water rinse is a must for super fresh clothes!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 10:09AM
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uhhhh, I thought Automatic Load control was for use at detergent test facilities only. My machine is set to off by default.

From Service Manual.
Automatic load control; refer to 070
2.3.13 Load Automatic.
Off: Not activated; for detergent test facilities only

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Thankyou for all the information ladies.I to just got the Miele set with the drawers at the bottom the washer is the W4842. I just got the set today,the miele techs,still have to come up and install them.We love all of our mieles ,we have the stacker washer and dryer,the smaller set ,the intergrated dishwasher and the new miele wall oven. I use the Persil soap made for the Miele washers.And the Downy fabric softener .

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 12:39AM
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I SAID EXACTLY THAT IN ANOTHER THREAD! I swear that my Automatic Load Control was set to OFF when I got my machine. I turned it ON but I don't notice anything different. The description of the function seemed like something you would want turned on. Should I turn mine back to OFF?

By the way, when i select the reset/default settings it does nothing. My settings are still the same as I just left them. I can hit reset over and over but my settings always stick. I don't know how to reboot out of this.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 11:12PM
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Yes is it supposed to be OFF. I think it is a bit of a misconception that the washer may not automatically control the wash parameters with this selected off.

Since it says it is for detergent test facilities only, it may in fact eliminate the automatically controlled programs somewhat keeping them standard, thus detergents can be tested for how well they work, not how well the machine works with varying parameters. I say this because I also asked Miele what the "Imbalance chart" selection 1&2 were for. I was told #2 was used for commercial applications and not to use it. Im guessing it may allow a more unbalanced load to spin??? I donÂt know just guessing. With that said, it is apparent they have programs for things we as household users have no use for nor would benefit from. The more I mess around with this machine the more I realize its set up pretty well as is.

If you canÂt do a reset, just go back through every selection and change them back manually. Again I have the service manual if you need it. It does list the default setting of each feature.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:59AM
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But your service manual is for the W4840, not the W4842. It's quite possible that some of the defaults may have changed with the newer model, right?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 5:55PM
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Here are a few examples from the W4840 manual:

Sensor Controlled Rinse Process - OFF is the default, yet others have said that their machines default to ON. What is the default setting for W4842?

Automatic Load Control - OFF is the default, but others said their machines defaulted to ON. The W4800 manual states it is ON by default, but the W4840 manual says default is OFF. What's the default setting for W4842?

Unless we have the W4842 manual, we really don't know what should be on or off. The "Reset" function does nothing, so I can't revert to factory settings. Does anyone know of a way to give the machine a "cold boot" and wipe out the settings? There must be some non-volatile RAM that can be reset somehow.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 6:05PM
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Correct that manual is for the W4840. However, the differences between the W4840 & 4842 are minimal. I think the only changes made to the 4842 were a few cycle selections on the control panel and a few tweaks to the door hardware. It is possible however that some things were changed in the programming but I doubt the options we talk about serve any different purpose on the 4842 than they would have on the 4840 . So its my guess their state of operation remains the same.

One thing I think worth mentioning, some of us, myself included, forget how Miele manufactures their control systems. Most are made to be interchangeable with other models in the Miele lineup. I think its possible some of these options were never intended for use on our machines, nor would they even function unless the control board was set to operate a certain model machine. Perfect example is the maximum spin speed selection, it can actually be raised to 1600 rpm, certainly not intended for this model however. This is probably Mieles biggest reason for not advertising these options to consumers.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that the Sensor Controlled Rinse Process & Automatic Load Control were both selected off by default on my machine. The "Rinse process" is a good idea but I didnt like the fact it killed the third rinse. I have since turned it off.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:17AM
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With 100% certainty, the Sensor Controlled Rinse Process & Automatic Load Control were both selected OFF on my W4842 as well! I think all W4842 models were selected OFF!

I have left my Sensor Controlled Rinse Process off, but I did set my Automatic Load Control to ON. I have noticed no harm, and in fact...unless it is my imagination, my clothes seems cleaner!

