New Miele 2012 Dishwasher: Best products to use?

purpleplumeAugust 4, 2012

Yesterday, we had our new Miele Futura Diamond DW installed and I thought they would leave us with sample products but they did not. I've read several of older threads on GardenWeb but I am opening a new one because it seems the current Futura line has undergone some questionable design changes that impact cycle temperatures, which it seems, may change the optimal product usage recommendations.

My primary reason in buying this DW was to be able to take the best possible care on my Riedel cyrstal wine stems, so I want to select products that will yield the safest, sparkling clean results for these stems--without any risk of breakage, etching, clouding, etc. I have many, many Riedel stems.

Based on these goals, which products should I buy and what amount should I use of each product? My DH is eager to see the results we get with the Miele DW. The shop that sells the Miele brand DW products closes for the weekend in about 2 hrs, so any quick replies would be much appreciated. Otherwise, it seems we will have to wait two more days to try out the new DW.

Side note: the Miele-trained (but not a Miele employee) who installed the DW yesterday did not impress me. I had seen on this forum that a cold water hook up was preferred for users who want best results on China/Crystal cycles, and he insisted on hooking ours up to the hot water line. I realize this is a separate issue than products (and have read Miele DW install threads on GW) but I am also wondering if I should have them come back and reinstall to the cold water line since crystal cleaning is my top priority.

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I switched to the Miele products and they work great! I just use the cubes.
I put both my Riedel and Waterford as well as my china in the DW.
I asked about the cold water only and did go with hot/cold - in our cold climate, it would take forever to heat up the water and the cycles are plenty long...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I've had 2 Mieles and bought them for the china/crystal cycle. I have Riedel as well as vintage glasses plus vintage and antique china. I even wash the gold rim china in there with no soap -- it does a great job.

For best china/crystal results you definitely want cold water hookup. Machine heats water to 115 degrees for this cycle. Plumber had to come back to switch it as I forgot to tell them on the second machine.

If you've read AF threads, the current best-liked detergent is Quantum Finish Powerballs -- be sure it says Quantum (I bought the wrong Finish once). Second most popular now is Method Smarty Tabs; I like the grapefruit-rose. Both are tabs so the tab button needs to be used (that cuts down the rinse aid)

Machine also needs rinse aid -- Jet Dry works just fine though some like Somat.

Miele tabs were reformulated and no longer can be easily cut. Before they were excellent but recent mixed reports.

Be sure to test the water hardness to determine whether you need the in-machine softener. Be sure it's necessary. If not, the Miele Customer Care will direct you on disabling it on the phone (it's done by pressing the buttons). What's to be avoided for crystal is water that's too soft with too much soap.

I'd advise holding back on washing crystal just until there's certainty about the water hardness/softener adjustment, the cold water hookup has been done, and it's all working well with regular dishes and glassware and there's no filming or etching (cloudy residue that cannot be removed -- why you don't want hot water hookup).

Then it's cruise control.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:26PM
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@a2gemini, thanks for posting back. I put some Waterford crystal cordial stems in my Kitchenaid one time, years ago and they were never nice after that. Now I am wiser.

@rococogurl, I'm so glad you chimed in because I knew this was a key issue for you. I also have antique gold-coin banded family china from the early 1900's, and I am not sure whether I can entrust that to this dishwasher. Of course it's irreplaceable. But I would certainly use it more often if I didn't have to hand wash the pieces. I also have cut crystal from that era. And I have more contemporary patterns, like Lenox Solitaire with the platinum bands and Waterford crystal, circa 1980. And I have Christofle silverplated flatware that I would like to wash in the Miele, if possible.

I bought one of everything today at the Miele dealer: salt, rinse aid, and detergent tablets. I haven't opened any of them yet and I'm not sure if they are returnable.

Would you advise I fill the salt and rinse aid reservoirs with the Miele brand products or wait? I did pick up a Sofcheck water hardness test strip at the Miele dealer today, so I will test my water hardness and see what I get.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:41PM
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I'd fill the rinse aid resevoir for sure. The machine is made to work with rinse aid and it helps all drying. Also, check the little dial. I believe 3 is default but your machine is newer than mine so start with the default setting in the book. Sometimes this gets adjusted; sometimes not. Depends on the water.

I would use NO salt until I'd tested the water and verified with Miele on the hardness cut off. I've had 2 machines now with no salt (in NYC it wasn't needed and in our house we have a whole-house softener.) Salt may not be needed at all.
I've got pre-1900 through 1960s Rorstrand with blue pattern and gold rim. I do those on china/crystal. My machine doesn't have heated drying so I had no issues with the gold rims. But no idea about Lenox. Didn't worry though as initial rinse cycles are cold and the china cycle is 115 (with cold hook up) which is basically water warm enough to proof yeast. It's not even as hot as some tap water. But I'd ask about the temp of the final rinse as that may be hotter on the cycle.

Waterford bowl was fine; Riedel is fine as is all the 19C American glassware. But with those, too, very little soap unless it's a really full load.

I haven't used the new Miele tabs. I loved the old ones and still have some. Those were definitely safe for all the older china and crystal (I was using half until I noticed some residual left in the bottom of the machine which is when I went to using none on the good stuff -- there's so much rinsing and the cycle is so long it works). So if you have the Miele tabs I'd try cutting one in half when you're ready to wash crystal.

