Skip to Content

Complete Guide: Cleaning a Sewing Machine (Beginners 2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

It’s truly crucial to clean your sewing machine every so often. But how usually should you do it? and also just how do you do it appropriately?

There are some really crucial things to think about prior to you begin cleaning your sewing machine If you do it the upside-down (or use the incorrect devices) you could end up creating more damage than good.

Allow’s obtain down to business as well as make certain your sewing machine will certainly run smoothly again really soon!

We have a whole lot of various sewing machine types today. In this article, we will primarily look at your typical residence sewing machine Nonetheless, almost everything we cover in this article can additionally be applied directly to a quilting machine or embroidery machine

Three things you need to never ever do

A sewing machine is a fragile machine and also there are 3 things we never wish to do.

Bear in mind these 3 pointers before you begin servicing your machine

1) Never make use of an air blower to cleanse your machine

This is really essential to stay clear of pressing the dirt as well as dust further into your machine

If you utilize an air blower the air pressure will just push the dust even more right into the machinery where it’s actually difficult to go out. In right here it can create actual damages and also we don’t desire that to happen.

Rather, you can carefully utilize a handheld vacuum or a basic vacuum that’s all you have. The best method to go is to make use of that little handheld vacuumer, like the one we usually use in the kitchen when we do not wish to take out the large vacuum. If you use a basic vacuum you can set it the least expensive sucking level (ideally) and also make use of a new bag (so you can locate anything you could suck up by accident).

The vacuum will certainly clear out the dust as well as dust instead of pressing it into the machine

There’s also another reason we don’t wish to utilize the air blower with our machine The air from the air blower will certainly include wetness

So by using it, you will in fact apply a little bit of wetness to all the little parts inside your sewing machine And also we all understand that wetness and metal are an extremely bad combination.

It will wind up developing corrosion inside your machine which is really bad as well as something we need to try to prevent.

You can also make use of the very same sort of drawing head you would use for a computer key-board. They are designed to be able to get to into tight areas like splits and also edges.

For the same reasons, you should not blow air with your mouth into the machine

2) Avoid excessive use oil

One more thing people deal with is obtaining the correct amount of oil when they are completed cleaning

It’s (may be) vital to oil your machine yet it’s extremely crucial not to apply excessive oil. When you utilize way too much oil it will certainly wind up attracting dirt and lint rather than making the machine run smoothly.

You should just apply a small decrease of oil to ensure it stays exactly where you desire it.

Otherwise, we will certainly have the oil accumulating inside the machine as well as make it the best area for little hair-balls and dust. Great means is to apply a bit of oil unto the brush prior to you start cleaning off the great little components. By doing this you will be able to eliminate the last pieces of dirt and dust while also giving the machine the proper amount of oil.

Please note: There are certain sewing devices that don’t require oiling in all. Especially more recent sewing machines as well as computerized versions. Contact your manual that your sewing machine does actually require you to apply oil.

3) Don’t clean your machine while it’s connected in

Ensure to entirely eliminate the electrical cable from the machine before you start messing around with it.

You should never open any type of digital tool before effectively unplugging it. This is for your very own security.

We do not desire it to activate all of an abrupt. So do this to see to it you do not end up with the needle in your finger or an electric shock.

If you just transform it off and also don’t get rid of the electric cable you might mistakenly transform it on suddenly. So make certain to constantly eliminate the electric cord completely prior to you start.

2 great pointers + 3 points you need

Right here’s an idea to aid you monitor every part as we begin functioning. We additionally wish to make certain we understand exactly how to place the machine back together after cleaning it.

The first suggestion is to take photos as we go.

  1. Take pictures Make certain to take an image before you remove anything you haven’t eliminated prior to. This is the means you will certainly know exactly just how to set up the machine afterward. By doing so you will not need to fight with the bobbin situation when you require to place it back right into the machine (correctly).
  2. Have a dish ready for each component you remove. You do not wish to shed the little screws or the bobbin case and so on. These are all special parts as well as you could not have the ability to discover the precise very same items at your neighborhood accessory store.

Before we begin we likewise wish to make sure we have the right devices.