Do you think I am "harming" my machine, using the Automatic Load Control, since it arrived from the factory set to OFF?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:48AM
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I seriously doubt the Automatic load control being tuned on would do any harm. In fact it may not be doing anything at all. I know, Im like you, if I expect an improvement Ill see it even if it isnt there some time. Truth is I dont know what the exact operation of that feature is. "For use at Detergent Test Facility" doesnt explain its technical function but tells me its probably not useful for us. I find the way the machines come programmed (with the exception of default water levels) is pretty good. Maybe I trust Miele too much, but with over 100 years of fabric care I think most of us may not trust them enough ;).
One of us should call Miele on Monday and get an engineer on the phone to clarify; maybe Ill just do that.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:19PM
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I believe it was suburbanmd who said Automatic Load Control was ON by default on his/her W4840. You can see the thread here. I've turned my Rinse Process and Automatic Load Control back to OFF seeing as that should be the default setting. I have also turned off Allergy and reverted all other settings to default except for Maximum Water Level which is ON because I have a water softener.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:42PM
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The only options I have selected are Maximum water level and water plus/extra rinse. Everything works great so far...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:08PM
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I too think THE MOST IMPORTANT options (and really the only ones that work) are as what mieleforme says:

Maximum Water Level and Water +/Extra Rinse.

While I do have my machine set to Automatic Load Control, I do not think anyone knows if it even does anything. I left mine set to ON, because I made myself think it cleans better...and have noticed no harm! :)

Yes, Miele made the first automatic washing machine (Miele KNOWS laundry), and Daimler (Mercedes) Benz made the first automobile. I trust almost everything German! Aber natürlich mein Herr!! :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:00PM
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So it turns out I was correct about the function of Automatic load control. Miele technical support explained that its used to standardized wash program parameters to eliminate the variable of a more custom wash program when testing detergents. Water levels and tumble patterns are among the few things may not vary when this mode is selected. He also mentioned (as I suspected) some of the options in the program menu have little use and strongly recommended not to mess with the Automatic Load Control function as it will reduce the effectiveness the machine has.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:28AM
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THANK YOU mieleforme! I read this at 7:15am, and I went into my laundry room at 7:16 & I turned my Automatic Load Control to OFF!!

Funny, that Miele says it will disturb water levels and tumble patterns...and I noticed (or thought I noticed) an increase in wash patterns and performance. Maybe being that I have my W4842 set to Maximum Water Level and Water+ /Extra Rinse, it somewhat "over-rode" the Automatic Load Control.......but I'm not taking a chance. ALC is now OFF!

Thanks for taking the time to call Miele & to post on our forum. Appreciate it! Danke Schön und Prost!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:24AM
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Tonight I programmed my machine for the maximum water level and the water+/extra rinse. It was a very easy task because of the information that was given to me on this forum.

I want to say special thanks to mieleforme for sending me the service manual. It gave me a lot of confidence in what I was about to do!

This machine is fabulous. I love it! My clothes are much cleaner. My white bedsheets sparkle and my DH mentioned how nice and soft the sheets felt. (this is without using any sort of fabric softner)

Thank you everyone for your input.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:46PM
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bobbi1023, dont give up your goal of having less chemicals in your life just because you bought a FL. I know many people who own FL (Mieles, Frigidaires, LGs, Samsungs and more) who all use "greener" options and are very happy with their laundry.

Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to come up with the system that works for you (your water, your machine, your laundry). Ive learned that just because someone here tells you it works for them - doesnt mean it will work for you.

I think towels will never be quite as soft coming out of a FL as from a TL (my opinion) but mine are plenty soft enough. I do buy good quality cotton and I have had no problems with smell or stiffness.

It is recommended by many companies that sell good quality towels (Egyptian/pima) to NOT use fabric softener they must know something. Some people here will tell you theyve done it forever and I say good for them but Ill stick with the recommendation of the people who actually make the stuff and KNOW how to take care of it properly. Ive read that fabric softener can eat away at the towel fibre (Martha Stewart) - as can enzymes. See link to one example. I use a natural detergent with no enzymes or brighteners for my towels and sheets.

I have an older FL which doesnt spin as fast as newer ones. My friend with the new LGs did comment her towels were not as soft too when she got her machine.

I would wash in warm not hot as hot can damage the cotton fibres. I would also lower the spin speed if you can so the towels are a little more wet when they go into the dryer. That may sound strange but I think if they spend a little more time tumbling they will fluff more without frying. You may also want to try some dryer balls to help the fluffing (Nellies makes a nice pair and you can even add a soy based scent to them lavender is heavenly to me). I also give my towels a hard shake before I put them in the dryer. This helps to lift the loops and allows them to dry nicer (and fluffier). I do use some vinegar in the rinse for towels and while it doesnt make them "soft" it does do something to reverse the effects of detergent (something to do with hydrogen ions).

