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Is Auto Dosing Worth Paying For?

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Automatic dosing of detergent and conditioner, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

In the world of commercial machines automatic dosing or auto dosing has been about for a while and in full blown commercial use we can understand why.

Bosch i dos auto dosingThe primary reason is to control costs, preventing operators from using too much detergent or indeed too little as often the machines will be operated by unskilled labour so, it makes sense there. Plus you’ve got all the space you need, adding extra size to the machines is not of concern normally and the cost of installing such system not prohibitive in relative terms.

In a domestic setting, not so much.

You’ll see these systems labelled up as i-Dos, self-dosing, TwinDos, auto-dose and so on but in essence, they’re all the same thing, just differing flavours.

Now we totally get that it sounds great, lad up the machine with “stuff”, wash things and that’s it. The marketing bumph makes it sound great, it’ll improve your life, give you more time, make you not worry and all the usual garbage we see but, is it actually true?

In large part, no it isn’t. It’s a glorified advert, of course it’s not exactly fully accurate will we say, to be kind.

Here’s why that’s the case explained for you and why we would recommend you avoid these systems like the plague.

  Only Liquids!

Out the gate all the domestic systems we’ve seen from the like of Miele, Indesit, Bosch and so on have the same underlying fundamental problem, they can only use liquid detergents.

Many people might not think this a problem but, it is and a big one.

You see no liquid detergent can contain bleach for technical reasons, it’s just not possible to do so when you use liquids all the time you get issues with smells as bacteria grows in the machine leading to the old smelly washer problems.

Where people combine that with constant low temperature washes we see this problem made worse and potentially damage to the machine so all in all, it’s not even remotely a good thing in our estimation.

For far more information non this please see our article all about detergents for more on this topic as well as others we will talk about here, that will cast more light on why we hold this position on auto dosing.

  Not In Control

So here’s the other big thing about auto-dosing, you’re not in control of the dose, the machine is and the simplistic logic within it.

Mistake number one many people get into trouble with is endowing washing machines (and other appliances) with having more intelligence than they actually have. They’re pretty dumb really for the most part.

The chance of a machine figuring out that you’ve banged in mixed items is zero. Mixed colours, not a hope. mixed up wash labels, no chance.

The machine will wash on the program you select irrespective of what you put in it and, when there’s an auto-dose system in operation, it will does according to the program that you select. What that means is, if you select the wrong program, it’ll wash wrong and now it will also dose wrong as well.

That leads to use being a very fickle affair, you need to sort laundry completely correctly, select the correct program and the correct soiling level or, it won’t wash well.

None of the machine currently available can get around that problem and without some hateful fuzzy logic or AI and RFID or something in the clothes, we can’t see any way around that problem. Unless you can get a robot that will do it all for you of course but, we’re probably some way off from that being a reality.

So if you are perhaps under the illusion that somehow the machine will magically work all that out for you, please rethink as it simply will not do so. You could actually end up with more to do, not less.

  Bigger Cost, Then More Cost

Any machine with an auto dosing system is going to cost more, probably significantly more.

It will have extra bits in it that at some point will probably break and they won’t be cheap. To us it’s just more points of failure never mind the potential problems outlined already.

Miele twindos  auto dosing reviewYou also have systems like Miele’s TwinDos auto-dosing system that uses specific detergents that are delivered in a sort of cartridge type way and, they ain’t cheap.

We guess you could argue that, if you can afford a Miele TwinDos machine than you probably aren’t all that bothered about the cost but we’re sure you don’t want to get ripped off nor do you want to get poor results or have more hassle. The bottom line here is, this is going to cost you more and possibly a lot more over the time you own the machine.

Of course if the manufacturer can lock you in to buying stuff from them and them exclusively at whatever they want to charge you, sure they’re gonna do that. We would advise strongly to avoid anything that traps you in this way as there’s no need for it and, it probably won’t be doing you any favours.

  Avoid It

On balance we cannot see any real world benefit in having an auto dosing system in a domestic washing machine, to us it just makes no sense at all. There really are no redeeming factors from a technical perspective in design or in use.

