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Pasty stains after washing - problem.

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We have a Miele Edition 111 W5872 and it will be 10 years old this month. We brought it from new and have had the 10 years back-up insurance too.

It's definitely a quality machine and when it washes it does a good job, generally. But, right from new, every now and then, we get some greyish brown pasty deposits on our clothes when they come out of the machine. During the course of the past 10 years we've had engineers out about 4 times. Each engineer has changed bits, cleaned out pipes, upgraded software etc etc. They have also suggested various washing methods that may be causing it. From, you should be using powder not liquid, or using Calgon, not using powder, using tablets, not using tablets, use a hot wash rather than the new cool eco washes. The last one spent ages reconfiguring the outlet pipework - which was very much appreciated - but to no avail.

Each engineer suggests a different reason, or different chemicals etc. but nothing has worked.

We've tried all the different types of powder/soap/tablets.

We've used god knows how many washing machine cleaners, descalers and disinfectants.

We even pulled back the rubber seal on the door and wipe around the metal rim of the drum.

My wife does an empty hot wash once a week and uses the intense cleaner once a month.

No other washing machine we've had has had to have so many treatments, chemicals, cleaners, de-scalers blah blah blah. Yet still we get this pasty stain on our clothes. Miele obviously can't rectify this fault, so I was wondering if any other owners have had the same issue and if so, was it fixed. How, was it fixed?


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You may find this video about sodium percarbonate, which is effectively a hydrogen peroxide based (oxygen) bleach in powder form, and TAED which makes it work better at low temperatures informative.

I believe just about every washing powder detergent contains them, but you don't find them, or equivalent chemicals in liquid detergent, because it would react with the other ingredients in the bottle (eg break down enzymes). 


My parents had a bad experience using liquid detergents in the 1980's (my fault I saw them on promo in the supermarket and suggested my mum tried it), worked ok for quite a time, until we stopped regularly doing boil washes and mostly used 50 degrees C. Kept getting grey stains on clothes, which got blamed on the washing machine's black door seal at first, which an engineer replaced with a grey one, then the machine started getting smelly and we found black mould, and a mix of disgusting bacterial slime and liquid detergent residue in it including some brown gunk. 

My mum tried various chemicals to get it clean, a boil wash with some bleach worked in the end followed by a few empty boil washes to get rid of the residue of the bleach! But I'd suggest finding something milder that doesn't release chlorine fumes, or froth up, such as an "oxygen bleach"  (sodium percarbonate) based washing machine cleaner. Chlorine bleach is also not good for rubber seals etc.   

I subsequently learnt that these stain removing oxi-bleach ingredients only found in powder detergents and some additives like Vanish are also an excellent microbioside. Also liquid detergent tends to leave a  hygroscopic residue coating the inside of the machine, which retains water making an excellent breading ground for mould and bacteria (phosphates in the liquid residue would likely have made it even worse before they phased them out).   


Not had a problem in any washing machine since using powder for almost all washes (I have only used a liquid for delicates and fire proofed clothing that bio powder would damage), and leaving the door and draw ajar to dry out the machine. 

Edited by MelS
missed out powder and typos
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  • Root Admin

Have you checked the water? If you hold a white cloth tightly over a water tap and run it for a few minutes, do any brown markings appear? If hot and cold fill washing machine, check both hot and cold taps.

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