How Often Do You Oil Your Sewing Machine?

Sewing machines are basically simple machines that don’t require a lot of maintenance. Even when you’ve been using your machine for years or decades, they don’t give the user a lot of trouble.

With machines from renowned brands like Singer, Janome, Juki, or Brother, most models of sewing machines are usually quite efficient and indestructible machines that will easily last for years, if not decades.

It’s also true that if you take proper care of your sewing machine by yourself, they won’t need to be sent to get repaired unless something major is damaged and needs replacing.

A huge part of taking care of your sewing machine means to oil your machine regularly, which is basically the one thing you need to regularly do for your sewing machine. 

In this article, you’ll understand how often your sewing machine needs oiling, and how to do it perfectly. 

How to Take Care of Your Sewing Machine? 

How you should take care of your sewing machine actually depends on how often you use it, or for how long. Most of taking care of your sewing machine – from whichever brand you are using a machine from – means to keep it clean and to keep dust from accumulating on and inside it. Simply by keeping your sewing machine dust-free and clean, you can increase its lifeline by years. 

It is very important to keep your sewing machine covered when you are not using it. Especially if you don’t plan on using it for a long time in the future, it needs to be kept well covered up with its own sewing machine cover or a piece of cloth.

At the same time, it is also important that you reduce any signs of lint build-up inside the machine which usually happens from the thread you use. 

To keep dust away from your sewing machine and to stop lint from building up inside the machine – these are the two most important ways to keep your sewing machine in good shape. Another way to maintain it is to regularly oil it when needed. 

Why Is it Important to Oil Your Sewing Machine?

A huge part of taking care of your sewing machine is to regularly oil it when needed, and where needed. This is important because applying oil to your sewing machine will reduce the wear of all the parts inside the machine that constantly moves when you are working.

When your sewing machine is working, the constant movement of the parts creates internal friction between all the joints and the parts. This can result in rust, which is harmful to the machine in the long run. 

When you regularly apply special machine oil to your sewing machine, it stops the friction between the parts. The specially manufactured oil also reduces the buildup of rust, keeping your sewing machine working for a long time without any complaints. 

Regularly or semi-regularly, it is therefore very important that you apply oil to your sewing machine. 

How to Oil your Sewing Machine? 

For the entire procedure, you’ll need the proper oil for your sewing machine, as well as a few other accessories for the job, including a stiff brush, a piece of lint-free fabric, and a pair of tweezers. 

First of all, you’ll need to turn off your sewing machine. This is an important step that cannot be missed! Your sewing machine – if it is an electrical or a computerized one – needs to be turned off whenever you are cleaning or oiling it. 

The next step would be to remove the bobbin case of your machine, the thread, the stitch plate and the throat plate, the needles, the presser foot, and the extension table from the sewing machine. Then, once these parts have been removed, use a pair of tweezers to pull off pieces of lint that should have automatically accumulated in these areas. 

Once you’ve removed all the visible lint from these hidden areas, move the handwheel of your sewing machine a few times, up and down, back and forth. This will reveal further hidden sources of accumulated lint from the joint. Remove them all from inside your sewing machine. You can also use the stiff brush to further brush away the lint buildup. 

Now that your sewing machine is free from all traces of lint, take the sewing machine oil – which comes in tiny bottles and a nozzle – and apply small drops of oil from all the places you’ve removed the lint.

Apply tiny dollops of oil to the areas and parts of your sewing machine that come into regular friction with each other when you use the machine, as well. 

After you’ve applied the sewing machine oil to all the important parts and joins, bring in the lint-free piece of cloth. Use this cloth to absorb any extra bit of oil that might be lingering around the joints. Otherwise, the excess oil might get into your fabrics when you use the machine for stitching, embroidering or repairing. 

Let the machine rest for at least an hour before you use the machine again. 

How Often Do you Have to Oil Your Sewing Machine? 

If you use your sewing machine regularly and extensively, you might have to oil it at least three times a week. This means that you turn on and use your machine for at least a few hours every single day, and the lint buildup and friction inside your sewing machine will very quickly damage the internal mechanism of the machine.

If you are such a frequent user, you’ll have to oil your sewing machine at least thrice a week, i.e. every other day or so. 

If you, on the other hand, use your sewing machine for long hours every single day, i.e. when you are a professional and a frequent user, it might be a good idea to oil it every day. Oiling your sewing machine and then starting to use it might be the best way to take care of your machine. 

Therefore, if you use the right kind of sewing machine oil, oil your machine regularly and keep it free from lint buildup and dust, you can definitely keep on using your sewing machine for years without needing to repair it or any professionals to have a look at it. 

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