Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sewing Lesson #8 (Clean and Oil my Sewing Machine?)

Should I clean and oil my Sewing Machine?  Ummm, YES!  Most service departments for sewing machines will tell you that many of the machines they receive for repair only needed to be oiled and cleaned.  Sometimes your machine may need to go in for repair, but it won't be as often if you do keep up on the maintenance.

Cleaning and Oiling your machine is actually pretty easy, so don't be afraid! Don't use canned air on your machine to blow lint away.  Parts of the inside of your machine are lubricated with lithium grease, and if you blow canned air into your machine you will powerfully blow lint into the grease.  It will stick like glue. Not good.  Eventually that will be like little grains of sand, damaging your machine over time. Better than using canned air, use a vacuum. I bought little tiny attachments for my vacuum that I talked about HERE. You can also make a cardboard or paper cone that you can tape over then end of the small attachment on your vacuum and get out quite a bit of lint. I also make a loop on the end of a pipe cleaner and can bring up lint from below the bobbin or plate area.

The threads you sew with and the fabrics you sew on all cause lint build up. Whatever you are sewing, lint will build up in your machine. The bobbin area needs to be cleaned frequently, some times a tiny little bit of lint in exactly the wrong place can cause your machine to fail to work properly.

Dust is also not good for your machine. Do you go for weeks without using you machine?  Think of the dust that builds up in places you don't get to often - that can get into your machine. If I go out of town or something comes up and I know I'm not going to be using my machine for a while I unplug it and cover it up. Even if your machine didn't come with any kind of cover, just lay a towel over it - or there a lots of free patterns online to make a custom cover for your machine.

When you oil your machine please make sure you are using SEWING MACHINE OIL, not the same as regular household oil. Sewing Machine oil is light colored, almost transparent. Your sewing machine manual will have instructions for how to oil your machine. There are many videos on line by kind and helpful people! Go to YouTube and search with the name of your machine and there is a very good chance you will find a demonstration.

After you have oiled your machine, sew on a piece of scrap fabric, just in case some of the oil is hiding somewhere and will get on your fabric.  After your scrap is oil free you are good to go! A clean machine is a happy machine!

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