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How To Oil a Sewing Machine?

SINGER 2131E All Purpose Machine Oil
SINGER 2131E All Purpose Machine Oil

Your mighty sewing machine needs maintenance, which means cleaning and oiling. How often you should clean it depends on the frequency of its use.

Sewing experts suggest you oil your machine every four months. But it is for those who don’t use the machine often.

Considering that, if you are running your machine every day for projects, then you should clean and oil it with every project.

But, you need to be careful with it, don’t oil the machine overly. What could happen if you over oil it?

All the oil, dust, fabric, and thread will get mixed, and that will gunk up the gear. When the gear is gunked up, your sewing process isn’t going to be smooth. Also, the machine might get sluggish in the process. 

Supplies You Need

Lint brush, pipe cleaner, clear sewing machine oil, and screwdriver. We suggest you don’t use any canned spray/ air. They cause Co2 to build up. Besides, they gust moisture and cause your machine to get muddy inside. You don’t want to make it worst by adding mud with the dust, fizz, and lint.

Dusting The Sewing Machine

As we have pointed to you earlier. You have to clean your machine; this is the previous stage of oiling. Let’s start with the cleaning process now.

First, make sure the power is off, so you don’t end up wounded by the slick needle of your sewing machine. If your machine is threaded, experts advise cleaning after it’s unthreaded. Now, get ready for dusting.

Get yourself a good small lint brush. We recommend lint brushes because they are bendable that enable you to reach any area you need to clean.

Now, look carefully and brush of the dust from the corners, edges, and designs. But, to clean the tension disk, we suggest you take a pipe cleaner. Put the pipe cleaner inside the slight of the tension disc. By holding it with two hands, wiggle the pipeline inside the tension disk up and down.

Make sure there’s no glazed thread in it. Next, get to the needle bar system and clean it thoroughly, because usually a lot of lint builds up in there as well.

Now, you clean under the stitch plate; there will be fuzzes in the feed dogs too. To take the stitch plate off, make sure you remove the entire needle bar with the screwdriver that came with your machine. If you get a little unsure here, check the accessories in the user manual of your machine.

Taking out the screws of the stitch plate can be tough, as your machine has such a narrow length under the needle system. We have a tip for you to take out the screw with ease. Take a cent that fits the notch of the screws and roll them out once the throat/ stitch plate is brushed off of all the fizz from the feed dogs.

Next, you go for the bobbin case. Take the bobbin out from the case; you will definitely see lint and fuzz in the bobbin case. Clean it off; this might feel satisfying to some extent. Finally, clean everything around the bobbin case holder, feed the dog, also the bobbin case. 

Oiling The Sewing Machine

Some machine requires lubricants; they are mostly from the past period. But sewing machines nowadays require oil. We can’t go without mentioning; the manufacturer usually does not recommend oiling your sewing machine.

But as you can see, users and experts suggest otherwise. And, not just any other oil, you need to buy a particular kind of oil for the sewing machine. Although, users sometimes recommend using the other variety of natural and mineral-based lubricants for the regular sewing tools.

We direct you to oil the bobbin case holder first. Look for the shelf where the bobbin case perched on and drop a little oil from the tube. After that, you need to put back the bobbin case. You need to make sure you set it in a way, the hook in the bobbin case is in a straight line with the feed dogs.

There are some machines that have little holes in the top part of the body. You need to drop a little oil in the holes too.

Be careful about oiling the wrong spots of a sewing machine. People usually put oil in every hole they come across on the machine body. In that case, to find out which parts you exactly should oil, refer to the user’s manual of the machine you’re aiming to clean and oil today.

However, most of the sewing machines these days only require oiling the bobbin area only. And, the older machine usually needs oiling some other areas in the machine. Also, in the older machine, there are red markings to point out the oiling spots for you. This is a kind of universal sign among sewing machines to show the areas from oiling.

Words of caution

Don’t use any canned air. Always dust off your machine before you oil it. Learn the difference between the uses of lubricants and oil in sewing machines. Buy good crystal-clean sewing machine oil. Don’t use lubricants if your machine is not older than the model.

When you take the machine to full servicing in a year, they clean it with lubricants at that time. Finally, if you follow our guide carefully, you can easily clean/oil your machine at home anytime it needs to be cleaned/ oiled.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning and oiling a sewing machine process chiefly vary in their ages and designs. You should clean your machine regularly to ensure excellent performance and longevity. Always keep the manual by the side when you are cleaning and oiling. Because it is very much normal for you to get confused in the process, also that is why the manuals exit.

Again, don’t just follow any manual; follow the specific manual of a machine. Our guide is rather generic, although written while considering the possible aspects of cleaning/oiling for all the sewing machines out there. 

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