How Often Should You Clean And Lubricate A Sewing Machine?

If you enjoy sewing, you may wonder how often you should clean and lubricate a sewing machine. It’s a simple routine that will keep your machine running smoothly for years.

I lubricate my sewing machine as often as I need to. Depending on the type of material that I am using, the thread, and other factors like humidity or how dirty the machine is, I might have to do it more often.

How Often Should You Clean and Lubricate a Sewing Machine

This guide will go over what you should be doing to clean and lubricate your sewing machine to keep your machine running smoothly. So let’s start!


How Many Times Should You Clean A Sewing Machine?

The answer to this question depends on how much you sew, what material you are sewing with, and other factors. For example, if I’m sewing thick material with a coarse thread or if my machine is filthy, I may want to lubricate it once a week. If my stitches look good and my thread is OK, then I might only have to lube it every few months.


The Cleaning Agents To Be Used In Cleaning A Sewing Machine

To clean a sewing machine, you need suitable cleaning agents. You will need the following tools.

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • An old towel or soft brush
  • Distilled water
  • Sewing machine manual
  • Tweezers
  • Screwdriver
  • Magnifying glass
  • Machine oiL

Do not use soaps or dishwasher detergents since these will damage your machine. You can use liquid hand soap in a pinch, but ensure it’s thoroughly rinsed off before running the engine.


Which Part Of Sewing Machine Do You Have To Remove First Before Cleaning And Oiling?

If you’re cleaning and lubricating your sewing machine, you need to know what part of the machine you need to remove before doing so. Some devices have removable parts like a bobbin case, while others don’t. You have to ensure that you’re removing all the right parts for it to work.

  • Before cleaning and oiling your sewing machine, the first thing to do is remove all the bobbins.
  • You’ll also need to remove the smaller parts from inside your sewing machine. These include any gears that might be in there.
  •  You need to remove the throat plate, this is where most fabric fibers and dust tend to gather.

If you’re unsure where they go, refer to your instruction manual.


How Will You Clean A Sewing Machine?

While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes we have to deal with spills and other sewing machine disasters. The most common ones are lint and small pieces of thread that get caught up in the machine or get tangled in the bobbin area. To clean your sewing machine, follow this guide and the video tutorial.

  • Before you attempt to do this yourself, unplug it first or turn off the power.
  • Pull out any attachments, such as a sewing foot or presser foot.
  • Remove all leftover pieces from the throat plate and bobbin area.
  • If you need to clean more thoroughly, start using a vacuum cleaner to remove all the lint inside your machine. You may also want to use an old towel or soft brush to dust out any other dirt or debris gently. Gently use a vacuum cleaner, and ensure that the nozzle doesn’t touch the metal parts of the machine or screwdriver as they could get damaged by the suction.
  • Remove any lint or thread around the machine, such as the bobbin area or at the end of stitching, that is still connected to the fabric.
  • Lastly, take a damp cloth and wipe the outside of your sewing machine with soap and water. Ensure you get all surfaces, including the buttons, knobs, backside, and handle.

Alternatively, if there’s just some stray thread or lint stuck, you can use tweezers to retrieve it without too much trouble. Just be careful not to break any of the threads. When cleaning a sewing machine, it’s essential to avoid getting water down into the bobbin area and on any electrical components such as power cords or switches inside your machine. If you accidentally get water in these areas, allow the excess moisture to dry out before turning on your machine again.


How to clean a sewing machine tutorial


How To Clean Tension Discs Sewing Machine?

Single-needle sewing machines are equipped with a tension disc. This will have a considerable impact on the way that you should clean your sewing machine. There are, of course, some variations in this. The rule of thumb is only to lubricate discs as needed. If you use your sewing machine or find it challenging to tug and pull the fabric through, the discs may need more frequent oiling/greasing than when used sparingly. If you’re not sure whether it needs oil or not, use a magnifying glass and look for any cracks or scratches that might indicate that your discs need oiling.


How To Wash Sewing Machine By Hand?

Always unplug the machine before cleaning or washing. Wherever it is, find a large plastic container that can hold water. It should be wide enough and have a lid if you spill some water while washing your sewing machine. This will help keep your floor safe from possible accidents as well.

Fill the container with lukewarm water, place your sewing machine inside and turn it on to the highest level. Let it run until the water comes out clean. If you want, add a few drops of shampoo or powdered detergent into the water. This can help break down all the grime and dirt from using your sewing machine for long hours. If there’s a lot of lint, you may want to use a toothbrush to scrub off any dirt or grease. Use a clean towel or brush to dry the sewing machine. Once it is scorched, turn it on and let it run for another few minutes just in case there’s some residue that may affect the performance.


