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How Often Should I Oil My Sewing Machine? (2023)

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All sewing machines are a little different. Your user manual will tell you how often your sewing machine should be oiled, if at all.

Many newer sewing machines come prelubricated and do not need additional oil. However, it’s usually OK to add a drop or two in the bobbin case if you feel like your sewing machine needs it. The more often you use your sewing machine, the more often it needs oil. Every four months is a good rule of thumb.

You should also get your sewing machine professionally serviced every year or two to make sure it continues to run well. At your service appointment, your sewing machine will get oiled. If you haven’t used your sewing machine for several years, it probably needs to be oiled and professionally serviced. Your sewing machine’s lubrication dries out over time.

Where Do IApply Oil on My Sewing Machine?

If your sewing machine requires oil, there are several places where you should apply it. These include on your handwheel, on your thread take-up lever, and on the shuttle race in your bobbin case. Other moving parts inside your sewing machine should also be oiled.

Always clean your sewing machine before you apply oil. If you need help, read: How to Clean Your Sewing Machine. Then, only add one to two drops at each place.

Look in your sewing machine user manual for a diagram of places that require oiling. Also, check your user manual to see what type of oil or lubricant to use. There are a couple of different types. If you’re unsure, I recommend using this sewing machine oil. Do not use car oil and do not use WD-40. Sewing machine oil is clear and lighter than other types of oil.

After you have finished applying oil to your sewing machine, wipe away any excess. You don’t want it to get on your fabric or drip inside your machine. Then, test your machine. Many sewing machines require you to disassemble some parts before applying oil. Always test your machine when you are finished applying oil to make sure it still works properly.

Did you find this information useful? I’ve also written a complete sewing machine troubleshooting book to help you solve the most common sewing machine problems. You can get a copy of my book on Amazon for only $2.99. You can read more about my book on my Sewing Machine Troubleshooting Page.

How Often Should I Oil My Sewing Machine

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.