We get that on the face of it that many people might think this a great idea and it does play to the “lazy” in us all, why do something you can have a machine do for you but here, it’s not really doing that much and may well end up making things more difficult for many people, not easier at all.

Therefore our advice, avoid auto-dosing system, they’re not worth the hassle or the expense.

Anyone else see a recurring and very familiar PR like thread in these comments, it\'s almost as if Miele are paying someone such as a PR company to spam this article.

No real names, no verification... hmmm, suspicious much?

Of course not that this would ever happen, would it?

Economic (with the facts)
Your article is certainly interesting, but for the Miele (which i have - can\'t speak for the other brands) economical with the facts.
ONLY LIQUIDS - not correct. I use the TwinDos system but you can load your own liquid cartridges OR use powders in the draws OR Miele\'s own capsules.
NOT IN CONTROL - not correct. part of the programming is to tell the machine the degree of soiling so it can adjust the correct amount of each detergent.
BIGGER THE COST - subjective. You pay for what you get. For same price, I can go and buy 3 cheap machines. While they might last as long, are they going to do as good a job? This thing is so quite, all you hear is the water running in and sploshing. No jet on the tarmac revving to take off. I sat through the first cycle because i was mesmerised by it\'s operational efficiency. My old (fully manual) Blanco as good as it was, wasn\'t a scratch on this one. AND ultimately, the TwinDos is meant to meter out the waste that we errantly overfill the detergents on our manual machines in the misguided belief that it\'s better for our wash, not to mention the environment. And at the end of the wash, I get a read out of the electricity & water consumed.
Like the majority of contributors, I have to add my voice to your article being more fiction than fact.

Miele Twin Dos
In respect of the Miele machine your article is un informed twaddle. Clearly, from it you have neither seen nor tested the Miele Twin Dos.
Miele Twin Dos
I\'d also like to jump in here as the Miele TwinDos system is superb! We use Persil Small and Mighty in Container 1 & Ace bleach in Container 2. We get better results than the Miele detergents at half the cost! More than happy for anyone to ask me any questions.
Miele TwinDos
Hi, just wondering which Ace bleach you use? The green container for coloureds or the white one for whites?

Many thanks!

Basil Brush
Miele Detergents
I\'m not entirely sure you understand the Miele UltraPhase system.

UltraPhase 1 is the cartridge containing only biological liquid detergent.

UltraPhase 2 is the cartridge containing only liquid hydrogen peroxide bleach.

Depending on the programme, the machine injects the appropriate ratios; for example, 1:1 for whites, or 2:1 for coloureds.

Apparently these detergents are quite fluid, not viscous like standard detergents, so shouldn\'t clog tubes and pumps.

The detergents are not made by Miele, but one of their partners, to Miele\'s specifications.

There are some stories of Samsung auto-dose machines not coping with today\'s thicker liquid detergents.

I have to guess that you perhaps work for Miele as, Miele is a totally closed shop on technical information so no, not many outside Miele will understand it or be able to comment/argue the case as they do not have access to the facts.

Therefore any conversation is largely pointless as the facts cannot be verified without access to them.

Your article completely lacks any credibility with a comment like this. Miele are required to publish MSDS sheets for any chemical and make them publicly available.

This is the link to the phase 2 which does contain hydrogen peroxide http://shop.miele.it/downloadresource.asp?idProduct=E9777990&id=9826&idmen=217

Basil Brush
Miele TwinDos
The article is not entirely correct.

The Miele \"Ultraphase 2\" cartridge actually contains hydrogen peroxide bleach.
If the user of the machine wishes, standard detergents can be put into the supplied dosing bottles. Therefore it is possible to use Persil liquid in one bottle, and Ace liquid in the other. Or Daz liquid, and Vanish liquid.

Apparently, there is even the option to use liquid detergent in one bottle, and fabric conditioner in the other bottle.

Good to know.

Can we assume that Miele have cracked the problem that the entire detergent industry with armies of chemists has not been able to in that, it is not technically possible to have bleach in a liquid as it is heavy and sinks to the bottom? So, the last wash bleaches everything badly.

It is an issue that, to date, there has been no way around and why no liquid detergent contains any bleach.

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