Basic maintenance for your sewing machine

We know that your sewing machine is very important to you and, how could it not be if it's what you rely on to bringing your projects to life?

That's why today we share with you how you can give basic maintenance to your machine to keep it in optimal conditions for a longer time.

This cleaning should be done with the frequency that corresponds to the use you give to the machine, that is, if you use it regularly, daily, or 3 to 5 times a week, the maintenance should be done once a week; however if you use it less frequently, the maintenance can be done at the time you will be using it.

What do we mean by "basic maintenance"?

Basic maintenance refers to the machine’s cleaning and greasing, but it is not a repair. When you feel that something is not working well with your machine, always go to a specialized technician to fix it.

Now, what do you need to clean your machine? 

  • A small brush
  • Flat screwdriver (you can use the one that comes with your machine)
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Specialized sewing machine oil


The first thing to do is to read, or re-read, the manual of your machine; in this case, we will not do it to know its functions, but its parts. Although you are not going to disassemble it completely, you might remove some parts to clean them so you must know how to put each part back.

If we do not read the manual, it will be more difficult to put the parts in the right place; and what started as simple cleaning, could end up in a visit to the technician to put the machine back together.


We start from the outside in; first, clean the entire outside of your machine with the cloth; remove the bobbin and unthread the machine. In the small spaces, such as the coil, start cleaning with the brush, in the large spaces, which is the entire lid, remove the dust and any trace of stain that you find with the cloth.


Even if in the previous step you have passed the cloth or the brush over the needle and the presser foot, it is time to remove them. Check that the needle is straight and clean it. Also, clean the presser foot with the cloth, believe it or not, it keeps residues that can stain your fabric.


Now we are going to clean the bobbin case. Here we divide the information in two, one for the metal bobbin case and one for the plastic ones. Very important that you have your manual at hand so that it will be easier for you to perform this step.


The first thing to do is to remove the bobbin holder from the flattened lever, use the manual for all the instructions.

Once out, clean the spool holder with the brush and put a small drop of oil inside.

Now here comes the part in which you must be more careful: first observe well how everything is placed and proceed to move the little legs that are to the sides, generally they are similar to the levers of the pinball games.

Move the levers outwards, they fit right where there are two side marks, and they serve to guide us when it is time to put the pieces back in place. These little legs are only there to hold the parts that we will take out next.

These are the two pieces that you need to take out: first the circle and then the half-circle. Clean them very well with the cloth and the brush, and to the second one, the half-circle, add a drop of oil.

Also clean where these pieces were placed, if possible pass the cloth, because the brush does not remove all the residues. 

Move the side wheel, or steering wheel, and see which are the parts that move, because it is right there where you will apply the oil. Two drops are enough: apply one, move the side wheel, then apply the other and turn it again.

Now just put the pieces back in place, move the levers inward, the ones that look like pinballs, and you're done.


Remove the plastic cap that comes with the coil cover plate, and then remove the screws that hold the plate in place. 

Remove the metal plate, clean it, place it next to the screws and start removing the junk from the coil holder. Do this very carefully, but thoroughly. Move the side wheel so you can clean the places you couldn't see before. 

If you feel that the brush is not enough, use a pair of sewing machine pliers or a paper clip, stretch it out and with one end make a hook, and very carefully clean the sides of the bobbin.

Once you have left everything free of dust, put a drop of oil where the bobbin goes and one on the piece that turns when you move the side wheel. All that's left is to put the plate back on and screw it back on. 

Here is a video that can serve as a reference when cleaning your machine:


When to oil the machine?

Over time, you will be able to identify when your machine needs a little oil; if you consider with the use that it is well oiled, it is not necessary to put more oil at each cleaning. 

Two final tips

Always cover your machine when it is not in use. If the factory cover is already damaged or you don't have it, buy another one or you can even do it yourself; but never leave your machine without protection.

If you are going to take it out of the house, it is essential that it is well protected and does not suffer any blows. If you go by car, put it behind a seat so that it doesn't move around, or in the trunk, but don't let it roll all over the place.

If you go by transport, carry it carefully; do not allow it to be kicked by leaving it on the floor.

These tips are for prevention, remember that the better care you take of your machine, the longer it will last. With use, you will be able to identify whether a flaw is in reality a lack of cleaning, or when it is something that needs to be repaired by a specialist.

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