The goal of every sewist is to have a hitch-free experience with their sewing machine, which is why you would usually see them perform routine maintenance on them quite often.
Maintenance is done in various ways, but applying oil to the sewing machine is the most common and effective.
This task is all-encompassing as it requires initial cleaning of the machine in most cases.
The process of lubricating a machine is straightforward, but what usually gives sewists the most concerns is what part of the sewing machine should be avoided when oiling, and that is quite understandable. I get that not everybody is an expert, and that is why I have taken my time in this blog to write about what parts of the machine to oil and which ones to be left out.
What is machine oil?
Machine oil is a chemical fluid that is designed to lubricate the moving parts as well as to protect the metal surfaces of a sewing machine. Sewing machine oil can be made from a wide range of chemical options.
It can be made from petrochemical extracts like petroleum oil or a natural substitute chemical like low-viscosity hydro-treated paraffinic oil. The primary aim of machine oil is to protect the moving part of a machine or the threaded part from unnecessary friction and help reduce the machine’s noise.
What part of the sewing machine must be avoided when oiling?
Majorly the parts you should avoid when oiling your sewing machine are the bobbin, plate, needle, and presser foot. This is not because they are likely to get damaged but because oiling them will cause stains on your future project.
How do you clean and oil a sewing machine?
Like I said earlier, most of the time, before applying oil, you may have to first of all clean dirt from the sewing machine. This section will provide you with details on how to do it.
1. Getting the sewing machine ready for oiling
Before you start to clean or oil your sewing machine, you must check the instruction manual for accurate information regarding these two tasks because cleaning or oiling may differ from brand to brand. While some indicate the specific spot to drop oil with a red mark, others indicate the spot with the use of the picture.
If you can not find the instruction manual in your sewing machine package, you can get it from the manufacturer’s website: some will even offer you a download link.
Alternatively, you can call the manufacturer for the instruction; just get the model, serial number, and sewing machine name ready.
2. Move slowly
The best way to apply sewing machine oil is going small drops at a time. Please do not flood the machine with too much oil at a time; it does not need it. Go bit by bit and make sure that while you work, you place a paper under the machine.
- Go from one small area to another, applying the oil piece by piece. The manual will help a lot in this regard as they contain drawings to help you better understand the various parts of the machine better.
- Go back to the instruction manual and disassemble the parts accordingly and start cleaning each piece, brushing and lubricating each area.
- After you are done with each area. Then couple the pieces before moving on to another
3. Get the machine ready for cleaning
Note that the order in which this aspect is arranged does not matter because cleaning is typically done before oiling. Switch it off before you start cleaning and have it unplugged from the socket if it is an electronic machine.
Remove all machine parts that may stand in your way while cleaning: remove the bobbin case, presser foot, plate thread, machine needle, bobbin hook, and stitch plate.
4. Cleaning the machine
- Brush away lint or dirt from the sewing machine component using a stiff lint brush. This cleaning tool should come with your machine, so look for it in your sewing machine package.
- If you notice any lint that seems kind of hard to remove because they have become compacted, remove them with tweezers.
- If there is lint on the bobbin hook, clean them with a soft cloth, or you can also use pipe cleaners or clean it with mascara brushes.
- You can also clean your sewing machine components with compressed air, but you must be careful with the pressure level so that the air will not push the lint deeper into the component.
5. Oiling the machine
- The first thing is to get your sewing machine oil at a sewing or fabric shop. Make sure to use or buy the machine oil prescribed by the maker of your sewing machine. You may be fortunate enough to find sewing machine oil in your machine package if not, just tell the sales representative of the fabric shop the kind of oil you are looking for.
- Put a few oil droplets on the sewing machine part you wish to clean. You will be better informed about these parts in the later section of this article.
- If you have applied too much oil, wipe them away. To do this, try to sew scrap pieces of cloth on your sewing machine and clean the exterior with a towel damp in soapy water.
- Before you start using the sewing machine for a new project, run fabric pieces on the machine. If the fabric seems oily, it means some excess oil remains; clean as suggested earlier, and continue the process until the machine is rid of excess oil.
What part of the sewing machine should you apply oil to?
Most sewing machine makers would recommend applying oil to the shuttle hook. But the bobbin area and the cylinder of your sewing machine will also benefit from oiling them.
Should you oil the internal part of a sewing machine?
Yes, you can oil the internal part of a sewing machine. Oiling the sewing machine’s internal components is an excellent thing to do.
This will enable the sewing machine to sew more evenly as the internal parts will able to move more freely without any friction.