~ Sewing 101 ~ Sewing Machine Maintenance

~ Sewing 101 ~ Sewing Machine Maintenance

Sewing machine maintenance – Is your machine happy?

Sewing machine maintenance is a vital part of sewing.  Do you know where to clean, how often to clean, where to begin?

Fear not, we will go through necessary machine maintenance; this will make you and your sewing machine very happy.

Supplies Needed:

Machine Manual



Screwdriver or machine key

Paper Towel or Microfiber Cloth

Oil (if needed)

All sewing machines are different; this is a Brother, top-loading bobbin.  Would you please check your manual with any questions? Also, please turn off and unplug your device when cleaning; Safety First!

If you have a serger, maybe it is time to give it a good cleaning too!

A few things to remember about sewing machine maintenance:

  • Try cleaning it out after each project, you can just remove the panel and the bobbin to give it a quick wipe down.
    • Give it a good cleaning at least once a month.
  • No canned air.
    • Canned air will push the lint further into your machine causing you to have it professionally maintained faster.
  • Keep it covered! Most machines come with a simple dust cover or make your own!
    •  Use it to prevent the regular daily lint and dust build up.
  • Change your sewing needles often.
    • Replace your needles after 8-10 hours of sewing.
    • A bent or dull needle will not only damage your fabric but your machine as well.
  • Watch the tension when winding your bobbin, Make sure that the bobbin thread is tight and not squishy.
  • Do not use old or vintage thread.
    • Vintage threads tend to produce more lint will accumulate faster.
  • Be sure to have your machine serviced at least once a year.
    • They will oil when needed, check tension settings, the timing, belts, and all other parts.

Do I need to oil my machine?

Once you have thoroughly cleaned your machine, you can oil it with sewing machine oil (refer to your manual).  Never use WD-40 or any other household oils, and these are not suitable for sewing machines.

Again, check your manual; some of the newer sewing machines do not need to be oiled.

If you oil your machine, leave a piece of fabric under the presser foot.; this will soak up any remaining oil.  That way, when you start your next project, you do not have to worry about any oil stains on your fabric.

Last Words

A well-maintained machine will last. It’s just like a car; it sometimes needs a little sprucing up; keeping it lint/dust-free will make sure your machine will last!

What are your favorite tips for cleaning out your sewing machine, let us know below in the comments.

Thanks for reading and until next time, may your stitches be straight!


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