Siemens and Miele go head to head over washing machine technology

By Claire Reilly

Siemens has launched the newest product in its washing machine line-up this week, unveiling the iQ 800 washing machine with “i-Dos” technology which the company bills as “the only fully integrated automatic dosing system which is so intelligent, it measures and dispenses the detergent itself”.

However, this technology echoed a similar feature on the Miele W 5000 WPS Supertronic Washing Machine launched late last year. As with the Siemens machine, Miele claimed at launch that its machine featured a “revolutionary new patented Miele AutoDos system” that simplified the washing process for consumers, and offered detergent savings in the order of 30 per cent.

Two similar sounding technologies and two brands claiming unique innovations.

Appliance Retailer approached Siemens for a comparison of the two machines and received the following response:

Siemens: Dosage system integrated (built) into machine (dryer still stackable with washer).
Miele: External dosage system (dryer cannot be stacked), dosage tanks sit on the top of the machine.

Siemens: Automatic dosing of liquid detergent and fabric softener.
Miele: Automatic dosing of liquid detergent and powder.

Siemens: Precise dosing down to 1 millilitre.
Miele: Less precise dosing.

Siemens: Automatic programs with soil detection.
Miele: No automatic programs with soil detection.

Siemens: 1.3L and 0.5L tanks (adapted to consumer behaviour).
Miele: 2×3.7L tanks (adapted to commercial cleaning conditions).

Siemens: Easy to clean.
Miele: High cleaning effort (detergent powder and liquids might congeal in tanks due to commercial cleaning conditions) and cause the pipes to be blocked.

When asked if Miele contested any of these claims, a spokesperson for the company provided “a summary of key Miele features” as a response, some of which addressed Siemens’ claims:

-AutoDos can be installed on, above, or next to the washing machine allowing the dryer to be stacked.
-AutoDos allows automatic dispensing of liquid and powder detergents, while additional products such as prewash detergents, specialist detergents as well as fabric softener, can be dispensed manually using the self-cleaning dispenser
-Miele AutoDos achieves 30 per cent detergent savings through precise dispensing as confirmed by Freiburg-based Öko Insitut e. V.
-Consumers select the degree of soiling while the machine microprocessor detects the load size to precisely adapt detergent dosing resulting in reduced water usage.
-For user convenience, the large AutoDos canisters contain at least  4 months supply of detergent, therefore requiring refiling only very infrequently during the year, and reducing user’s contact with chemicals.
-Miele AutoDos containers are easily removed for cleaning. In addition, the AutoDos powder dispenser incorporates a stirring impeller to reduce clumping, while detergents are diluted with fresh water and flushed through every time the washing machine is used.

We invite readers to compare these comments and judge for themselves.

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