Home Maintenance Sewing Machine Maintenance [UPDATED]

Sewing Machine Maintenance [UPDATED]

by SewingPartsOnline


Want to make sure you get the most out of your sewing machine over the years? Keeping it regularly maintained and cleaned is critically important. Most sewing machines are delicate and complex. As long as you treat your sewing machine with respect and some TLC, you should be able to enjoy many years with it in your crafting life.

Basic sewing machine maintenance comes down to three parts:

1. Preventing Dust

2. Cleaning

3. Deep Cleaning

Keep on reading to learn more…


Always cover your sewing machine with a case when it is not being used. You can easily purchase one from our website here: CLICK HERE

Not only does covering your machine prevent dust build-up, but it keeps your sewing area looking neat and tidy. A cover also discourages children or other individuals to think of your sewing machine as a toy.

If your sewing machine did not come with a case, you can always sew one to reflect your personality and style. Here are a few ideas from our Pinterest board for different sewing machine cover ideas.


The following items are needed for cleaning:

  • Lint Brush (this normally comes with the sewing machine, but you can purchase one here: CLICK HERE).

  • Screwdriver (this normally comes with the sewing machine, but you can purchase one here: CLICK HERE) or a small flat head screwdriver.

  • Small Paint Brush (this is only needed if a lint brush is not found).

How to clean your sewing machine:

Always refer to your sewing machine manual before getting started. Every machine is different. Some of the tips mentioned below may or may not apply to your machine.

A dirty sewing machine will lead to thread nests and messed up stitches. Completing the following should help eliminate those problems:

  • Unplug the sewing machine from the wall.

  • Remove any thread from the top spool.

  • Remove the needle from the sewing machine. (You should replace needles often to avoid any problems that a dull needle can cause.)

  • Use the screwdriver to remove the cover plate and the needle plate.

  • Remove the bobbin case.

Mantainance of a sewing machine

  • Take time to dust everything that you opened with the lint brush/paint brush. Do not use a pressurized can of air as that can add moisture to the machine, which can lead to a collection of lint.

Generally, you should dust and clean the below items every few projects (roughly 15-20 sewing hours). Keep in mind that if you use materials like velvet or terry cloth that might shed, you should dust twice as often.

  • Under the needle plate (you may need a screwdriver for this)

  • Under the bobbin case

  • Under the feed dogs

How to oil your sewing machine:

  • Always follow the instructions found in your manual for direction and frequency of oiling. Also, make sure to use “sewing machine oil“. Keep in mind that some sewing machines are self-lubricating and will not need oil.

  • When oiling the bobbin case: lubricate the bottom of the bobbin case using only one to two drops of oil.

  • When oiling under the needle plate: use your manual for a diagram of which parts to oil. Once complete, turn the rotary hook system a few times by hand to disperse the oil throughout.

  • It is recommended to sew on a piece of scrap paper before you begin your next project so there is no excess oil that transfers onto and ruins your fabric.


It is recommended to take your sewing machine to a professional every so often to get it thoroughly cleaned and oiled. The sewing technician will also inspect internal parts like the sewing belt and critical parts that sometimes need to be replaced.

If you use your sewing machine a lot, we suggest taking it in every year. If you only sew a few projects every once in a while, every three to four years should be sufficient. Above all else, make sure you find an expert that you trust and try to stick with that location for future maintenance.

If you have any questions about sewing machine maintenance or repairs, our customer service team should be able to get an answer from our in-house repair tech expert. Feel free to call us at 888-824-1192.

Otherwise, search online to find a local sewing shop or ask your friends or sewing community for a recommendation. Reading online reviews is also very helpful in finding a trustworthy expert.


Don’t use low-quality thread.

Not only does using low-quality thread create lint and is bad for your machine, it won’t hold up as well as high-quality thread in your projects. Low-quality thread is already frayed, so expecting it to hold up well going through your sewing machine is a joke.

We also recommend avoiding the use of waxed or glazed thread, even if the thread says that it is sewing machine-safe. You just never know what could break your beloved sewing machine. It’s better not to tempt the odds.

Change your needle frequently.

It is a safe estimate to change your needle after every eight to ten hours of sewing work. If you don’t keep track of that, you can also simply change out your needle every time you start a new project. Your needle does a lot of work and it is easy to overlook the wear and tear it takes after a project is complete.

Choose the right needle.

Another critical step to keep your sewing machine running smoothly is using the right needle for your project. There are different needles for different weights of fabric. Not sure if you have the right one? Check out our needle selection poster guide here: CLICK HERE

For more helpful information about sewing maintenance and more blogs, tips and tutorials, please check back for further updates or stay connected on our social media platforms, where we will announce the posting of news, blogs, and tutorials.


Sharon Willbanks December 3, 2020 - 9:16 am

Your site has been a great resource. I have my Mother’s Singer Slant-O-Matic 401A and you have parts for it that I needed to replace. Found a video about cleaning and lubricating it – took it all apart and cleaned well, greased and oiled it. Runs like a fine watch again. I’ve had a computerized machine several years ago and during a lightning storm, the board was fried. It was not worth repairing so I bounced around machines and decided to refurb the old workhorse. Better decision I am not sure I ever made. Everything works like a champ. Amazing how quiet it is compared to other ones I’ve had.

CustomerService December 3, 2020 - 9:34 am

Thank you for your kind words!

It is wonderful when you find a machine that you can count on!

angie July 18, 2020 - 5:46 am

Do you have a video in Spanish on how to use the Genome 7330?

CustomerService January 8, 2021 - 1:02 pm

Hello, Angie. I apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, we do not have a video in Spanish on that machine. I hope you were able to locate a video!

Devereux j Batroot December 3, 2019 - 2:49 pm

need videos on how to use machine sewing with singer curvy 8753 model

CustomerService December 5, 2019 - 7:44 am

Hello Devereux!

I am sorry, but we do not offer the requested video. I suggest contacting the manufacturer, Singer.

Phyllis D. Jackson November 18, 2019 - 2:33 pm

Absolutely informative and helpful. I like old machines. I have 3 , all are over 30 to 40 years, and I keep them in good shape.

CustomerService November 21, 2019 - 10:33 am

Hello Phyllis! That is wonderful! We are happy to hear you are finding the information helpful.

debbie shuler September 25, 2019 - 8:18 pm

i have a computerized singer machine, is it safe to use a magnetic seam guide on it

CustomerService September 27, 2019 - 9:22 am

Hello Debbie! I have heard conflicting information. Some have stated that you should not use it; whereas, others have stated that it will not harm anything. I would contact the manufacturer of your machine and they can tell you if it will do any damage.

debbie shuler September 25, 2019 - 8:15 pm

does the feed dog teeth ever get dull

CustomerService September 27, 2019 - 9:12 am

Hello Debbie!
They sure can. Please contact us with your make and model of your machine and we will be happy to see if we have a replacement available.

Reba Dominguez January 27, 2019 - 10:40 am

These tips are wonderful. I have a Viking 350 that I really love, and I want to keep it running well for years. And now since I found your company I’m sure I will.

Nancy Veal January 24, 2019 - 6:34 pm

I have found that I can remember to dust and clean the bobbin area each time I have to replace the bobbin.


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