How to Clean, Oil, and Maintain Your Sewing Machine?
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How to Clean, Oil, and Maintain Your Sewing Machine?

Recently updated on April 5th, 2023

Do you sew? Are you tired of spending hours cleaning, oiling, and maintaining your sewing machine?

It doesn’t matter how old your sewing machine is, it will always benefit from regular maintenance. In fact, most machines only last between 2-5 years before needing major repairs. This means that you should invest in regular maintenance as soon as possible.

We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you clean, oil, and maintain your sewing machine. These tips will save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime.

The first thing you want to do when cleaning your machine removes all accessories from the machine. This includes a bobbin winder, needle threader, presser foot, etc. Once you have removed these items, you can start with the main parts of the machine.

Cleaning your sewing machine is important because it helps prevent damage to your machine and keeps it running smoothly.

Here are some easy steps to cleaning your sewing machine:

  1. Remove any threads or lint from the bobbin area.
  2. Unplug the machine.
  3. Turn off the power switch.
  4. Spray the inside of the machine with water.
  5. Let the machine dry completely.
  6. Plug the machine back in.
  7. Reattach the needle thread.
  8. Attach the presser foot.
  9. Thread the bobbin.
  10. Start stitching.
  11. Repeat steps 1 through 10 until the bobbin runs out of thread.
  12. Replace the bobbin.
  13. Put the machine away.
  14. Enjoy your newly cleaned machine.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep every type of sewing machine clean, try this method. It works every time!

4 Steps on Cleaning Your Sewing Machine

Depending on how often you sew and the type of fabric you use, you should clean and oil your sewing machine. It will be necessary to clean machines more frequently if you sew frequently or use fabrics that shed, like velvet. If you use your sewing machine lightly to moderately, you can clean it once every few months. You should consider a refresh if you hear squeaking, see buildup, or hear clinging.

How to Clean, Oil, and Maintain Your Sewing Machine?

Step 1

The first thing you should do is unplug your machine. A sewing machine’s throat plate, which collects dust and fibers, needs to be removed before it can be cleaned. You can find instructions on how to remove the throat plate in your sewing machine’s manual. Depending on the machine, you may need a screwdriver to remove the plate, or you may simply slide it off.

Step 2

Nylon brushes work well for collecting dust and cleaning in between crevices. If you have a bobbin case, remove it and thoroughly clean it. Do not use compressed canned air inside your machine to further wedge debris inside. Be sure to get inside the feed dogs and between them as well. Use a nylon brush or a screwdriver to push out the dust.

Step 3

Now that the lower part of your machine has been cleaned, it is time to oil it. The purpose of sewing machine oil is to prevent friction and wear and tear on machine parts by lubricating them. When you turn the hand wheel back and forth, oil should be applied where friction is created by moving parts touching each other. Make sure that the sewing machine oil you use is sewing machine oil specifically for these moving parts. There may be a small oil container included with your machine. When you have oiled the wheel, you should crank it back and forth a few times.

Step 4

Using muslin as an absorbent, remove any additional oil from your machine (muslin is good). Your next project shouldn’t have any oil on it! You are now ready to use your sewing machine again after installing the throat plate again. Cleaning the whole machine’s body with a dust cloth along the thread path may be a good idea.

Make sure your sewing machine seams are stable before you begin your next project by testing it on a scrap of fabric.

Last but not least, keep your sewing machine covered when it’s not in use to prevent dust and debris from building up! You can also make your own cover if your machine comes with one already.


In conclusion, if you have a sewing machine, you should take care of it like you would any other tool. This includes oiling it regularly (which will prevent rust), cleaning it thoroughly after each use, and keeping it well-maintained.

A clean machine is much easier to work with, so you’ll spend less time figuring out why your project isn’t coming together quite right. And when you do find yourself stuck, you won’t have to call a professional to come over and fix it for you. Just follow the instructions carefully, and you’ll soon be stitching away like a pro!

Go through our dedicated page for all sewing terms to be sure you understand us well. We also have another great article that you may like – How Old Is My Singer Sewing Machine?

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