No matter what brand or model your machine is, you'll need to frequently clean and oil it to keep it running smoothly and problem-free. Many of the issues you'll face while sewing often stems from having a poorly maintained machine. You can prevent skipped stitches and needle breakage with frequent cleaning and oiling your sewing machine. Changing to a fresh new needle can dramatically change the quality of your stitches.
Here are top tips on caring for your sewing machine!
1- First, turn off your machine and remove all accessories around the stitching area, including the needle, presser foot, stitch plate, and bobbin. If your machine came with a soft brush, remove lint around the feed dogs and bobbin area. If your machine doesn't come with a soft brush, a dollar store make-up brush does the job perfectly.
NOTE: Canned-air is often NOT recommended to remove lint as all it does is push all the lint to the back of the machine where it's harder to reach unless you're a technician that can pry your machine open.
2- If your machine has an automatic thread cutter, use a pair of tweezers to remove any cut thread debris.
3- Dab a small amount of oil into your machine in certain areas. I also like to use a cotton swab to soak up the excess oil.
NOTE: Consult your sewing machine's instructions on where to oil. Every machine is different, and not all openings on your machines are intended to be oiled. If you cannot locate your machine's instruction manual, do a little Google search with your machine's brand and model type.
4- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe off any lint on your machine's housing exterior and dust your work surfaces too.
5- Remember to change your needle often. Regularly changing your needle can dramatically improve your stitch quality. After 6 hours of use, needles tend to dull and bend over extended use. I recommend changing your needles for every new project you start.
It's also the least expensive way of maintenance for your sewing machine, so always keep a spare handy. If your needle breaks and shatters, make sure you collect all the remnant pieces. Any stranded needle bits leftover in the machine may bring you to a trip to the sewing machine doctor. And, speaking of which...
6-Have your machine serviced annually; it's as crucial as getting your car checked and oil changed often. It could take one to two weeks to get your machine back, so bring it in when you're on vacation. You won't miss it if you're not home!
7-Lastly, cover your machine when not in use. Most sewing machines come with a dust cover, and they will be protected from dust and sunlight and perhaps a nosy little pet who likes to snack on thread.
BONUS Tip: This one is from our sewing machine tech from the store. Place your beverage at another table and not on the same table as your sewing machine. That is a disaster just waiting to happen!
All right, friends. I hope now you are better equipped to take care of your sewing machine!
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