How To Lubricate Your Sewing Machine?

Improper use or a lack of lubrication will eventually wear your machine down, and the gears may start to make noises or get stuck.

  •  Inspect the handwheel- ensure there are no cracks or breaks in the rubber near the wheel’s hub.
  • Lubricate with sewing machine oil where necessary (oil points are usually indicated on top of the belt).
  • Turn the handwheel clockwise until it feels smooth and hangs up at a halfway position.
  •  Replace needle and presser foot if needed and test for even thread tension while sewing a 2-inch wide seam with an allowance of 5/8-inch on a stretch test fabric.
  •  Turn the handwheel counterclockwise until it feels smooth and hangs up at its normal position.


How to oil sewing machine Video?


How Often Do You Lubricate A Sewing Machine?

Do this regularly to keep it from getting stuck and slow down when threading the bobbin area. A good rule of thumb is to lube the machine once every month if you’re not working with heavy materials or threads that are rough on stitching. This will also make it last longer.


Is it not necessary to lubricate your sewing machine regularly?

It is not necessary to lubricate your sewing machine regularly if you are using it sparingly.


How Often Should You Oil Your Sewing Machine?

If you use your sewing machine a lot or find it challenging to tug and pull the fabric through, the discs may need more frequent oiling/greasing than when used sparingly. If you’re not sure whether it needs oil or not, use a magnifying glass and look for any cracks or scratches that might indicate that your discs need oiling. Machine oil can be changed once a month or every eight hours of sewing. You need to use a specific type of oil recommended by the company for your machine.


Frequently Asked Question/FAQs

Below you’ll find the answer to a few important questions:


What part of the sewing machine should be avoided when oiling?

You are not required to oil the entire machine, only the areas where lubrication is necessary. Do not put oil on the bobbin, the needle, plate, presser foot, or plate. If oiled, they will stain your fabric.


How often should I oil my Singer sewing machine?

It all depends on the make and model of your Singer sewing machine and the frequency of use. Some devices need to be oiled every time you use them, while others need to be oiled once a month.


Why do we use sewing machine oil?

Oil for your sewing machine is necessary to help the machine run better and more smoothly. It also helps prevent tears in the fabric.


Why is a sewing machine often oiled?

Sewing machines often need to be oiled/greased to work correctly and last a long time.


How long should a sewing machine last?

A sewing machine should last for five to ten years with proper maintenance.


Should I oil my sewing machine?

You should oil your sewing machine to make it run better and smoother. The machine will last longer by being oiled every month or so.


Can you use wd40 on sewing machines?

WD-40 is not recommended on a sewing machine because it may create a new problem of gumming up the works. WD40 can also cause stains if applied to the fabric and should not be used while working with wool or thick material, as the oils in it will soften the fibers, which could result in stretching. A tiny amount may help while threading bobbins – just be sure to wipe excess off once done.


Can I use baby oil on my sewing machine?

Using baby oil as a lubricant on your sewing machine is not recommended. Baby oil is high in mineral content, which can cause issues with the mechanics of the machine.


Can you over-oil your sewing machine?

Yes, oiling excessive amounts can cause a machine to slow down.


What can I use instead of sewing machine oil?

Olive oil is another popular item, as it helps with sewing machine lubrication and can prolong the life of your sewing machine. Non-stick cooking spray is a surface lubricant that some people use to keep their sewing machines running smoothly and efficiently. It may be used on parts other than just the needles like the gears.

Vegetable shortening can also be used in place of sewing machine oil – again, only for very small parts like bobbins or gears. Lacquer thinner will evaporate too quickly for this purpose, but it does help to clean your presser feet when they are gummed up with dirt or glue.


Do modern sewing machines need oiling?

Modern sewing machines need not be oiled because they are made with synthetic materials that provide the necessary lubrication. You may also be interested to know about sewing machine maintenance.


How do you clean and oil an old sewing machine?


It’s A Wrap!

We hope you’ve learned how often you should clean and lubricate a sewing machine. All sewing machines need to be regularly cleaned and oiled to function correctly.  We recommend using a specific type of oil recommended by the company for your machine, which can typically depend on the frequency of use or make/model. Thank you, friends, for being with us until the end! You may also want to read about why is my sewing machine not sewing and sewing machine loose stitches on bottom.

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