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Sewing Machine Cleaning And Maintenance

December 23, 2014

A household sewing machine as used by most of us should sew perfectly for more than 20 years if it is given proper care. Many times people consider their sewing machine to be worn out and don’t use or use it very little, when in reality nothing more is needed than a thorough cleaning, oiling and minor adjustments. There maybe times when a part of your sewing machine need to be replace and adjustments, but a best sewing machine that is cleaned regularly and is given good maintenance seldom actually “wears out.”

Cleaning Your Sewing Machine

Many of the problems that start with the sewing machines are often caused from allowing dust, thread, lint or oil to collect on the working parts of the machine. In times, these dust and thread particles accumulated in your sewing machine can become soaked with oil and interfere with the proper operation of the sewing machine, making it run hard.
Often times, when this dust and gummy impurities are removed, the sewing machine starts working freely without making any adjustment.

A daily brushing of dirt, lint and threads is a good preventive maintenance. Use the nylon lint brush that comes with
most sewing machines. If you don’t have a nylon lint brush, use a narrow paint brush for fast cleaning. Whenever you need to change bobbin thread, give the bobbin area a quick cleaning. Remove any thread that are wound up around the hook shaft. On many sewing machines, the hook assembly can be removed for thorough cleaning. Place a drop of oil on the exterior perimeter of the hook and the bobbin race to lubricate if after cleaning.

Sewing Machine Maintenance Checklist

The following checklist will help you maintain and keep your sewing machine run smoothly for many years.

  • Check your sewing machine is being lubricated regularly
    • Oil levels should be checked on regular basis and if required additional oil should be added
    • A good quality machine oil should be used that does not stain quickly
  • Check your sewing machine is kept clean
    • Sewing machine should be blown off every day to remove dust and lint
    • If you have lock stitch machine, the hook should be blown off to prevent dirt and lint from building up in the oil ports
  • Check your sewing machine for wear on critical moving parts
    • Check for shake in needle bar due to worn needle bar bushings
    • Check for excessive movement in stitch forming devices
  • Check your sewing machine needle, if it is damage replace it immediately. Always use correct size and type of needle. If you are sewing light weight fabrics use finest needle.
  • Store you thread properly and make sure that they are not contaminated with dirt
  • Sewing machine thread tensions should be as light as possible. Generally the more of the tension post that is visible, the more tension that is being applied to thread. Check the condition of the tension discs, take-up spring, etc
  • Presser Foot
    • Always maintain correct relationship between needle hole size and needle size, the needle should have sufficient clearance.
    • Check there is no damage in needle hole
    • Check for proper pressure both in front and in back of the needle
    • With the foot flat on the needle plate, you should not be able to insert a thin piece of paper between the foot and the needle plate from the front or back side of the needle
    • Check presser foot for excessive wear causing side-to-side play

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