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Miele washing machines with Plastic vs Stainless Steel tubs

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I am interested to learn whether the plastic tubs used on lower model Miele machines have proved to be just as durable and reliable as the stainless steel tubs used on most of their models. 

Just trying to figure  whether its worth the extra (around £100) to get a model with the SS tub?

Thanks Mark



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Hello Mark. It's sad to see Miele using plastic tubs (outer drums). They can never be as good as the stainless steel tub. There is a slight argument for them having more thermal qualities but I can't accept that it's significant or worth the sacrifice. The problem with plastic tubs is that if any coins get inside the washing machine, which is a lot more common than you think, they can completely destroy a plastic tub. This would write off virtually any washing machine.

The other problem with them is that it is very difficult to properly secure very heavy drum weights to them. In Miele's case in particular they use much heavier weights than other manufacturers. Most manufacturers just use concrete, but Miele have used proper cast-iron - although I wouldn't be surprised if they have moved over to concrete as they obviously are increasingly under pressure to keep costs down.

You can tighten down nuts and bolts much more when it is secured by metal than when it is secured by plastic. If you over tighten, the plastic will just break and the bolt will sheer through.

So if a washing machine with a plastic outer drum develops a loose tub weight in the future, if it is not tightened up properly and quickly, the centrifugal force of the heavy weight moving around during spin eventually wears and breaks the plastic fixings. Again this is enough to write off most washing machines.

If you never have any metal objects left in pockets you can of course discount the first issue, and if you always keep an ear as well as an eye on your washing machine and get it looked at if any noises (especially knocking noises) occur then you might argue you can ignore the second one too.

It would be nice to think that the Miele plastic outer tub is much better and hopefully it is, but obviously plastic is unlikely to beat stainless steel. As almost every washing machine around nowadays has a plastic outer drum and many have had them for 10 years or so there is an argument that it's not a massive problem and that for the majority of people they are perfectly okay.

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