Keeping your sewing machine clean is an integral part of producing beautiful things with fabric and thread. After several projects, there will be an accumulation of fluff from thread and fabric in the inner workings of your sewing machine. If you leave that to accumulate for too long, your sewing machine will start to perform poorly.

Here is how to clean, oil, and maintain your sewing machine 

You need to clean and oil your sewing machine depending on the types of fabric you sew and how much you use it. If you sew quite often and use materials that “shed” like velvet, then you will need to clean your sewing machine more frequently. Light to moderate users may only need to clean it once every couple of months. The rule of thumb is that if you hear clinging or squeaking and see build-up, then it is time for a refresh.

Step 1 

First, unplug your sewing machine. To prep your machine for cleaning, remove the throat plate where most of the dust and fabric fibres tend to gather. Read through your sewing machine’s manual to see how to remove the throat plate. Some sewing machines come with a screwdriver that unscrews the plate, while others simply slide off.

Step 2 

You can use a nylon brush to collect all the dust and get in between all the nooks and crannies. Do not use compressed canned air and blast inside your sewing machine as this will further wedge debris inside. If you have a bobbin case, take it out and clean it thoroughly. Be sure to get inside and in-between the feed dogs. Use the end of a screwdriver to push out the dust or brush out with the nylon brush.

Step 3 

Once the lower part of your sewing machine is cleaned, you will need to oil the machine. Sewing machine oil is a lubricant that is specially formulated to keep machine parts operating smoothly by preventing friction, as well as eventual wear and tear. To apply, use one hand to turn the handwheel back and forth, and see where the moving parts touch and where friction is created as this is where you will need to oil. Put a small amount of sewing machine oil on these moving parts. After you oil, crank the wheel back and forth a few times to work the oil in.

Step 4 

Take a piece of fabric, such as muslin, to absorb any additional oil on the body of your machine. You do not want any oil to get on your next project. Then, install it back on the throat plate. Your sewing machine is now ready to use again. You may need to take a dust cloth and wipe down the entire body of the sewing machine, brushing along the thread path.

Plug your sewing machine back in, use a scrap piece of fabric and do a few test seams before starting on your next sewing project. It is recommended to cover your machine when it is not in use to prevent dust and debris build-up in your sewing machine. Your sewing machine may come with a cover already, but you can also make your own.

Keep your sewing machine in tip-top shape by following these easy steps for proper sewing machine cleaning and maintenance. Empisal is a leading supplier of sewing machines, ironing equipment, overlockers, and haberdashery items. At Empisal, we are not only a trusted sewing brand on the market, but more so your creative assistant. We provide top-quality and affordable sewing machines for novice and more advanced sewers. For more information on our sewing machines and products, contact us today.