How To Restore Antique Singer Sewing Machine

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

You can learn how to restore antique Singer sewing machine in just two steps. We’ll discuss how to clean the antique machine and then do some common repairs to restore it.

how to restore antique Singer sewing machine

For additional restoration tips, we recommend reading how to polish a vintage Singer sewing machine. It will benefit you to know how to restore the color and shine of your vintage machine, especially when you are only dealing with rust and fading.  

You should also consult an antique expert when the sewing machine was not successfully restored after these steps. Some models might be in a condition that will need the intervention of an expert in restoration. 


How To Restore Antique Singer Sewing Machine At Home


Step 1. Clean and polish

  • Inspect and judge the current condition of the antique Singer sewing machine
  • Prepare warm water and oil soap to clean the grease outside the machine gently
  • Please test the cleaning products on a small spot of the antique sewing machine first before proceeding on using it all over
  • If the machine didn’t develop any discoloration, clean it without oversoaking 
  • Make sure to dry the unit thoroughly after cleaning
  • Remove the grease that may have developed on the metal parts of the sewing machine and then polish them with a degreaser 
  • Buff the cast iron portion of the antique sewing machine with a protector and flannel
  • Again, test any product on the machine before using it all over


Step 2. Check the parts

  • Examine the anatomy of the antique Singer sewing machine
  • Check for any parts that are damaged, missing, or need a replacement
  • Search for the manual of the specific sewing machine model you have to know the steps for removing and replacing its parts
  • If you don’t have the tools or if the mechanism is too complex, bring your machine to an expert to avoid accidentally damaging it
  • Clean the bobbin area where lint and thread can collect
  • Inspect if there are parts of the bobbin area that are damaged, missing, or need a replacement 
  • Replace the bobbin, needle, and rethread the antique Singer sewing machine accordingly
  • Test the machine on a piece of scrap fabric to see if it will sew 
  • If the motor makes any unusual noises, have the machine checked by an expert


How Do You Get Rust Out Of A Vintage Singer Sewing Machine?


Step 1. Start with the sewing machine faceplates

  • Remove the faceplates and soak them in the degreaser until you can rub off the rust 
  • Do not use the degreaser on any parts of the sewing machine with an enamel finish as it can strip it off
  • Buff the faceplates with a metal polish to restore their color


Step 2. Remove the rust on the sewing machine frame and interior

  • Inspect the inside of the sewing machine or read how to remove a Singer sewing machine cover to access the interior easily
  • Remove the rust with a sanding sponge, but you may need to deconstruct some parts and soak them in rust dissolving solvent if the rust runs deeper
  • Be careful not to have the sewing machine’s enamel paint and decals come in contact with solvents
  • If needed, use a Dremel rotary tool to buff away any residual rust
  • Restore the sewing machine’s color and luster with oil and lubricate the parts that require it


How Do I Identify My Vintage Singer Sewing Machine?

  • Locate the model number of your Singer sewing machine, which can be on the front panel, near the handwheel, switch, electric cord, base, or even stitch dial 
  • Locate the serial number of the Singer sewing machine and use Singer’s serial number database to know the date of your machine
  • Refer to the manual to know what specific model you have
  • Post on forums and blogs about your sewing machine 

Read how to use an old sewing machine to get the most of your unit and ensure that it will last long. 


Can Old Singer Sewing Machines Be Repaired?

Some old Singer sewing machines can be repaired, depending on their current condition. Consider reassembling your old unit and check for any damaged parts. 

You can also visit a repair shop so they can gauge the severity of the machine’s issues. But for well-maintained old models without damages to the motor or gears, restoring the machine by cleaning and polishing should suffice. 

However, it’s crucial that you first test any product in a small and hidden area on the machine. You also want to ensure that the machine is dried thoroughly to prevent rust. 


Is It Worth Fixing An Old Singer Sewing Machine?

It is worth fixing an old Singer sewing machine, especially if it’s an antique or vintage model that is very hard to find because only a few of them were manufactured. Furthermore, some old sewing machines are family heirlooms passed to various generations, so it’s best to preserve them in good condition. 



And that’s it! You just read about how to restore antique Singer sewing machine, which starts with cleaning and polishing, then replacing and repairing the parts that need it. 

We hope you can apply these tips to restore your machine. But please bring it to an antique expert if you’re unsure of the products and parts for it. 

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