If cooking doesn’t get any tougher than MasterChef, then there's nothing tougher on your dishes afterwards than Miele’s G 6820 SC dishwasher. This ultra-premium freestanding dishwasher will set you back nearly £1,200, but for that it boasts innovative basket design for easy loading, stunning internal lighting and Wi-Fi-connected controls and notifications.
Yet this flagship model isn't only about user features: cleaning performance takes top billing. Miele’s QuickPowerWash, patented open-door drying, class-leading A+++ -20% energy and water efficiency, and spectacular cleaning results make this dishwasher an absolute star performer all round.
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Are you old enough to remember the car advert where the engineer spends ages getting the sound of the door just right? It pretty much sums up the attention to detail applied to the Miele G 6820 SC dishwasher. It's truly lush inside and out: there's lightly assisted door opening and closing, easy to wheel out baskets with incredible flexibility, and better internal lighting than our entire kitchen.
The fascia controls are delightfully straightforward, offering quick one-button access to the main seven programmes. The central display is a crisp and bright dot-matrix panel in blue, and favours text over just symbols to save you from having to decipher a random selection of squiggles. To the right are four additional programme options.
If you want to get into this dishwasher's more advanced features then you can use control buttons found beneath the display to scroll through the options.These include timed start, additional programmes and the setup of Wi-Fi to engage with Miele@Home app.
The app itself is slick in its simplicity, offering key start/finish timing, alert notifications when the cycle is complete, and access to most of the programme add-on features available from the fascia.
It’s pretty seamless, although like many of the home appliance apps we've tested so far, I'm left scratching my head about its existence. Given that you still have to manually load and unload the appliance, insert detergents and so on, remote operation from the other side of the house seems a bit of a moot point. Anyway, it’s there for the obsessive gadget-lover and it works well.
Pop the door and it opens easily with virtually no weight in the hand. The inside is equally luxurious, with the two main baskets and cutlery tray at the top all running on proper bearing wheels. The two baskets have soft-grip handles, can be configured in a number of ways, and have a plethora of pivoting, moveable or hinged spacers.
Height adjustment in the top basket allows for larger pans and plates at the bottom. There's a hinged bottle holder for taller items – including vases, claims Miele – plus adjustable glassware rails and neat orange markers to show ideal placement of items or to indicate adjustable features. There's little chance that you'll miss any of these features, since the entire compartment is illuminated by several bright white LED lights.
On the inside of the door you'll find the usual containers for detergent and rinse aid. Miele has gone one further here and incorporated the salt container on the door, too, to save you having to bend down to the bottom of the compartment to refill. You'll still need to get in there to unclip and wash out the filter on occasion, though.
The consumable compartments are geared up to use any type of products: powder, liquids, tabs and so on, but Miele recommends the use of its own UltraTabs for best results. Given that we used Tesco’s own triple-action tablets and achieved superb results, they're far from essential.
Many brands add options and programmes as the spec and asking price of their dishwashers increases, but Miele opts for simplicity and automatic options. The G 6820 SC is a sensor machine, so much of its stupendously good energy and water figures are down to sensing the requirements of the load and its drying requirements. When the machine is largely thinking for itself, it rather limits the number of programmes you actually need.
As such, this Miele offers just seven top-line "programmes", although these are all variations on the standard sensor wash. The main ECO programme is fully automatic, uses the minimum amount of water and energy, and is the go-to day-to-day programme. For crockery, glasses and cutlery, there wouldn’t be much need for anything else
The automatic programme offers more flexibility in the machine’s automatic options, sensing the load’s level of food deposits and adjusting pretty much everything automatically. If you are a non-rinser before loading the dishwasher, this is the programme for you.
Also available is an intensive 75oC wash that's ideal for pots and pans, a gentle wash perfect for glassware and a 69oC Hygiene programme for baby bottles, chopping boards and the like. An extra quiet programme is on offer too, although given that this dishwasher is one of the quietest we've ever tested when running its standard programmes, that may be over-egging the features pudding.
Following a few weeks of use, the QuickPowerWash programme was perhaps out favourite cycle. It sped up a standard wash – which runs regularly for more than three hours – to complete in just under an hour, with great results albeit without the super-dry finish of the main programmes.
Of the options available for most programmes, you can reduce cycle time with a short-wash for lightly soiled loads, use an even more frugal energy-saving mode that reduces drying heat, add an intensive wash for pots and pans in the lower basket, or add extra drying time for items that tend to pool water.
Dishwashers are something of an anomaly in the testing department here at TrustedReviews, since we're yet to find many models that get even in the same ball-park of manufacturers' claims when it comes to noise levels. We test at the very nosiest part of the cycle, on intensive wash with the spray jets in full flow, to determine a dishwasher's peak noise. In the case of the Miele G 6820 SC, the answer is not a lot – but still more than the claimed 43dB on the energy label.
