If there’s one universal truth for tinkerers, it’s this: Sewing machines know when you have a deadline and they can smell fear. Why do sewing machines always seem to have problems during the project?
Well, it may just need to be cleaned! The best way to keep your machine running smoothly is to remove the fluff.
A clean machine is also a quieter machine, so if it makes noise, is that usually a good sign that it’s time.
How often do you really need to clean your machine? That depends on how often you use it. Clean after at least every ten hours of use, but more often is fine.
Many quilters have the rule of cleaning the bobbin. After every two to three coil changes. Look inside the bobbin case when your machine works up. If you see lint building up, it’s probably time.
So how do you clean a sewing machine?
Table Of Contents
How clean your sewing machine
Step one: find your user manual
First of all, every machine is different, so it finding the manual is the best reference for you.
Each machine comes apart differently and requires different maintenance. But what if you no longer have your manual?
The good news is that most of them are now available online. Go to the manufacturer’s website with your make and model number, and you should be able to find it.
If you can’t find it online, you can contact the manufacturer directly and request one, but make sure you have the machine name, model and serial number ready so they can find the right one for you.
Your local dealer or repair shop may also help you get a copy, or even sewing forums if you know other people with the same machine.
Step Two: Gather Your Tools
Do you have your manual? Great! Most machines also come with a lint brush. If you don’t have one, you can buy one from a fabric and craft store, or from your local dealer or repair shop.
If you’re in trouble, you can use a small makeup brush, but make sure it’s clean – you don’t want any residue in your machine.
You can also use a camel hair artist brush with long bristles that stick to the end . The lint will stick to the bristles in many of the smaller spaces, but make sure you buy a quality brush, not the quality kid brush that comes in many art kits.
Some people also use the small disposable mascara brushes or pipe cleaners to get into the crevices. Whatever you use, make sure it’s clean!
Have a supply of new needles ready. You should replace the needle every time you clean the machine, and it’s a good idea to have a new needle for every new project, even if you don’t change the type of material.
Have a soft cloth handy too – muslin is a superb choice, and it’s cheap. attachments to pull fluff out of small hiding places. This should be the same tool you would use to clean your computer keyboard. use with care.
Canned air can introduce moisture into the interior of your machine and cause many problems later on. To avoid this, hold the nozzle at least four inches away from you and spray so that the air is at an angle to the parts you are cleaning.
Make sure you always blow. the fluff out of the machine instead of in. ever use your breath to blow out the fluff – this actually contains more moisture than the canned air.
Step Three: Get the fluff out!
ow you have all your tools, it’s time to clean.
Unplug your machine first, to make sure you do not accidentally set off any sparks. This is very important.
Remove and discard the needle, noting the direction of the flat side of the needle.
From here on, follow your instruction manual to remove the presser foot, bobbin, stitch plate and bobbin case. Then use your lint brush, canned air, or vacuum cleaner to remove the lint and gunk from each of these pieces.
Remember to be extra careful when using canned. sky. Your manual may also show you how to remove the “racing area ” or where the bobbin case is.
This area is difficult to put back, so if you are not sure, don’t worry about removing it. Your local dealer or repair shop can clean this area.
Start by brushing the fluff out of the conveyor, then brush or blow the fluff that has accumulated in the race area and below. the feed dogs. After taking it apart, reassemble the race.
If your machine has a side cover. Open it to clean the wire path. If it does not have a side cover, blow air through the wire paths to clean the tension discs.
You can also clean the tension discs by increasing your foot pressure to loosen them and then run a piece of thick cotton thread or dental floss along the wire channel a few times.
Clean the outside of the machine with your soft cloth. Then plug your machine back in and turn it on. Try it without the needle, stitch plate, presser foot, bobbin and bobbin case for a few seconds to make sure it works smoothly.
Turn the machine back off and make sure that there is no other fluff. If you replace the bobbin case, bobbin, needle plate and presser foot all according to your manual.
Insert a new needle and double check you are the flat side correctly. If you’re not sure, check your manual.
Here’s a video showing how to clean the bobbin area of a sewing machine.
A clean machine is a happy machine, and should work smoothly and quietly.
To keep it cleaner for longer, consider placing it in a sewing room or machine closet when not in use.
Brush lint and dust away from the machine after each use and change the needles often. With a little simple maintenance, your machine will support you project after project.
Do you have any tips for cleaning a sewing machine?