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How To Clean A Sewing Machine

How often do you clean your sewing machine? Do you know that cleaning your sewing machine correctly can extend its life and keep it running efficiently?

Depending on how often you use your sewing machine, keeping it clean and oiled in the meantime (since it still needs to be serviced) will help keep it in good shape.

  • If you are a heavy user, using your sewing machine every single day, you must clean and oil it weekly.
  • If you are a weekender, you only use your sewing machine every weekend, you can clean and oil it once a month.
  • If you seldom use the machine, maybe 1 to 2 times a month, then 6 months should be fine.

Here are some of the tools to clean your sewing machine

  • Long Tweezers – can help you pick up those grossy lint balls and hidden dust bunnies.

  • Vacuum – suck all the fuzz balls and dust out (Do not blow using your breath or use a hairdryer or compressed air as it may blow the dirt deep into your machine. Also Do not use canned air as this will moisture your sewing machine metal parts, which leads to rust)

  • Brush – whether it is a make-up brush or a paintbrush, make sure it is a nylon-type brush small enough to take out the dirt of your machine.

  • Q-tip – after you are done taking out the dirt, lint, and dust, Pour small amounts of oil onto the q-tip to help you clean surfaces from residual dirt.

Below are other ways to help you maintain your sewing machine.

  • Sewing machine oil – this is a specially formulated lubricant that makes your machine operate smoothly. Put a tiny bit of sewing machine oil on the moving parts where friction is created. After putting oil, take a muslin cloth to wipe out left-over oil on your machine. (Check your manual first to see if you need to put oil and where. The newer machines do not need oil. Better to talk to your professionals, Over oiling can be just as dangerous as no oil.)

      Note: Before starting your next project, use a scrap of white fabric, sew back and forth multiple times to check that you are not going to have oil on your work

  • Have your Sewing Machine Serviced – have it thoroughly checked by a professional which can be done at your local machine shop dealer.

  • Use a Sewing Machine Cover – If you are not using your sewing machine better to cover it to prevent dust building up. Some sewing machines come with a cover, if it doesn’t, you can make a personalized one .
AccuQuilt GO! Easy Bloom Sewing Machine Cover Pattern when used_

  • Do not use old threads as they produce loose fibers and lint will accumulate faster. .

  • Maintenance Log Card/Notebook – it is better to log your cleaning task so that you will know when your next sewing machine maintenance activity will be. .

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on how to clean your sewing machine with this simple but essential maintenance and care guide to help your machine run efficiently and be able to use it for a long time.


Here’s How to Clean, Oil, and Maintain Your Sewing Machine – Martha Stewart

How to clean a sewing machine: a simple guide to essential maintenance and care – The Crafty Gentleman

How to clean your sewing machine 101 – Tarilyn’s Show’N Tell

Pamper Your Sewing Machine: a Cleaning Tutorial – So Sew Easy

Clean Your Sewing Machine – The Sewing Loft Blog