But most important is not to have water that's too soft and too hot with more than minimal detergent. That's the combo that causes problems. Going step by step and testing is key.

The one thing I don't regularly put in the DW is my Buccellati sterling. The plate is vintage Carnation and it didn't like the DW soap at all. Haven't tried it again with a no-soap china/crystal loads. I think it depends on the silver. I'd check with the Cristofle as their plating will be way better than a vintage set like the Carnation.

BTW, we have switched out a lot of cookware so everything goes in the DW. I've put in All Clad, Demeyere and Sitram which are all SS with SS handles. 1 Quantum tab does a fabulous job with those on Pots & Pans.

Do you have Express?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:40PM
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@rococogurl - Yes, I have Express. We got the Futura Diamond, so it has all the bells and whistles--and lights. Probably could have gone with the Dimension+ but would have had to sacrifice Express.

I just checked and it looks like our water hardness is around 15gpg, which is far different than the "advice" I got from the install guy who said no test or change in setting was needed unless you use well water. Really?!! According to the Miele manual, the factory default setting is 1 gpg. And these installers are supposedly Miele-trained. I think someone wasn't listening in class. ;)

My DH thinks that the test reads closer to 25 gpg, but the test strip had been sitting out for a while by the time he got home and the square continued to darken.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:56PM
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We are about to have our Miele installed and my contractor plans to install it. Do I need a certified Miele installer?
Also, how did you determine your water hardness, is there a test kit?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Explanation of what the readings mean on the link.

I would test more than once so you know the hardness exactly when you speak to them. You'll find out what to do, how much salt etc and I'd ask if any of the rinse temps need adjustment after that. I'd also find out the temp of the hot water even though you're doing a cold-water hookup. They may ask and it's a good idea in case they need to adjust one of the rinse temps. I learned because it took quite a bit of adjustment due to our whole-house softener.

My Optima had Express. Loved that cycle and used it so often. I miss it now that we moved. I'm just drooling over the lights in those Futuras. Sounds like the Diamond would be my choice. I wouldn't buy a new one without Express and china/crystal either.

Our plumbers (non Miele) installed both of ours. The deal is the extra year of waranty with Miele certified but my 8 y.o. Incognito hasn't had a service call so no issues. Wish the same luck to you purple and to nineteenoeight.

Here is a link that might be useful: Water Hardness

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:29PM
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We have an Optima (2006-07 model), and use the Miele tabs in it. I cut them in half using my Wusthoff kitchen shears. They slice right through the tabs. I then store the cut tabs in a plastic deli container. I generally use 1/2 tabs, but occasionally I will use two halves if the load is very, very full or is overly grimy.

Roc, the regional svce guy had told me NOT to set the DW to the tab setting with the Miele tabs. It was a while ago, but I think he had said the am't of rinse aid the Miele tabs contain is minimal???

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Great thread. I knew nothing about the cold vs. hot hookup, DH (also the installer) hooked us up to hot with our new Futura Dimension. I have not put my china or crystal in, with the exception of my Christofle silverplate - that goes in daily and is fine.

Also, I know nothing about rinse aid and have been studiously ignoring the 'Refill Rinse Aid' button. I know I can find Jet Dry but have never used tabs - are they readily available in grocery stores or do you get them on line? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:36AM
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catmom -- I was using the Miele tabs in the Optima and had it set on Tab. Always had the best results but that machine would give good results with a hunk of Irish Spring in there I suspect.

With 2 places I had purchased a ton of the Miele tabs -- still have a few of the old ones that are scored in the center. Haven't tried the new ones.

Larsi over in the AF posted about the Quantum and I've had really good results with that. But it has bleach (great on the coffee stains) but I worry about our septic. The Method tabs do a great job too, no bleach and smell so much nicer. Assuming they are better for the septic.

Only thing with the Miele tabs was I was finding a small amount of blue tab residue in the well below the filter. Don't know if it dissolved less well than the others or what (handy for the older dishes though).

Haven't gone back to the Miele tabs since I can alternate the other two. Some are even cutting the Methods in half. When I see you maybe we can figure out a little swap so I can try 2 of them.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:39AM
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roc--I don't think I've seen any residue in/under the filter well, but will check on that.

I know the guy had said to keep the DW set on "powder" not "tab" with the Miele tablets, so that's where it's set. He had increased the rinse aid up one setting from the default (from 3 to 4), but I had bumped it back down to 3 at some point afterward. I could probably bump it down one more and be fine, but haven't wanted to mess with it.

Wonder what the difference would be between just lowering the rinse aid setting and changing the detergent setting to "tab"? Would they basically be doing the same thing?

The Miele tabs have been working great for us, so haven't wanted to try another detergent. After the problems we had with our glassware a few years ago (caused by the faulty water softener sensor), haven't wanted to rock the boat! LOL

You are welcome to as many as you need roc!!!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:51AM
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This thread is wonderfully explanatory. I would like to add a cautionary note that may help a few readers. We are in a rural area, but the water supply for the house is a county water company. (We only use our well water for livestock.) The supplier told me that it uses two different water sources and does not notify users when it switches sources. One has truly soft water, and the other has knock-on-it hard water. Unfortunately, I didn't investigate this until after two of my Biot glasses (in a grass green color that is no longer made) etched. So, if anyone is in an area where the water supply may switch, I would not advise putting good glassware, silver, banded china, and so forth in the dishwasher. I do not put any of my old things in the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:03AM
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