We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Coronavirus Read our latest advice
Reviews based on facts
Our rigorous tests find the facts, and our impartial reviews tell you the truth about how products perform. First month £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel anytime.
Try Which?
1 October 2020

Miele Washing Machine Jargon Buster

Can you eat a honeycomb drum? What does AutoDos mean? Make sense of all Miele's washing machine terms using this jargon buster.
Matt Stevens

Baffled by washing machine manufacturer jargon? You're not alone. From 'honeycomb drum' to 'AutoDos unit', manufacturers are keen to stand out from their rivals with their own unique terms for their machines' features and specification. To help you make sense of it all, we've put together this jargon buster for Miele machines.

Below is a glossary of terms unique to Miele washing machines. But if you would rather read our full reviews of the Miele models currently in the shops, skip straight to our Miele washing machine reviews.

Not a Which? member? Join Which? and access all our expert reviews and Best Buys.


At the end of the wash program, the drum continues to turn at intervals for up to 30 minutes to help prevent creasing. The door can be opened and laundry removed at any time during the anti-crease phase. Miele’s woollen programs don't have an anti-crease phase.


A unit which sits on top of the machine and automatically adds either powder or liquid detergent. The user inputs the textile type and level of soiling, the AutoDos system then automatically selects the correct detergent and concentration required to clean the specific load, also taking into account water hardness and load size.


A wash cycle for mixed loads of cottons and minimum iron fabrics.

Automatic Plus

The same cycle for mixed loads of cottons and minimum iron fabrics as above, with the added functionality of the washing machine adjusting to the type of load, saving you the trouble of working out which program is best.


A cold pre-rinse removes dust before the main wash.

Dark garments

For dark colour garments made from cottons or mixed fibres. The dark garment cycle raises water levels and prolongs rinse phases to ensure detergent marks are removed.


The Denim program uses a gentle drum rhythm and three rinses with a high water level help to prevent loss of colour while removing traces of detergent that may cause streaking. Miele also advises washing your jeans inside out.

Eco feedback

This system calculates time, energy and water use for each program, to help you control the impact of each wash.

Extra quiet

If you're using your washing machine when you've just got the kids off to sleep, you might find this quieter wash option handy.

Favourite programs/memory function

You can save up to 10 wash programs with the settings you have selected for them, under names of your choice. Names can have up to 12 characters and are stored alphabetically.

Gentle smoothing

Selecting Gentle smoothing will cause the drum to rotate less, making it suitable for delicate garments.


For any hand-washable items which do not contain wool. The program uses a very high water level throughout, soaking the clothes to prevent damage. The drum rocks gently from side to side rather than rotating.


For any woollen items. Miele claims its woollens program has been proven to provide a gentler wash than if you had done it by hand, preventing your jumpers from shrinking or matting. The wash is similar to the above Handwash/silks, with the exception of the 1200rpm spin at the end of the cycle. The spin should not allow the garment to be stretched and lose its shape.

Honeycomb drum

Miele’s patented honeycomb drum should help protect your laundry. The metal skin of the drum is comprised of a pattern of concave hexagons, with small perforations at the adjoining corners. During the wash, a slight film of water builds up in these hexagons, allowing the laundry to slide across the drum’s skin, reducing the risk of damage being done to your clothes.

When the wash cycle has finished, laundry should simply drop into a pile at the bottom and not remain stuck to the roof or sides of the drum.

Hygiene program

The hygiene program ensures a wash temperature of at least 60 degrees to ensure dust mites and bacteria are killed.

Intensive plus

A slightly longer version of the regular wash cycles, intensive programs also include a pre-wash.

Minimum iron

For synthetic and mixed fibre garments as well as easy-care cottons. The wash program uses a gentle drum rhythm and a lower spin speed to reduce creasing.


This program works on Gortex jackets and should work to 'preserve the functional qualities of outdoor fabrics.' It has a very high water level throughout to allow the specialist detergent to penetrate the fabric. If you're washing outdoor wear, see 'Proofing', below.


A sensitive drum rhythm is used so that the pillows are not damaged. A medium water level in the main wash followed by three rinses with a high water level at the end should ensure a thorough clean.

Proofing - complements the Outerwear program

After a waterproof garment has been washed its waterproof quality is lost. The proofing program together with a specialist proofing detergent should re-proof the garment perfectly. The detergent is added to the drum to coat the garment and the program doesn't have any rinses, as this would wash away the coating.

The proofing agent can be used on all sorts of items. Miele claims it works especially well on tablecloths so that if your guest spills their wine, it will simply bead and roll off the material.

Self cleaning detergent drawer

Flushes out main detergent and pre-wash compartments in the detergent drawer during the wash program to ensure the drawer is kept clean and free of excess detergent and mould. The softener compartment is not flushed through and will need to be cleaned by hand as normal – for information on how to clean detergent drawers, see our detergent drawer video.


The shirts program minimises creases, by using a very high water level throughout the program to help soften the garments. The drum rhythm is gentle to prevent creasing and the end spin speed is also low.

Silent Professional Motor

Miele claims that this motor is quieter than the standard motor - 48dB as opposed to 52dB.


Same as the 'Handwash/silks' program, above.

Soft toys

For washing soft toys that are specified as machine-washable by the manufacturer.

Sound insulation level

The level of sound insulation is improved according to the spin speed. For a 1600rpm machine, all four sides of the machine are insulated to help reduce the noise made.


The Sportswear program is for washing microfibre and fleece garments. Using a hot enough temperature to remove sweat and odours, Miele tumble dryers also have special programs for drying sportswear and leisurewear.


For tricky spills and marks, you can choose up to three stain types from a selection of 22, activating a stain removal program.


The starch program can be used for starching tablecloths, serviettes and workwear. Liquid starch must be added to the softener compartment prior to wash.

SteamCare system

Washing machines with the Miele SteamCare system use a single burst of steam, constant steam delivery or a combination of the two to remove creases from garments, for easier ironing.


Special program for washing up to two pairs of trainers or sports shoes. A pre-rinse (water-only) removes any dirt and then is followed by a wash program using the ultra-sensitive drum rhythm to prevent the shoes from being thrown around.

Wash for new garments

Designed for new items, including bedding, that have been coated so that they retain their shape when they are being displayed. This coating could cause problems for people with sensitive skins so this wash is designed to remove the coating only.

Water Control System

A float switch detects leaks and can trigger the water inlet to close.

Water Plus System

Raises the water level and/or adds an additional rinse.

Waterproof System with metal hose

A double safety valve can switch off the water supply within seconds of a leak occurring.

XL ergonomic door opening (33 cm)

Large door opening makes for easier loading.

View all Washing machines