Look inside your accessory tray to discover the brush. It would probably look something such as this:

Sewing machine brushes

The brush at the base is really great because it can be curved in order to reach all locations of the machine

You likewise intend to locate the screwdriver that came with the machine If you want to find out more concerning these things you can have a look at this blog post concerning all the components of the sewing machine

The last point you need is your handbook.

(maintain analysis).

Begin by checking your manual

Prior to you begin cleaning your machine you must constantly examine the handbook.

Some makers work in different ways than others and also there may be unique precautions you need to take with your specific brand name or model. You may figure out that your machine does not need you to oil it or possibly some points are done in different ways than you are utilized to.

The handbook will most definitely have a section concerning cleaning your machine Make certain to read it. It will only take a little time and might conserve you a lot of difficulty.

Or else, you might finish up opening up parts of the machine that you are not meant to. We never ever intend to entirely dismantle our machine, we only intend to open, tidy, as well as lubricating the parts we are expected to clean up.

This is especially vital if you’re dealing with a digital machine

In this instance, the manual could inform you just to clean up the area around the bobbin instance as well as to dirt off the outside of the machine every so often.

The older versions (as well as most mechanic models) are simpler and also more simple to tidy. Here you don’t need to be as cautious.

IDEA: If you have actually shed your handbook you need to try to look it up online. A lot of guidebooks can be located as PDF documents online. If you can not discover it, make certain to call the store with any kind of concerns (specifically concerning the usage of oil) or e-mail the brand name’s website to obtain a copy of your guidebook. Ask your supplier if you are dealing with a specialist or commercial design.

The detailed guide to cleaning your machine

Now that you have actually reviewed the cleaning -areas of your guidebook it’s ultimately time to begin cleaning We will certainly take it one step each time and clarify specifically what you require to do for action.

We begin by checking out the exterior of the machine

1) Remove the accessory tray as well as clean the machine on the surface

If you’re using a top-loaded machine (making use of drop-in bobbins) you’re might not eliminate your device tray frequently. Yet if you’re dealing with a front-loading machine, you will have removed the device tray every single time you transformed the bobbin string.

We intend to get the machine a great tidy on the outside prior to we start working our method right into the machine

We do this to make sure we get rid of all the lint, dust, hair, and also dirt we can prior to we open up the machine to access the moving parts.

2) Clean the take-up bar and stress discs

With some makers, you could be able to remove the left part of the top cover. This is done in order to be able to access the area around the take-up bar and the stress discs.

However on most devices, this would most likely not be possible.

Because the situation, you can use an item of fabric and drive it up and also down inside the take-up bar network in addition to the network beside it around the stress discs.

These 2 networks are usually rather filthy because the upper string is constantly running inside these 2 channels.

You will certainly wish to establish your stress discs to absolutely know prior to you start doing this. By doing so you can get the piece of material in between the discs to provide a great clean.

Some devices will certainly have the tension disks mounted outdoors (on the front of) the machine so it’s easy for you to access them as well as clean them. Move your take-up bar to the top placement to be able to access the location.

Take a great look once in a while and also inspect for items of dirt that must be gotten rid of using the vacuum. If you haven’t cleansed your machine in a very long time, you may have little hairballs and also pieces of lint to get rid of.

Ensure to inspect the area around the needle as you cleanse the tension discs as well as the take-up lever. Parts of lint as well as textile may fall down right into this area where you can choose them up and also get them out of the way.

3) Clean the area around the needle

Take off the needle holder (if you can) to make far better accessibility for the brush as well as the vacuum cleaner head.

Now, use your brush around the needle location to collect and get rid of all the last bits and also items of dust and textile you have left the area around the take-up bar.

Remove the presser foot and also the needle to be able to access the location of the best you can.

Once again, if you are able to remove the cover around this area you ought to do so (unless the manual tells you otherwise). But beware around this area as we have several relocating components in there. So if it does not really feel like you must take off the cover you possibly shouldn’t.

4) Cleaning the bobbin area

Now it’s time for one of one of the most essential locations to clean, as well as this is our location around the bobbin string.

We need to sorts of machine:

  1. Top-loading machines (with drop-in bobbins)
  2. Front-loaded makers with the bobbin instance location in front of you

(Actually, we additionally have a unique sort of side-loaded sewing makers but they’re quite unusual so we will not go into details about them.)

