How to Oil A Sewing Machine (Clean And Lubricate)

Billy C. Williams
Oiling a sewing machine is an essential part of its maintenance, helping to keep it running like new for years. However, many people are unsure about how to oil their machines properly. Keep on reading to learn how to clean and lubricate a sewing machine.

Sewing machines are essential tools for anyone who loves to sew. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, your sewing machine needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. One of the most important things you can do for your machine is oiling it properly. But not everyone knows how to oil a sewing machine, let alone clean and lubricate it. Read on to get all the information you need to keep your sewing machine tip-top shape.

Table Of Contents

How Does Oil Work for Your Sewing Machine?

Sewing machine oil is specifically formulated to lubricate the moving parts of your device. The main purpose of oiling your sewing machine is to reduce friction between the metal parts, preventing them from wearing down quickly and causing damage.

Sewing machine oils are made with different types of base oils, like petroleum-based or mineral-based ones. Some synthetic oils offer better protection against corrosion and higher operating temperatures. These different fats have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you need.

When applied properly, a thin layer of oil will coat the moving parts, reducing friction and improving efficiency while using less power overall. Proper lubrication prolongs the life cycle of your sewing machine by protecting it from wear and tear caused by prolonged use without any maintenance.

What Formulates the Sewing Machine Oil?

The oil used for sewing machines is specially formulated to lubricate the intricate moving parts of the machine. The formulation typically consists of either petroleum, mineral, or synthetic oils.

  1. Petroleum-based oils are commonly used and have been trusted by sewers for a long time. However, they tend to leave stains on fabrics if not applied carefully. Additionally, they can emit fumes that may be harmful when inhaled.
  2. Mineral oil is another popular option due to its high viscosity and ability to withstand heat without breaking down. It's also colorless and odorless compared to petroleum-based oils, but it can still stain fabrics if over-applied.
  3. Synthetic oils are made from artificial materials explicitly designed for lubrication purposes. They are usually preferred because they don't produce unpleasant odors or harm fabric quality like petroleum-based options do.

How to Oil a Sewing Machine?

Oiling your sewing machine is an important part of its maintenance. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Unplug the Machine- Before starting, make sure the machine is unplugged. This ensures that it's safe to work on.
  2. Clean the Machine - ensure no lint or dust is inside the bobbin area and around the feed dogs.
  3. Apply Oil to Specific Points - Dab small drops of oil on specific points like moving parts of bobbins or shuttle race around which they spin.
  4. Wipe off Excess Oils – Use a clean cloth to remove excess oils from each part since too much can cause buildup and attract more dirt over time.
  5. Run The Machine - Turn on the machine without any fabric and check if any abnormal noise is coming from it before starting with an actual project.

What Happens If I Don’t Oil My Sewing Machine?

Regularly oiling your sewing machine is an essential part of its maintenance. If you neglect this task, your machine will slow down and eventually break down.

How to Clean Sewing Machine Oil?

Cleaning sewing machine oil is an essential part of maintaining your machine. You don't want to end up with a sticky mess that ruins your fabric or jams the machine. Here are some tips for cleaning sewing machine oil effectively.

Step 1: Use a lint-free cloth to remove excess oil from the machine's surface. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where dirt can accumulate.

Step 2: Use a small brush or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to scrub away any stubborn spots or stains caused by the oil. It will help dissolve any remaining residue and prevent it from hardening.

Step 3: Make sure you dry the machine thoroughly before using it again. Leaving any moisture behind can cause rusting, which could damage your precious tool over time.

Step 4: Always clean sewing machines according to the manufacturer's instructions so as not to cause damage

How Often Should I Oil a Sewing Machine?

Properly oiling your sewing machine is crucial to ensure it runs smoothly and lasts long. However, how often you should oil your sewing machine is not simple, as it depends on several factors.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your sewing machine running smoothly. Don't wait until something goes wrong before taking care of it - keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance tasks like oiling and replacing needles as needed.

How to Oil a Singer Sewing Machine?

Singer sewing machines are one of the most popular brands today. If you own a Singer sewing machine, it's important to know how to oil it properly to ensure its longevity and smooth operation.

Step 1: Gather all the necessary tools, such as a lint-free cloth and high-quality sewing machine oil. Avoid using household oils like vegetable or olive oils that can cause damage to your machine.

Step 2: Before starting, unplug your Singer sewing machine from the outlet and remove any visible dust or debris with a clean cloth.

Step 3Locate all the points you need to apply oil according to your manual instructions.

Step 4: Using only a small amount of oil at each point is crucial, as too much can result in clogging or dripping onto fabric during use.

Step 6: Wipe away any excess residue before plugging back into an electrical source.


Oiling your sewing machine regularly is an important step that should not be neglected. It helps to ensure that the components function properly and prevents them from becoming worn out or damaged due to poor lubrication. With just a few steps, you can oil a sewing machine quickly and easily, preventing further wear and tear on expensive parts.  

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