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How To Clean A Sewing Machine in 10 Minutes!

Do you want to learn some feasible and reliable methods to clean your sewing machine? Well, here is a brief guide for you. Read more

How To Clean A Sewing Machine in 10 Minutes!

Imagine you have bought a car and now it is parked in your garage. Would you leave it there just like that? Without ever cleaning it? Obviously not, so why would you not clean the sewing machine at your home?

You might not believe what I said in the above lines, but yes, in most cases, only the outer cover of the sewing machine is made up of aluminum. The rest is iron or some other metal sometimes.

The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Your Sewing Machine

Normally we don’t think we need to read a guide to learn the cleaning process. We naturally know how to clean something. Most of you would agree with this view. But if you get a bit pragmatic about how you handle the technical stuff in your life; you will realize how hard it can be to clean a sewing machine.

Materials to use to Clean a Sewing Machine

Do you think it would be a great idea to clean your sewing machine with water? Well, if you think so, then you are on the verge of destroying your sewing machine.

One needs to purchase special compounds and solvents to clean a sewing machine. Not only this, but you must also collect some good tools to open and set the machine to clean it internally.

Solvents to clean the outer body of aluminum

The first visible thing on your sewing machine is the outer body, to clean it, you must purchase a solvent that would not harm the outer case.

It can be anything from toluene to thinner, these work best on any aluminum body. You may go to any grocery store and ask for these formulae solutions.

Degreasing solvents

You might have heard people say that they need to oil the sewing machine. Remember too much oil can make it hard for you to use the sewing machine; holding it in the right place would be difficult then.

Kerosene oil for oiling

Rubbing alcohol

If you don’t like water or oil spots on your sewing machine then you must try rubbing alcohol. It is so far the most inexpensive solution to clean any chromed material. Also, if you are afraid that after not being used for a long time your sewing machine has a lot of germs on it, then rubbing alcohol can be used to sterilize it.

Tools and equipment to clean a sewing machine

Obviously, you would not be using your hands and fingers to clean a sewing machine. Instead, some brushes and screws are needed. You must collect the following tools.

  • Screwdrivers that come with the sewing machine specifically.
  • One-inch paintbrush. You may get it from a nearby shop.
  • Q-tips to clean the closed areas.
  • Cotton balls.
  • A magnifying glass to have a close look.
  • Replacement bulbs.
  • Small adjustable wrench.
  • Newspaper to place beneath the sewing machine to collect dirt.
  • A flashlight to see the tiny parts clearly.

9 Tips for Cleaning a Sewing Machine

9 tips for how to clean a sewing machine in simple way!

Before we start telling you the steps to clean the sewing machine; it would be better to make you aware of the general cleaning tips to make the process easier for you.

  • Always focus on a single part of your sewing machine while cleaning.
  • Don’t try to open all the parts of your sewing machine all at once; it will make the entire process very messy.
  • Don’t focus on twisting the screwdriver; instead, try to apply force to open the machine faster.
  • You can try the cleaning fluid to loosen the screws, as there must be some dirt stuck between the nuts and holes, so the solvent will help in removing those tiny particles.
  • You must always use a small wrench instead of pliers when opening or closing a sewing machine. Pliers will cut the thin bolts and nails, which will damage the entire setup.
  • Soak the parts of the sewing machine that are tiny and hard to clean.
  • In an electric machine, it would be better to cover the wires with plastic to avoid any inconvenience. Moreover, as some solvents are water-based thus, they can damage the wiring too.
  • Make sure that you have needles of different sizes, so that you can easily clean each part.
  • In some sewing machines, there are red signs, these are the spots to show where the oil should be applied.

10 Easy Steps to Clean a Sewing Machine

You must follow these simple steps to clean your sewing machine, for each type of sewing machine you must first read the manual.

1. Shutt off the machine

In the case of the electric and computerized machine, it is extremely important that the machine is plugged off. Many people think that only turning the on/off switch off would be enough. It is not, as a switched sewing machine is as dangerous as a turned-on one. So from a safety point of view, it is necessary to plug out the sewing machine.

2. Removing the presser foot

You can easily remove the presser foot while following this method;

  • First, raise the presser foot lever.
  • You will see a button near the presser foot lever; press it and the presser foot will come out.

Remember, that for each brand there might be a different method to remove the presser foot. So you must follow the manual too before changing or removing the presser foot.

3. Removing the needle

You will need to remove the needle from the sewing machine to avoid any injury and clean the inside of the sewing machine easily.

At the top of the needle, there is a screw, you need to loosen that needle screw to remove the needle.

4. Removing the throat needle plate

It is very easy to remove the plate. It is the metal plate covering the top of the bobbin area beneath the needle. In some machines, these plates are a bit harder to remove, as they have been fixed with screws. While in some it is easier as you only need to slide it a bit.

5. Taking out the bobbin case

Regardless of what type of bobbin loader the machine has, you can easily take out the bobbin holder case. You might have taken it out when threading the sewing machine, if it is your first time, then you must read the article about how to thread the sewing machine.

Once you have taken out the bobbin case, take a small brush and start cleaning the dust from the sewing machine.

6. Use a vacuum

7. Get the cotton balls and rubbing alcohol

To remove any types of germs and spots from the outer body you will need some drops of rubbing alcohol. Dip the cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and wipe the entire outer body of your sewing machine.

8. Remove the head of the machine

It is the hardest part when cleaning a sewing machine. In some cases, you will need to call some professionals to take it off. If you cannot understand the process to open it up, then leave it. It is better to wait for some cleaning expert instead of ruining your machine.

In a mechanical sewing machine, there are some special screws, try to find a suitable screwdriver to unscrew them, and viola! You can easily remove the head.

Remember, that the only reason to remove the head is to oil and clean the sewing machine. For most of the part, it is oiling.

9. Take the oil dropper

You need a special oil dropper to drop only the necessary amount of oil. Don’t splurge, and make the machine unworkable.

Also, apply a few drops of oils to the bobbin. Remember to only put oil on the parts that are non-electrical.

10. Reassembling the sewing machine

The last step would be putting the machine together. You should follow the manual to put all the parts back in place.

For the needle, you need to put the needle screw back in place, and for the presser foot, there is also a button to place it again in the shank. Once you have reset the machine, turn it on and check if it is working fine.

Final Words

Cleaning your sewing machine seems like a very easy task, well it is easy for those who understand all the details and parts of the sewing machine. Someone, who does not know all these details might destroy the machine; thus, learning about the important steps to clean a sewing machine is important.

For a mechanical and classical machine, you must follow all the above-discussed steps. However, for a computerized machine, you can skip the oiling step.

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I did my bachelor's in journalism and English literature from the University of Punjab, and now I am going to start my master's in the English language, I love to write and I have written a great deal since 2016.