Most of us enjoy the feeling of clean, fresh laundry, but in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting have become a high priority in many households. While it is straightforward to disinfect most of the surfaces in your home, one area that remains a concern is laundry.  This is where the Miele W1 washing machine can help. This world-class family of machines has sanitizing wash cycles and options to remove both soiling and bacteria that we will explore in more detail here.

The CDC Guidance

In response to the current  COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has released guidance for disinfecting laundry. This is particularly important if a member of your household is currently ill. Still, it provides insight if you want to ensure that your laundry is free of bacteria at other times.

The CDC recommends not shaking dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing any bacteria or viruses through the air and if possible, wear disposable gloves when you handle dirty laundry from any ill person. If you don’t use gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly IMMEDIATELY afterward (before you touch your face).   These measures can help to avoid the spread of illness within your family.  So whether you’re concerned about COVID-19 or simply have a child with the sniffles, you can reduce the risk of other members of your family becoming ill.


All Miele W1 machines use mechanical action combined with temperature, detergency, and time to offer SUPERIOR cleaning results. To kill bacteria in a wash cycle, the “sanitize program” uses a temperature of 140ºF for over 40 minutes and a maximum wash temperature of 170ºF. This is a much higher temperature range than most other domestic washing machines.

There is also a Clean Machine program that is a maintenance wash, that prevents the buildup of odors and bacteria, which is important for overall cleanliness to prevent the spread of bacteria. The program has a default maximum temperature of 174ºF and has a run time of 109 minutes with a number of heating and rinse and drain phases.

It is also possible to run a Sanitize or ExtraWhite cycle without any laundry to remove any bacterial growth from your machine. The W1 will also prompt you with reminders to ensure that your machine is clean and bacteria free.

Miele also recommends a regimen of bleaching and detergency to reduce or remove bacteria during your wash cycle. Liquid bleach can be used in the detergent drawer of all Miele models. Hydrogen peroxide offers anti-bacterial, disinfecting, bleaching, and oxygenation properties during a wash. When combined with surfactants and enzymes, it can remove any soiling containing bacteria. This allows the W1 to achieve optimal removal of bacterial matter and soiling with a combination of temperature, time, and agitation.

This can be supported if you dry your laundry in a Miele T1 using the highest drying level program to keep bacteria from growing.

While there are currently no industry defined standards for washing machine “sanitize” cycles in residential machines, Miele has strived to offer the best possible sanitizing options. While you must still use the appropriate settings for your clothing or laundry items, you can have confidence that the W1 will reduce at least 99.9 percent of microorganisms in your wash. So, whether you have concerns about the current pandemic or simply want to avoid the whole family becoming ill from the coughs and sniffles that circulate around your children’s school, the W1 is a serious tool in the fight to prevent the spreading of viruses and bacteria.

If you would like to learn more about the W1 or other Miele home appliances, you can explore the options with this online collection, or speak to one of our home appliance experts for additional help and guidance.