Keep us posted on what works for you! I hope something will click.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:50PM
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PS. I noticed you live in Canada and you like the Nature Clean product. I recently tried Nellie's and it seems to be doing a good job. No enzymes - no brighteners. I've used it on towels and dark clothes. Everything seems clean and, most importantly, smells clean.

A friend pointed out this deal at Costco.ca which includes the dryer balls so I wanted to send you a link. Not sure if you're a member but it's a pretty good deal for everything. I ordered it as I'm curious about these dryer balls. I love infusing towels/sheets with lavender scent but don't like to use FS on them.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:59AM
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Hi livebetter

Thank you for posting. I have finally found my detergent that is working for me. It has no enzymes, fragrance or optical brightners and does not suds!

I must admit that my towel situation was my own fault. I cooked my towels in the wash and then to add extra damage decided to fry them in my dryer.

So after much thought I decided to go back to washing my towels in medium water, medium spin and medium heat on the dryer. Amazing. Towels are improving! I also purchased some new supima cotton towels and used all the medium settings and they came out soft, soft, soft :) DH is happy once again.

I stopped using fabric softner quite a few years ago. To address static cling, I use a polynylon cloth that you put in the dryer and reuse for 500 loads. It works well. Apparently the material was developed in Canada for ridding industrial-scale mechanical systems of static electricity. The company then realized the benefits to the everyday consumer also. I am glad they did :)

I was at the health food store on the weekend and noticed the Nellie dryer balls. They cost 39 dollars. The deal at Costco.ca is an excellent one and I do believe I will order some. Thank you for taking the time to tell me.

I think I am headed down the right path. I love the machine.

I do think scaling back the use of chemicals, can only be a good thing, for the planet Earth and for my family.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 1:51AM
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bobbi1023, $39 is a lot for the dryer balls. I saw them at an upscale store in Oakville, ON for $24. Even still the Costco deal is good. Although, Ive not read many positive reviews on the dishwasher detergent that is included (hmmm). Most reviews for the laundry detergent are very good though. The package also includes an oxy brightener which is always handy for whites.

Speaking of which, have you found a good green dishwash detergent? If not, can I recommend the BioVert tabs. Costco sells them in our warehouse for $19 for 120 tabs. They clean better than anything Ive used (including Cascade). Everything is clean and no spots. Ive seen them in health food stores as well.

Im glad youve figured out your towels! I am planning on purchasing new machines this fall thinking about getting the Mieles. From all the rave reviews here it would be hard to buy anything else :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:03PM
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I bought the Nellie's washing soda and I really like it. I'm using it in my sucky TL as I don't get my Askos until the end of the month. $39 is way too much for the dryer balls. I think The Bay sells them for $25 but the Costco deal is best by far.

Bobbi, where are you that your water is so hard? I'm in Calgary (moved from Vancouver) and I can't get over how difficult it is to get things clean here and how much more detergent I need to use.

I see so many of these great Miele 4842 threads and very little info on the Asko 6903 that I'm beginning to get nervous about getting this machine. Would I be better off getting a Miele instead? Ack, too many decisions still.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:44PM
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Hi livebetter

Yes I thought the dryer balls were WAY too expensive at $39.

I have a Miele dishwasher and use the Somat tabs. My dishes, glassware and silverware actually sparkle. Every time I open a kitchen cupboard I smile. Its not a green product for sure, but once I saw sparkle, there is no turning back for me. Although I've heard rumblings that Miele won't be importing Somat into Canada, they want to steer people over to their dishcare brands. I will just wait and see what comes of this situation. I do use the bio-vert dish liquid (manual washing). I do like that.

Hello fabb

I live in Ontario, a tourist city called Stratford. Our water supply comes from artesian wells. There are five wells which supply our city. The water hardness varies greatly depending on which well is supplying the water. The water hardness levels go from 24 grains to over 60 grains. It was voted as the best tasting water in Ontario, recently. Since I happen to live in the 60 grain zone, we have a whole house softener. You mentioned that you are using lots of detergent to get things clean. My concern would be the rinsing of the clothes. I'd be using Calgon or soda in the rinse cycle just to make sure the clothes are detergent free.

I do not know anything about the Asko machines. My daughter owns the small european Miele stackables. Her washing machine is on the bottom, which is just way too low for me, thus my decision to get the 4842. Two weeks owning this machine, I feel like my money was well spent. No regrets here.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:26PM
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1/4-1/2 the recommended dose of Downy Free & Sensitive in a load of towels make for amazingly soft, fluffy towels with no residue or absorbency issues. My towels have a new lease on life!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:16PM
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