Great globs of thread, Batman! Is it time to clean the sewing machine again? Around here, it’s always time to clean the sewing machine. But… I LOVE THAT CHORE!
Years ago, when I started sewing, I had no idea how often I should clean out my machine and to be really honest about it: the thought terrified me! I was so worried that I would screw something up when I opened up the machine to clean it. It didn’t take me long to realize that it’s not scary at all. News flash: it is actually very easy!
In fact, these days I clean it probably more than ever. I find it satisfying to unscrew the needle plate, take a peek inside, and then pull out a chunk or two of fuzz. (Let’s be honest. Most likely, there’s way more than two!) Sometimes I even take pictures of the pile of fuzz I removed from the machine to share with my quilting friends. They get it. We all EWWW! and ahh together. (Dr. Pimple Popper ain’t got nothin’ on my fuzz pile.)
How Often Should You Clean Your Machine?
Each brand of sewing machine comes with different guidelines. Some say to clean the machine after each project. Some say after 3-5 bobbins. Some machines come with instructions on how to oil the machine. Some machines do not need to be oiled. So, please, refer to your owner’s manual on how often to clean it out and whether or not you should oil the machine. If you don’t have a manual, reach out to a local sewing machine repair shop. They can also advise you on how often to have your machine serviced, as well.
Does Thread Matter?
I have found that certain brands of thread require me to clean my machine more often. If you are using 100% cotton thread, you will have more lint. Don’t let that scare you away from cotton thread, though! There is no right or wrong thread to use! I use cotton thread frequently. I just have to remember to clean out the bobbin area more often.
How To Clean Your Machine
Again, each machine is different and it is difficult to tell you exactly how to clean your machine. A general rule-of-thumb is to take out your bobbin, as well as your bobbin case. Use a small brush to clean the area. You can also unscrew your needle plate and dust under there, as well.
5 Things to Remember:
- Never try to move anything inside the machine. Just dust around the parts.
- Instructions always say to power off your machine when cleaning it. I never do this. (Shhh. Don’t tell the sewing machine police!) I really need the light from the sewing machine to see down into the bobbin area. If I power the machine off, I wouldn’t have a light, of course. I simply just remove the needle and the foot. Then I do not need to worry about accidental injury.
- Never use canned air to blow the dust out of your machine. This is a terrible idea because most likely, the dust will not leave the machine, but rather get blown further into the machine and into the gears and motor.
- Consider checking the Youtube page of your sewing machine manufacturer for more information on properly caring for your machine. There are so many variations on this, that is is simply best to research your specific machine.
- I promise, after a good cleaning, your sewing machine will run better, smoother, and quieter. It is worth the time to clean it. Plus you will get simultaneously grossed out by and completely satisfied each time you pull a clump of fuzz out of that bobbin area.! Have fun!
‘Til next time,