How to Clean and Oil a Sewing Machine – The Best Way

How to Clean and Oil a Sewing Machine is a question for everyone owning one whether you’re a sewing machine beginner or experienced.

Cleaning a sewing machine is so important and your sewing machine needs to be cleaned regularly so that you can sew your sewing projects with ease.

Keeping your sewing machine clean is like keeping your car, house, or toilet clean.

The slim fluff can build up so quickly inside your sewing machine and if you leave it for too long it will jam up and cause many problems.

So in this article, we will show you how to give your sewing machine a really good clean with these sewing machine tips. You can also watch the video at the end on how to maintain a sewing machine.

Things You Should Never Do

Before even we deep into how to clean a sewing machine, there are things you should never do while you’re doing sewing machine maintenance.

Don’t use an air blower to clean the sewing machine

Using an air blower will spoil your sewing machine in a way that will push the lint and dust further into your sewing machine.

You can instead use a standard vacuumer or handheld vacuumer while set at its standard sucking level.

You can also use anything like that we use to clean a computer keyboard

Never Use Excessive oil

Yes, it’s so important to oil your sewing machine but using too much oil will lint and more dirt is attracted.

It’s advisable to use a brush, apply a little bit of oil on the brush and use this brush to remove the dirt while oiling the machine with the correct amount.

Never clean a sewing machine while unplugged

Whether it is a sewing machine or any other electric device to be cleaned, it is important to be cleaned while unplugged to avoid getting any problem with your life. Remove the electrical cord completely and start cleaning the machine.

What are the materials and tools for cleaning the machine?

How to clean a sewing machine
  • A Good Sponge. There a
  • Sewing machine manual
  • Any brush
  • A tweezer
  • A large upholstery needle
  • Cleaning cloth or a small piece of cotton
  • Screwdriver ( small and big)
  • A pipe cleaner

Optional Tools

  • A torchlight
  • Magnifying glass
  • Small vacuum cleaner

How To Clean Sewing Machine Step-By-Step

Note: Before you remove anything from the machine, take a picture of what it looks like so you can align all the pieces in the machine before you put them back because it might be a little bit hard to know.

What part of the sewing machine needs to be clean?

The needle area, bobbin case area, presser foot, under the feed dogs, and the race are the main parts of your sewing machine which need to be cleaned regularly.

What is the first thing to do before cleaning the sewing machine?

The first thing to do is to turn off your sewing machine and completely unplug it to avoid any mishaps.

Read the sewing machine manual on how to remove the presser foot and needle. After removing both. then remove the throat plate or stitch plate.

The throat plate is mostly where fabric fibers and dust and gather the most. We use the screwdriver to remove the throat plate.

Step 1: Read the instruction Manual

It’s important to check and read what is in the instruction manual whether is a sewing machine or any other electric device.

These user manuals contain what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. And they contain precautions you need to take depending on a specific model or brand.

Note: If you lost or don’t have a user manual you can easily download it online from the manufacturer’s website.

You can download the Sewing machine Instruction manual for Singer Models here ( Singer Machine Manuals ) and for more other Brands check on our Sewing Machine Instruction Manual Guide here ( Sewing Machine Manuals)

Step 2: Clean the Exterior

The machine also needs to be cleaned the outside area before considering cleaning inside the machine to remove all the dust.

Step 4: Cleaning the bobbin area

The bobbin case contains dust as well. So after removing the bobbin case from a sewing machine take the bobbin out and do some cleaning of the bobbin case.

Step 4: Clean the needle area

how to clean a sewing machine

After removing the needle and the presser foot, its time to clean the needle area

If it’s possible you can also remove the needle holder to clean the area easily.

With the help of the brush, start cleaning the area around the needle and remove all fabric and all pieces of lint.

Step 5: Cleaning the bobbin and other areas

How to clean a sewing machine

Clean the bottom load bobbin area

Then clean every single nook and cranny and clean it out. Clean under the feed dogs all the way inside. Then use a vacuum cleaner to suck all the dust inside down the race area.

Put back the stitch plate and bobbin case and stitch plate. Then replace the needle with the new one and put back the presser foot.

Step 6: Oil the sewing machine

Now that we have completed cleaning the sewing machine, its time to start oiling the machine by applying small drops around the center of the bobbin

Note: You should first check your sewing machine manual if you should actually oil your sewing machine. Some computerized sewing machines and newer versions don’t need oil.

Sewing Machine Maintenance FAQs

Is baby oil used in oil a sewing machine?

You shouldn’t use baby oil to oil your sewing machine. The baby oil can’t keep your machine well lubricated as the baby oil is mineral oil with fragrances. So instead use a sewing machine oil made for these machines.

How do I remove fluff and dust from my sewing machine?

How do I clean my Singer sewing machine?

Watch this video on how to clean my singer sewing machine

How often should you clean and lubricate the sewing machine?

The lubricating frequency of your sewing machine depends on several factors such as if you’re in a dusty environment, the machine speed you sew at, thread, and the type of fabric.

When the thread or fabric is more linty, more oil will be observed by the lint. Again if you sew at a high speed the friction and heat generated take all the oil.

So you should oil your sewing every time you change 2 or 4 bobbins.

How to Clean a Sewing Machine Conclusion

Though you clean your sewing machine regularly, it’s better to take it for servicing once or twice a year to check all settings and other parts replaced if necessary.

Read About: Sewing Machine Manuals and Replacements

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