Allow’s begin by checking out the top-loaded machines.

1) The top-loaded devices

Start by getting rid of the bobbin and the bobbin situation to be able to access the location.

Now, get rid of the steel plate around the feet teeth.

You will generally do so by eliminating a number of screws. As quickly as we have this plate off the beaten track we can access the bobbin location from the top and also you will quickly be able to look inside the machine

Now it’s time for some cleaning as well as sucking in order to get rid of all the dust and also lint. If you have not cleansed your machine in a while you will be actually stunned when you open up right into this location!

Beginning by getting all the dust and also hairballs out.

You work your method into the machine without blowing or pushing the dust into the machine Get rid of all the parts you can and also cleanse them with fabric. If you doubt concerning a part, allow it to sit and do not eliminate it.

We just intend to remove the parts we are intended to remove.

Caution: You absolutely do not want the wet from an air blower in this field. We do not want to utilize the air blower at all, however if you are mosting likely to do so anyway at the very least avoid utilizing it once the bobbin case is removed. You will definitely create more harm than great (in the lengthy run) by blowing the dust into the major parts of the machine It might obstruct the gears or cause it to rust from the moist.

2) The front-loaded machines

On the front-loading machine, points tend to be a little easier when it involves cleaning

As quickly as you have removed the bottom plate as well as the bobbin and also the bobbin situation you will certainly have far better access to the bobbin area. This is one of the greatest differences in between the 2 types of devices (top- vs. front-loaded makers).

When you deal with your brush, you will certainly be able to push the dust as well as dirt out via the front of the machine

See to it to always strike the brush towards you so you do not push the dust and also dust into the machine

5) What about oil?

When you’re done cleaning this area as well as you have actually gotten rid of all the dust and also dirt it’s (maybe) time to use a little bit of oil in the facility listed below the bobbin.

But just perhaps!

Once more, if you’re uncertain whether you ought to actually oil your machine, you need to begin by inspecting your guidebook. On many newer as well as electronic models you do not need to apply oil in all. Actually, you will make points even worse by doing it.

We don’t intend to use oil to all moving components.

We only want to apply a tiny drop of oil around the facility of the bobbin for most makers, while others could have an additional area or more you can use oil.

Ensure to constantly use the clear as well as super-thin oil which are specifically produced sewing equipments. Any type of various other kind of oil or lubricating substance will certainly refrain from doing any great for your machine Unless especially specified in your manual (just for old makers).

After applying the drop of oil you need to clean off any type of access to oil before you place the bobbin situation back on.

If you have an old machine (and particularly if you have a extremely old machine there could be a spot on top of the machine to use a decline of oil. In that instance, you can apply one decrease of oil into the opening as well as the machine will certainly deal with the remainder.

This is to make certain we do not have excessive oil inside our machine as it will only enhance the accumulation of brand-new dust. When you have done so, you should ensure to constantly begin sewing with a scrap piece of fabric that you can throw out afterwards. Because it could obtain a bit of oil on it.

You can also proceed to review this post concerning cleaning the bobbin location particularly.

6) Leave the machine area for the pro’s

Unless you know specifically what you’re doing you shouldn’t eliminate all the covers from the machine to access the electric motor area.

There are particular areas of the machine we only desire the expert machine repair work individuals to service. They will certainly recognize precisely just how to clean it and also where to use oil. The area around the engine is not a place for amateurs to poke about.

This is additionally something you must be able to consult your handbook.

Below you can review which locations you can cleanse yourself and when it’s time to call in the specialists. If you remain in uncertainty, you must call your local sewing machine repair service center to obtain their recommendations before you proceed.

After you’re done cleaning…

sewing machine maintenance

See to it to change the needle every time you cleanse the machine, unless you simply did so.

Some people only transform the needle once it damages, but you need to alter it consistently in order to make the machine run as efficiently as possible.

By doing so you provide it the best problems as well as you see to it the needle does not obtain also old. Otherwise, it could flex and also hit your bobbin situation and also produce a mess.

Now it’s time to power your machine back up and give it an excellent first run.

See to it to begin with a scrap item of fabric that you can do away with afterward. Particularly if you have actually been applying oil on your machine This is to see to it your next sewing job will not get oil on it from the teeth of the machine

Do some dry run with the scrap piece of textile simply to make certain that the machine is working as it ought to which the teeth are functioning correctly.