We measured a fairly constant 46dB throughout the active part of the wash cycle, but note that the level of noise will depend on the way in which you've loaded the machine as to how the water sloshes around. Since 46dB is well below the average noise for dishwashers (usually in the mid-50dB), and in fact about the same as an old fridge-freezer, this Miele is very quiet.
Engaging the ExtraQuiet mode reduces the pump pressure of the water jets and subsequently shaves another 1 or 2dB off the noise output. However, in our opinion, the main wash is more than quiet enough at the standard level not to warrant compromising any cleaning performance with the ExtraQuiet mode.
Scrambled egg, Weetabix, nuked baked beans and red wine are our test foods of choice, thanks to their tenacious ability to turn into something resembling quick-drying cement – and in the case of red wine, leave glasses with sticky dried-on stains. We loaded the Miele with a selection of dirty kitchen crockery, pots, pans and utensils to best replicate a real-world load. In went our trio of test items that include dried-on Weetabix in a ceramic bowl, a greasy wine glass, a microwave bowl used for baked beans, and a Pyrex bowl used in the microwave to cook scrambled egg.
The first test runs the Miele’s Automatic wash programme and a second ran the ECO programme, using a triple-action dishwasher tablet throughout.
Having reviewed a number of Miele dishwashers in the past and having achieved fabulous results every time, it came as no surprise that this ultra-premium model came up trumps. Despite the scrambled egg bowl hanging around for three days before we undertook the test, it came up very clean indeed, with just a couple of small spots left on the bowl – an exceptional result. The Weetabix dish, bean bowl and red-wine glass were returned spotless, bone dry and streak free. This wasn't a quick process, though, with the wash taking nearly three and a quarter hours.
The second run using the ECO mode achieved almost as good a cleaning result on the scrambled egg, albeit with a couple of chunks and stains left in the bowl. This result (pictured) alone would have rated as very good by the standards of most other machine’s on the market. Moreover, water and energy consumption were also down, with energy topping out at 0.87kWh for the entire wash and dry cycle, and truly amazing – we had to test it three times just to make sure – water consumption.
Drying performance was exemplary throughout, thanks to Miele’s circulating air system and patent auto door-opening drying. This pops the door open towards the very end of the programme, so that the last remaining moisture evaporates while the crockery is still warm. It works very well indeed and eliminated pooling on all but the deepest up-facing dishes and cup-tops.
The G 6820 SC is an incredibly efficient machine in its standard auto programme, and up there with the very best we've ever tested (Miele and Samsung models). The main wash used a smidgeon over 1kW of electricity and not enough water to even fill a typical kitchen sink. In fact, not enough water to fill even a fairly small washing-up bowl in a kitchen sink. This wash used only 8 litres of water in total to wash and rinse. An incredible result.
Part of the excellent energy consumption is down to Miele’s clever heat exchanger, which pre-loads the next batch of water that the machine requires into a reservoir that draws heat from the wash as it progresses. So the rinse water is pre-warmed, which helps both the rinsing and subsequent drying process.
The ECO wash uses a fixed lower temperature and longer soak times, so no surprise that this programme took a fairly epic 3hrs 43mins to run. Energy consumption in this mode was usefully less than the main auto-wash at just 0.87kWh. Amazingly, water consumption was even lower at a truly astounding 5.4 litres. I probably drank more tea than that while writing this review.
Based on running 250 dishwashing cycles per year, half on the Automatic programme for heavily soiled loads and half in ECO for lighter duties, the G 6820 SC would cost you about £35 a year in electricity. Given that this reviewer hates washing up with a passion, that is a gold-star bargai
If you're on metered water at an average of £3.50 per cubic meter of supply and waste, the G 6820 SC would add less than £6 a year to the running costs. If you washed up all that by hand in the sink, you'd use far more water than that.
Miele’s G 6820 SC is by far the most frugal dishwasher we've ever tested, keeping both electricity and water consumable costs to levels way below what it would cost you to wash up in the sink.
The fact that you have to pay a king’s ransom for the machine in the first place does somewhat off-set that fiscal good news, of course. Yet if you're keen to reduce resources for the good of the planet as well as your wallet, then there is nothing to touch this Miele’s eco-credentials at the moment.
If the fairly outrageous £1,200 price ticket doesn’t have you running for the hills, the G 6820 SC is one of the best performing, best featured and most frugal dishwashers we've ever tested. The ergonomics are simply outstanding, every inch of the operation feels carefully designed for flexibility and ease of use.
Add to this the super-low water consumption and outstanding energy efficiency, and this Miele is simply one of the best dishwashers money can buy.
Outstanding performance, incredible efficiency and superb features at a money-no-object price.