How to Clean Sewing Machine | Complete Guide

Even though you remove all the lint and dust from your sewing machine every time you use it, it still gets dirty. To keep your sewing machine working properly and to prevent breakdowns, it is important you clean the machine regularly.

But you cannot just use a wet rag to clean your machine. That can cause even more damage. Instead, read your manual and learn how to clean sewing machine correctly.


How Often Should You Clean Your Sewing Machine?

Every time you use your sewing machine you should brush it off to remove any lint and debris. But that does not remove anything that has made its way into the sewing machine.

Over time your machine will accumulate dust, dirt and debris. No matter how well you keep care of it and how often you dust it off, it is bound to happen. So, the more you sew, the more often you will need to give the machine a deep thorough cleaning.

If you sew daily or sew fabrics like fleece, you should clean it at least once a month, if not weekly. If you only sew a couple of times a week, you can often wait to clean it every other month.

The amount of time you can wait between cleanings is user-specific. The amount you sew and the fabric you use will determine how often you should clean your sewing machine. 


how often to clean sewing machine

Supplies You Will Need to Clean Your Sewing Machine

You will not need a lot of supplies to clean your sewing machine. But there are a few essential things you will need. These include:

  •         The sewing machine manual
  •         Screwdriver (this usually comes with your machine)
  •         Soft, clean cloth
  •         A tiny lint brush with stiff bristles
  •         Tweezers
  •         Sewing machine oil (check your manual for type)
  •         A mini vacuum


How to Clean Sewing Machine


how to clean sewing machine


Before you start cleaning your sewing machine, gather all the supplies. You may also want to grab a new needle and lightbulb if they have not been replaced recently. It is important that you never use a bent needle when sewing. Replace a damaged needle immediately.

  1. Read the manual. Every machine is different and has its own specific needs. The manual will give you a better idea of how to clean sewing machine.
  1. Make sure the sewing machine is unplugged.
  1. Remove the needle and presser foot.
  1. Remove the needle plate. Use the small brush and tweezers to remove any lint and debris.
  1. Remove the bobbin cover and casing. Use the small brush and tweezers to remove any lint and debris. If you cannot remove it all, use the mini vacuum. Do not use canned air. The air can force the debris into the machine causing damage.
  1. Oil the sewing machine. Your manual will give you instructions on the parts that need oil. It will also tell you what type of oil to use. Do not squirt oil on everything. If you use too much oil, make sure that you clean it up, so it does not ruin any fabric.
  1. Put the sewing machine back together. Make sure all screws have been tightened.
  1. Wipe down the exterior of the machine with a clean, soft cloth. If you must use a dampened cloth, do not get any water inside the machine.
  1. Test the machine to make sure everything is running properly.


Preventing Debris Buildup in a Sewing Machine


Preventing Debris Buildup in a Sewing Machine


It is impossible to prevent debris from entering your sewing machine. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to lessen the amount of damaging build-up.

  • After every use, clean the outside of the machine and remove all lint and other debris.
  • Use a sewing machine cover. You would be surprised how much dust will enter the sewing machine when it is not being used.


Make Sure to Clean Your Sewing Machine Regularly

Cleaning your sewing machine may have never occurred to you. But it needs to be done regularly to keep it in good working order. Regular maintenance is key to preserving your sewing machine. Skipping maintenance will lead to premature failure

It does not take long to clean a sewing machine. Once you know how to clean sewing machine you will be able to do it in no time at all.