Our previous dishwashers - both AEG - lasted for six years each: not bad, considering that we're real 'foodies' and there's usually at least one member of our family cooking something! On an average day our dishwasher runs three times.
Trouble is, AEG is now just a sub-brand of Electrolux, and it certainly shows: take a look at a new AEG dishwasher in the showroom and it has a depressing similarity to the supposedly 'lesser' brands ranked alongside it. So, where to turn for a dishwasher that's going to work well, work hard and work for many years? Given the punishment that ours gets, it also needs to make efficient use of water and electricity, and be highly repairable if it ever does go wrong.
Something that swayed us was Miele's manufacturing ethos. In an age where product life-cycles seem to be getting shorter and shorter, and where there's an engrained expectation that consumer 'durables' won't be durable, Miele's approach is refreshingly different. They not only guarantee the machine for five years or 10,000 wash cycles, they also guarantee to stock all the necessary parts to repair it for the next twenty years.
That's right. Twenty years. It's something that Miele apparently set down a century ago as a guiding principle for all of their products.
You can do the maths for yourself: if a more humble machine lasts five years and the Miele lasts twenty, then buying the Miele means that three extra dishwashers (a) don't get made and (b) don't get dumped in landfill and (c) don't have to be paid for. That's got to be good for the environment and good for your bank balance. The Miele costs about twice as much as a mainstream dishwasher, so if it does last four times as long, it'll have been fantastic value for money too.
The Miele feels solid and purposeful. The drawers glide in and out fully - and very smoothly too. It's easier to load than our previous AEGs, and wash results are exceptional. I am particularly impressed by the way it can get glasses and dirty pans sparkling clean at the same time, and Miele have devised their own drying system which works really well.
In use, one of the most striking features of this dishwasher is just how quiet it is. Its 46dBa sound output is never a nuisance or an intrusion, so you can set it running at bedtime, even if you're sleeping in the next room. The 'swoosh' of the water is so muted and gentle that it's actually quite relaxing.
* The 1222SC has a 'turbidity sensor' - essentially it's a light that detects how filthy the water is and then modifies the wash cycle accordingly. It means that the cycle takes a variable amount of time, but the display provides a constantly updated estimate of the time remaining so you soon know when it'll be finished.
* Some dishwasher tablets have their own built-in water softener, and the G1222 has a neat "combi-tabs" feature that reduces the consumption of softener salt by 75% when you're using this kind of dishwasher tablet.
* The quick-wash (Miele call it "turbo") function only takes about 40 minutes but don't make the mistake of thinking it'll use less water or electricity, because it actually uses a bit more!
* Something that sets it apart is the cutlery tray which is at the very top of the dishwasher. You lay the cutlery out horizontally in this and grouping it up (e.g. putting all the forks next to each other) makes unloading really quick. It cleans and dries the cutlery much better than the traditional "bung-it-all-in-the-basket-and-hope-for-the-best" system employed by other manufacturers
* The wash rotors are easily removed for cleaning, but there's hardly any need. The water jets are big enough to keep themselves clear - unlike the AEGs which needed regular cleaning and prodding to dislodge blockages.
Let's face it, a dishwasher isn't the most exciting thing you'll ever buy - well I hope not, anyway. But the 1222SC makes a huge amount of sense on every level. It cleverly combines performance and functionality with the promise of a very long service life, low energy and water bills, ultra-low noise and a better outcome for the environment too. What more did you want?
I'm a critical consumer and a trained engineer who objects on principle to giving anyone full marks for anything, but this Miele has got me...
G1222SCWH MIELE White dishwasher / Each piece sits firmly in its own slot providing maximum protection excellent washing and drying results and of course more space in the lower basket for pots pans and plates / Short name: Miele G1222SC