Your sewing machine will both run better and last longer if you clean it from time to time. These days, most sewing machines require hefty investments, so keeping it in tip-top shape affords the most use for your money.

How to Clean a Sewing MachineA Few Items You’ll Need

Just like a good mechanic needs tools to fix a car, you’ll need a few tools to clean your sewing machine. Assembling them before you’re ready to get started will save you several extra steps.

You will need a lint brush. A small cosmetics brush will do if you don’t have the lint brush that likely came with your sewing machine. In addition, you will need needles and a soft cloth. The most important tool of all for cleaning your machine is the manual that came with it.

Steps to Clean Your Sewing Machine

While the steps for cleaning a sewing machine may vary, most sewing machine repairmen and operators will agree that the following steps comprise a comprehensive list. Always refer to your manual if you feel something has been omitted.

  1. Don’t do anything at all until you have unplugged your machine.
  1. Remove the needle. This is probably a good time to throw it out, ensuring a new, sharp one after the your machine is clean.
  1. Check your manual for instructions on how to safely remove the needle plate and the presser foot.
  1. The manual will also instruct you how to remove both the bobbin and the bobbin case.
  1. Using your lint or cosmetics brush (you may also opt for canned air), clean the lint from all of these pieces you’ve removed from your machine.
  1. Set your cleaned parts aside, and brush away any lint that has collected under the feed dogs and in the race area. Do so very carefully so as not to jam the debris further down inside your machine.
  1. Open the side cover of your machine and swab out with a Q-tip, or something equivalent, the thread paths. This step also serves to clean out the tension discs.
  1. Clean the exterior of your machine with a clean cloth. You may use some white vinegar diluted with water if you feel more than simply dusting off the machine is necessary. Dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water. Dip the cloth in the solution, and then wring it out. Wipe the machine gently with the damp cloth.
  1. Before replacing any of the parts you removed, plug in and turn on your machine. Run it for a few seconds.
  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it again. Replace all of the parts.

How to Clean a Sewing Machine

While cleaning your sewing machine certainly isn’t part of your usual housecleaning plan, it is one of those housecleaning duties that must be done on occasion. Obviously the more you use your sewing machine, the more often you should clean it.