Knowing the basics of sewing machine maintenance is an absolute must if you want your machine to run smoothly and efficiently. There is no getting around this. Neglecting your machine can cause all sorts of problems and lead to unnecessary frustration.

Fortunately, keeping your sewing machine in prime condition is neither very technical nor very complex. It’s just little things that need to be done regularly.

Cover Your Sewing Machine

Keep your sewing machine covered when you are in between projects. this will help keep it dust free and will also help prevent accidental damage to the machine.

Clean Your Machine Regularly

While sewing, lint from the fabric and also from the thread will keep accumulating on the interior parts of the machine. Excessive built up of lint obstructs the smooth movement of the various machine parts. After about every 8 to 10 hours of continuous sewing, it is a good idea to clean out the lint using a dry brush.

Don’t forget to clean between the tension discs. To do this, you have to raise the pressure foot mechanism and clean using a brush or a clean cloth.

Also, clean under the needle plate and the bobbin area. For this, you will need to first remove the needle plate. This is very easy to do. In some machines, the plate just slides out, in other machines the plate will need to be unscrewed. Refer to your manual for proper instructions if this is the first time you are doing this. Replace the needle plate after cleaning out the accumulated lint.

Before replacing the needle plate, inspect it for any rough edges that could snag on your fabric while sewing. If there are any nicks or burrs, smoothen them out with an emery cloth.

Oil Your Machine Regularly

Most need to be oiled regularly, but there are a few that do not need oiling at all. Consult with your manual to see if your machine needs to be oiled and also which parts need to be oiled. Oil helps keep the moving parts lubricated thus reducing friction and preventing rusting.

It is important that you do not just any general purpose oil. When oiling your machine, use only sewing machine oil. You will generally need to use just one drop in the parts that are specified. After oiling, wait a few minutes and then run the machine over a piece of scrap fabric a few times before moving on to your actual project. This helps soak off the excess oil.

Never Attempt any Major DIY Repair

If you are having problems with your sewing machine and cannot figure out what it is, do not ever attempt to open up the machine by yourself. The machinery is complex and precisely set and should only be serviced by trained technicians.

Tip of the Day

When cleaning the surface of your machine, use a damp soft cloth and wipe clean. Never use any strong cleaner spray on the inside or outside of your machine. Spraying any harsh liquid directly on the machine could damage the body as well as the mechanism.