Taking Care of Your Sewing Machine Sew on and Sew Forth

July 15, 2022

Your sewing machine is a big investment, and you want to take care of it so it lasts for years. However, without proper maintenance, it can quickly become clogged and stop working properly. This can cause huge delays in your sewing projects and leave your machine unusable. 

Like any other machine, it needs occasional tune-ups and repairs to keep it running smoothly. Just as you wouldn’t neglect necessary oil changes and maintenance on your vehicle, you shouldn’t neglect taking care of your sewing machine. In this blog post, we will discuss tips for giving proper care to your machine so that it lasts for years to come!

When It’s Time to Cleaning Your Sewing Machine 

After a long day of sewing, cleaning your machine is the last thing you want to do. However, you should make time to clean your sewing machine. If you use your sewing machine daily, clean and oil it every week. But if you only use it once or twice a month, you can get away with dusting, cleaning, and oiling it once a month. 

One easy way to tell if your sewing machine needs a tune-up is to listen for squeaking or grinding sounds. These noises usually indicate that the gears or bearings are starting to wear out. 

Another telltale sign is lint buildup. Too much lint inside your machine can hinder the proper movement of the needle and cause skipped stitches. If you're experiencing any or both of these machine issues, it's time to give your machine some TLC. Regular maintenance will keep your sewing machine running like new, ensuring years of smooth stitching. 

Keep Your Sewing Machine in Tip Top Condition in 4 Easy Steps

If you're new to owning a sewing machine, or even if you've had one for a while but haven't been taking care of it correctly, follow these quick steps to learn how to take care of your sewing machine properly. 

What You Need 

  • Screwdriver set: Your machine may come with Phillip and flathead screws. 
  • Sewing machine manual: Every machine model is slightly different from others so it's good to have a guide when maintaining or even repairing. 
  • Lint brush: You can also use a small brush to dust off lint, hanging thread, and dirt in tiny areas. 
  • Sewing machine oil: Any sewing enthusiast knows that a well-oiled machine is a sewist's best friend. Oil keeps the parts of your sewing machine lubricated and working smoothly.
  • Wiping cloth: Instead of using a random cotton rag or paper towels, wiper your machine with a synthetic microfiber cloth to effectively remove any dust, lint, or dirt without scratching it. 
  • Magnifying glass: This can help you see in those tiny crevices in your sewing machine. 
  • Mini vacuum kit: A vacuum kit can come in handy when dusting and removing lint in tight spaces.

Step #1. Unplug your sewing machine. 

Turning off then unplugging your machine are the first obvious steps. Removing power from your machine will prevent any accidental injuries or damage to the machine. But these are commonly forgotten by beginner sewists.  

Step #2. Open one part at a time.

Do you need to unscrew everything all at once on your sewing machine? Not necessarily. Instead, focus on opening up one section at a time. You'll be able to handle this cleaning process with less stress and clutter. Plus, you'll be less likely to misplace or lose a piece that could prevent your sewing machine from running properly afterward. Some sewists even take photos of each machine part for faster reassembling. 

Step #3. Remove lint. 

As a sewer, you know that lint can quickly accumulate inside your sewing machine, causing several problems. For example, lint can create skipped ugly stitching, cause the thread to break, and make it difficult for the fabric to feed smoothly. Plus, lint can build up on the tension discs, making it difficult to adjust. 

Once you remove your presser foot, needle plate, bobbin winder tension disc, and top part of your machine where different types of thread go in, use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any lint that has accumulated on the surface of the machine. Finally, use a needle to clear any lint from the needle eye and feed dogs. 

Step #4. Oil Your Machine. 

If you want your sewing machine to last, then you need to take proper care of it - and that includes oiling the internal moving parts on a regular basis. Oiling keeps the parts lubricated and working smoothly, which reduces wear and tear and helps your machine run more efficiently. 

Moreover, it's important to take a look at your sewing machine manual to confirm whether or not your specific machine model needs oiling, as some machine models don't need it. You might even need a specialist to do this step for you instead. 

Final Thoughts 

Sewing machines are necessary for any sewer, and they can last years with proper care. In this guide, we’ve outlined the basics of taking care of your machine to run well for as long as possible. We also suggest some quick steps to clean your machine if it becomes dirty or clogged while working on your latest project. 
If you have any other questions about properly taking care of your sewing machine, be sure to explore our other guides for excellent sewing projects. Happy stitching!

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