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4 Ways to Keep Your Sewing Machine Oiled & Clean for Longevity Full Guide of 2023

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tutorialssewing machine oilYou’re no stranger to the joys and frustrations of sewing. Your machine is the heart of your craft. When it’s humming along, you’re happily lost in a creative flow. But when tension gets tricky or a needle dulls, focus and inspiration can unravel into tangles and frustration.

That’s where oiling and cleaning come in – essential maintenance that keeps your machine running smoothly. Regular oiling helps prevent wear and tear that leads to costly repairs down the road. Proper cleaning clears dust and lint that can gum up moving parts. Together they ensure your machine is always up for even the biggest projects.

In this article, we’ll cover four key ways to keep your sewing machine well-oiled and clean so you can get back to doing what you love – letting inspiration flow freely as you masterfully stitch your next creation.

Key Takeaways

  • Use the plastic cover to mark the oiling points as per the manual.
  • Apply 1-2 drops of sewing machine oil monthly to the pivot points.
  • Check the tension to fix stitch issues.
  • Gently remove lint.

Day to Day

Day to Day
When caring for your sewing machine, be sure to use the plastic cover that came with it. Lifting this cover can reveal the oiling points described in the manual so you can lubricate properly, and it may have a maintenance sticker inside where you can note service dates to remember when to bring your machine in.

Use Your Cover

Y’all can jot down your oiling schedule right on your machine’s plastic cover to help remember when it’s time for some TLC.

  • Date last oiled
  • Target next oiling date
  • Oil used/need to buy more?
  • Last serviced on


Let’s try and fix those pesky stitching problems – check your tension first.

Wasted Thread Presser Adjustments Needle Replacements
Check threading Raise presser foot Use new needle
Adjust tension Reset tension Check needle type
Quality thread Thread tension discs Replace often
Proper winding Proper threading Stick in cork

takes time but rewards you with better stitches. Tune tension, mind fabric care, clean with a lint brush not air, and stick needles in cork to turn when threading.

Per Project

Per Project
Change the needle before starting each new project for the best stitch quality. Swapping out for a fresh needle makes threading easier and ensures good tension right from the start.

Check your manual for the right type and size needle for your fabric. Gently remove any lint and apply a drop of oil before beginning.

Listen carefully as you sew those first stitches. The machine should run smoothly, without clunking or skipping.

A little lint removal and gentle oiling keeps things running smoothly all through your project.

Following this routine leads to quality stitches on every new endeavor.

After Big Projects

After Big Projects
After finishing a big quilting or embroidery project, it’s smart to give your sewing machine some TLC. Take time to lubricate all the moving parts and inspect the tension discs for lint buildup that can throw off stitching.

Carefully clean under the presser foot and stitch plate to remove stray threads and debris. Doing this maintenance helps keep your machine running smoothly for many projects to come.

But don’t stop there – schedule a full servicing every six months if you sew frequently. Having a professional thoroughly clean and tune up your sewing machine will help prevent issues and keep it stitching for years.

With some periodic maintenance, your trusty sewing companion will keep delivering quality stitches project after project.


Schedule an annual service by a professional to fully maintain your machine.

  • Needed yearly to inspect moving parts, clean deeply, and adjust components.
  • Mark your calendar to schedule the appointment around the purchase anniversary.
  • Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget this important maintenance.

A professional inspection gives your treasured machine the specialized care it deserves. Servicing extends the life of your investment and sewing friend. Reap rewards for years from proper annual care.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of oil should I use for my sewing machine?

You should use sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 oil, for lubricating your machine. Sewing oil is designed for the delicate parts inside. Apply just a drop to pivot points and slides monthly to reduce friction, quiet noise, and extend your machine’s life.

How do I know when my sewing machine needs to be oiled?

Listen for squeaking or increased noise while stitching. Feel resistance when turning the handwheel. Watch for sluggish stitching and thread jams. Overall, oil monthly or every 8 hours used. Refer to your manual for oiling points. A drop of oil prevents wear, keeps things running smoothly.

Where are the oiling points on my specific sewing machine model?

Follow your model’s manual for the specific oiling points. Don’t over-oil – just a drop on pivot points and slides. Use sewing machine oil only. Record your oiling to avoid excess; monthly is often best.

Replace the needle regularly too. With basic care, your machine will reward you with smooth and quiet operation for years.

How much oil should I apply when oiling my sewing machine?

When oiling your machine, apply only a tiny drop or two of oil to each oiling point. Less is more – over-oiling can attract dust and dirt, gumming up your machine. A little oil goes a long way in reducing friction and protecting parts.

Can I use regular 3-in-1 household oil on my sewing machine?

No, don’t use 3-in-1 oil on your sewing machine. It’s too heavy and can gum up delicate parts. Use only light sewing machine oil designed specifically for lubricating a sewing machine’s moving parts.


So you see, keeping your sewing machine well-oiled and clean is vital for longevity. By following these four simple steps of daily cover use, troubleshooting, per-project, and annual maintenance, you’ll keep your trusty machine humming smoothly like the legends of old.

Regular oiling keeps those metal parts moving fluidly together, reducing friction and noise. You’ll gain confidence from a machine that stitches out quilts steadily with nary a tangle.

It’s so worthwhile to invest a few minutes into proper oiling and cleaning – keeping your sewing companion in stitching shape for the decades to come.

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.