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Being brought up with a washing machine always present at home, I have to admit now that I did not realise just how big an impact the scary noisy things had made on my life. They weren't just the 'flying machines' (as we called them - and as we did our Hoover, neither of which fly) that made the whole kitchen vibrate and screamed when nearing the end of a cycle. Now having lived in a few places without the luxury, I have had to resort to either paying extortionate amounts to sit in a cold room fiercely guarding my stuff - lesson learned after the Great Pillowcase Loss of 2003, or having to hand wash stuff in tubs and sinks to save money.
With these lovely things, you just bung it all in, well, try to separate things first, but bung it all in, press a few buttons, make sure you press the right ones, and close the door. Come back in a bit and wahey, everything is fresh and clean!
The cost of this machine today is hard to estimate because from a simple search I could not find anyone that actually sells it. I think we paid around £300 for ours, but for a second hand washing machine, you would obviously pay a lot less. Anyway personally I do think it is wiser to invest in a decent machine because the cost of call-outs and repairs can really soar well above the value of a cheaper product if it ends up having faults.
The machine is pretty much standard size and fits nicely under a worktop in our utility room. Obviously it needs to be properly plumbed in and it is worth checking that you have enough space before buying! Remember also to allow room for the door opening at the front.
This is a front-load machine, which is what I have always been used to. The downside I generally find is that sometimes if you basket doesn't catch everything as you pull clothes out/put clothes in the odd sock might land on the floor and get missed. It can be a bit awkward to crouch down to load the machine, and this might prove difficult for some people.
The compartments are easier to use, located at the top in a small drawer for you to add tablets, powder, fabric softener etc. It is all very straightforward, and you can also use those tablets that go straight into the drum, putting them in the drum as normal. The only annoyance I find with the drawer is that if you use powder, you often find a lot of powder gets into the prewash compartment, which if not used often is annoying because it just turns into sludge there and you have to scoop it out! We don't really do a lot of work to keep the machine clean, although I note that the manual advises on it! Really it is generally just a case of making sure you avoid lime scale build up (see below) and try to keep these compartments clean. It works fine like so.
The options are sorted on a dial and first by material type, like Delicates, Wool and Cotton and then by temperature, which is restricted depending upon what material you are using. This is probably better for people who are not sure as you are less likely to damage your clothes.
I don't really use all the available options, and there are some I will probably never use, like 75 degree washes, because I simply don't find this necessary. 60 is enough for my bed sheets, because I need to hot wash out the allergens (at least I've been told that).
For most of my things these days, I just use the wool cycle at 40 degrees, it is much shorter - I think it takes around 45 minutes - and seems to wash everything well. Plus nothing has ever come out looking different, the wrong colour, size or shape.
I used to use the mixed wash but this is a little more risky. The same can be said about the quick wash cycle, which I would only use if you are sure the material can handle it. However, it is economical if you have barely soiled clothes so a nice money saving feature.
You can technically do your hand-washing on a silk setting but I prefer to stick to hand-washing.
Temperatures available do go as low as 30 degrees, so the more environmentally conscious should hopefully be reassured by this. Personally I'm still not quite confident at how well machines clean at this temperature, especially given my asthma and allergies, I like to be sure. However, if I do ever brave these temperatures on this machine I'll be sure to update and let you know how it went!
You can do a rinse and spin or even just spin dry clothes that you have hand washed. Furthermore you can adjust the spin setting to a lover RPM, say if 1300 is too much you can drop it as low as 600. I get really nervous watching things spin at these speeds, but everything seems to come out fine.
You can do prewashes and soaks, but personally I have never used these. I think tried once but I couldn't quite work it out.
There is a relatively comprehensive manual with safety and common sense points as well as how to care for the machine. To be honest I didn't really read this myself, but worked out most things by myself. It looks a bit too much of a read for me anyway but you can search for it on the Miele company website and the PDF version helpfully has a click-to menu so you can at least get to what you want to know quickly.
As far as I'm aware, all washing machines can be very noisy, and this one is no exception. On the other hand, I do find that it is not as bad as our older machines, but perhaps this is just a case of technology improving to give a smoother spinning motion.
So far, we have had no real problems with this machine. There was a short time when we thought it was playing up, but this was easily fixed. We have generally used softened water in the machine, and when we didn't have it we used a cheap softener, so this might be why problems of lime scale have not been suffered. It is definitely worth investing a few quid, even if in the cheaper versions, to prevent having to pay service costs.
In all this has been a very reliable and well functioning machine. It offers more functions than we actually use, and it helps you find ways to reduce your impact on the environment, while saving money on energy and water. Personally I think that a machine like this is an ideal investment.
I bought my first Miele after going through multiple different cheap machines for my house in Devon.
It was absolutely worth the cost. It is a lovely piece of engineering, reliable, efficient, quiet oh yes very quiet and just keeps on working.
It is easy to unlock the fluff trap and clean out and although comes with special tool to open it a 2p piece does well enough.
The number of programmes are amazing and the different spin speeds are useful.
It is very easy to keep clean,and move and re-plumb into alternative sites, I have done this myself.
The extra on and off button is one more than is really necessary but I have got used to it. I like the short cycle which is energy saving and great for rapid washes.
The lay out of knobs is easy to understand and you don't need the booklet to follow the instructions, they are obvious and logical.
Novotronic washing machine / 400/600/900/1300 rpm spin speeds / Spin speeds up to 1600rpm / Straight facia / Easily accessible filter / Direct enamel casing / Swing open front for servicing / Fully electronic child resistant controls / PC Update facility / Single / Short name: Miele W310