All of Miele’s new £1,000-plus G7 range of dishwashers come with AutoDos – the ‘world’s first automatic dispensing system’.
This uses a detergent PowerDisk that fits directly inside the door of the dishwasher and releases ‘precisely the right amount… at exactly the right time for the program selected’.
One disk should last 20 washes. This may all sound convenient, but the reality of it is that it’s not only a hassle to use, but also costly – almost three times the price of Fairy tablets.
When we tested the Miele G7110 SC using both the PowerDisk detergent and Fairy Platinum Plus tablets, we found that they cleaned equally as well.
But, considering the PowerDisks cost almost three times the price, there’s really not much to justify switching to them.
Read on for our full verdict on the Miele automatic detergent dosing feature.
Check our dishwasher tablet reviews to find the best and look at our dishwasher reviews if you’re in need of a new one
What is automatic detergent dosing?
The idea of having a large reservoir of detergent that your appliance can take just the right amount from each wash, rather than you doing it manually every time, isn’t anything new.
In the past few years, we’ve spotted washing machines with large tanks that you fill with liquid detergent for a few years now. But it’s quite a new feature for dishwashers.
Beko was one of the first brands to launch with automatic detergent dosing. It’s system worked slightly differently to Miele’s: you had to fill a compartment inside the dishwasher door with special liquid dishwasher detergent and, in theory, it should last all month.
The difference between Beko and Miele’s dishwashers doesn’t stop there, though. Miele models cost almost £750 more, at £1,090 compared with just £349.
Miele’s automatic dosing PowerDisks are filled with powder detergent, which gets released into the machine after the pre-rinse stage of the wash (when the dishwasher measures how dirty the water and, hence, the load is).
How much does it really cost?
|Detergent||Cost per pack||Cost per wash|
|Miele PowerDisks||£50.99 (six pack)||42.5p|
|Fairy Platinum Plus All in One Lemon||£9 (55 pack)||16p|
|Aldi Magnum Original All in One||£2.99 (40 pack)||7p|
|Prices correct as of 10/09/2021
All new Miele G7 dishwashers will come with six PowerDisks as part of their £1,000-plus price, so you can try out the feature. Each PowerDisk is designed to last 20 washes.
If you’re satisfied, you can buy Miele PowerDisks individually for £9.99 (50p per wash) or buy a pack of six for £50.99 (42.5p per wash). To give Miele the benefit of doubt, we think most people will buy six disks at a time rather than individually.
But even when buying in bulk, it’s almost three times more expensive than some of the most expensive supermarket tablets. Fairy Platinum Plus All in One Lemon costs £9 for a pack of 55 tabs, which works out as 16p per wash.
If you opt for cheaper dishwasher tablets, such as Aldi Magnum Original All in One, which sell for £2.99 for a pack of 40 (7p per wash), the PowerDisk work out to be six times the price.
If Miele wants the PowerDisks to be good value for money, a pack of six would have to sell for around £19 to match Fairy’s price or £8.40 to match Aldi’s price.
Update 20/09/2021: We previously reported that salt and rinse aid are not included in the Powerdisks, meaning you need to add the cost of these into the cost per wash. Since this, Miele has confirmed that Powerdisks include salt and rinse aid in the same way all-in-one tablets do, meaning you shouldn’t have to refill these as often.
Get more savings: find out the Best Buy dishwasher tablets that could save you £40 a year
Do Miele PowerDisks clean better than Fairy dishwasher detergent?
If the Miele PowerDisks cleaned better than supermarket tablets, then you could justify the extra cost. But, unfortunately, they don’t.
Our testing found that they cleaned just as well as Fairy Platinum Plus All in One Lemon.
This should mean that plates and glasses should come out sparkling. But don’t expect magic – you still need to scrape most of the mess off plates and tough burnt and dried-on grime will still be a challenge (and probably need to be hand washed).
Read all our Miele dishwasher reviews to see how well they do in our regular testing. Remember, auto-dosing is only a feature on Miele dishwashers that start with ‘G7’.
Are Miele PowerDisks easier to use than standard dishwasher tablets?
The disks were also put through endurance testing to see how long they really last. Miele’s claims rang true and the disk did last for exactly 20 washes.
Our experts assessed how easy the disks were to use, including fitting a new disk and removing it once it’s empty.
To be fitted, they need to be lined up and slotted in perfectly (much more of a hassle than just plopping a tablet in the compartment and shutting it).
So, all in all, the disks don’t really make your life easier.
If anything, it will just be an extra chore on your list: to remember to fit a new PowerDisk and order more online.
One perk of the PowerDisks, however, is that you can turn on your dishwasher remotely, unlike with tablets where you have to be there to put one in. You can also set up an AutoStart schedule, so that the machine runs automatically every day for you at a set time. Although, we don’t recommend not using this at times when you will not be at home.
It is recyclable?
Miele has reassured us that the PowerDisks are recyclable, so that is one plus point.
Many of the plastic zip-up pouches that all-in-one tablets come in, though, aren’t currently widely recyclable.
You can take some pouches (such as Fairy’s) to supermarkets collection points to be recycled.
Find out what’s really better for the environment: four everyday green dilemmas
Which? verdict: an expensive gimmick
They don’t clean better, they’re more difficult to use and they cost much more. So there really isn’t a good reason to use Miele’s PowerDisk feature at all. You’re better off sticking with the supermarket tablets you’ve always used or switching to a Best Buy dishwasher tablet.