If the machine will certainly not feed the material effectively you might have missed a large piece of lint-junk inside the machine

Just how frequently need to I clean my sewing machine

This depends on a variety of points:

  • How frequently do you use your sewing machine

If you’re machine is secured away in the closet most of the year you probably do not need to clean it greater than once per year. However, despite the fact that you do not use it as well often it will still gather dirt with time as well as dirt will locate its means into the machine

So see to it to take it out as well as tidy it a minimum of annually.

If you are making use of the machine regularly you should go for a clean every second time you alter the bobbin thread. That’s a good regulation of thumb.

By doing so you see to it that dust as well as dirt do not get too far into the machine Otherwise, it could start constructing up and get pressed right into the machine as you proceed using it.

  • Where do you stitch?

If you are using your sewing machine in a dusty atmosphere you will have to cleanse it effectively more typically.

Some individuals will sew in the garage on the basement where they do not tidy as often as in your living-room. See to it the space you select for sewing is as tidy as feasible.

If you’re taking your sewing machine to class or you have actually been traveling with it, you may additionally intend to cleanse it a lot more typically. See to it to make use of a great luggage for your machine, by doing this you will limit the quantity of dust as well as dirt that gets involved in it.

  • Exactly how are you utilizing your machine

It also matters just how are you are using your sewing machine

Allow’s say you’re largely working with natural leather, vinyl, and also various other sorts of textile that do not create a great deal of lint. Because case, you won’t have to cleanse your machine as frequently.

Make certain to open the bobbin instance and also take off the metal plate below the needle (around the feed teeth) to see to it it’s not accumulating too much dirt.

On many equipments, the metal plate listed below the needle will be placed with 2 huge screws. You possibly will not be able to get your screwdriver right into the area so you can commonly have better luck with a quarter coin or something like that form. On other equipments (usually front-loaded devices) the plate will not be attached with screws, so you can eliminate it by pushing a little “button”.

If you’re doing a lot of quilting or needlework work you may desire to cleanse your machine a little bit more frequently.

With these kinds of job, you’re relocating the textile around all the time and also you’re additionally starting as well as quiting the sewing machine extra frequently. This could get more lint as well as dirt into the machine

Utilize a cover to secure your machine from dirt

If you have not obtained a good cover for your machine you may take into consideration producing one as your following sewing tasks.

By concealing your machine you assist to keep dirt and dust out.

Several individuals will just cover the machine whenever they take it outdoors. For instance, when they bring it over to go to a close friend or for the sewing class. However you should constantly place on the cover also if you position the machine inside a cupboard.

Dust and also dust enter everywhere and also when you’re not making use of the machine, some dirt will certainly locate its means into the internal parts of your machine So make it a practice to constantly put a cover over your machine when you are ended up sewing

This is especially vital if you don’t utilize the machine extremely typically.

Exactly how to store your sewing machine long-term

If you’re putting your sewing machine away for a longer amount of time you wish to find the best place to place it.

Preferably we desire to place it in an area without as well much dust as well as dampness.

Remember that the sewing machine is made from steel and has a great deal of moving parts on the inside. This suggests that the different components of it will at some point corrosion if the sewing machine is placed in a wet atmosphere.

It’s better to locate an irreversible area for the machine inside the residence than placing it in the attic. You could be able to locate other things inside your home which will be a much better fit for getting stored in the attic.

If you’re sewing machine is stored in your attic or somewhere else you need to cover it up extra meticulously. These locations usually have a lot more dirt and also dust than your regular space so you should wrap your machine in plastic outside the cover.

Frequently asked concerns

Where do I apply oil to my sewing machine This depends totally on the kind of sewing machine you have. Older sewing equipments can be fueled oil on top of the machine as well as with the more recent machine you must do it inside the bobbin case. Constantly examine your handbook as you could not need to oil it whatsoever.

What can I make use of to tidy and oil my sewing machine You can make use of the brush that featured your machine or a typical paint brush. You can likewise use a vacuum. You can never ever make use of an air blower to cleanse your sewing machine as it will blow the dirt and dust even more into the machine

service sewing machine

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

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.