Has your sewing machine been acting rude?
Is she causing your thread to break, bunch or nest? Is she being loud and unruly?
Well... It may be time for a quick cleaning.
I had a few minutes this morning, so I decided to give my machine a little cleaning. When my machine starts to run a little wonky, I clean her innards and she's good to go!
I keep a few swabs stashed with my sewing notions so they're always handy when I need them.
Start by turning off your machine. Sounds silly, but you don't want to lose a finger or ruin your nails. ;)
Take your needle out. I do this to make the process easier. I can get into the area without worrying about a poke from the needle. I turn the tiny black knob a couple times and the needle drops down easily. Set it aside, don't lose it!
Remove the foot and set it aside. My machine has an easy button in back that drops the foot. You may have to unscrew the foot to remove yours. Check your manual if you are not sure.
Remove the bobbin cover and pull out your bobbin. My machine has a drop in bobbin, you might have a different setup. Check your manual if needed.
Set the cover aside as well. If you have a small dish, it's nice to stick all the parts inside so they are kept together, out of the way.
Now we're going to slide off the flat bed attachment if you have one. Easy peasy so far, right?
Yikes!! Look at all those fibers on the table. I made a pair of tweed pants and they left tiny fibers everywhere. I can't wait to see what's hiding inside my machine.
Remove the needle plate cover. This slides out towards you easily, be gentle though. Set aside or in the dish with everything else.
Are you still with me? Hope so!
Here's where it gets fun.
Remove the bobbin case by pulling it out.
Note the tiny white triangle on yours. Keep that in mind when we are putting everything back together. Set inside the dish.
Now it's time to go to town! Grab a cotton swab and look inside. Do you see little dust bunnies? You may or may not. I start by swirling the swab in the race (area where the bobbin case lives) first.
But, you can start anywhere. There's no science to it, but I try to be gentle. Don't jab it around in a stabbing motion, just slide and twirl it, gathering fibers and rogue strings. It's almost therapeutic.
Take your time, hand crank the hand wheel. It turns the race so you can get hidden debris.
I do not use canned air. I only use cotton swabs.
However, if you're lucky enough to have those tiny attachments that came with your vacuum cleaner, by all means... get that sucker out and use it! Literally.
When you're all done, your swabs might look like mine below, give yourself a pat on the back. You've just done a nice thing for your machine. She will thank you and run better.
This may not look like a lot of lint. But, I assure you, it is. The machine I cleaned today is a newer machine and the manual says they are oiled for life. So, I do not add oil.
My vintage machines would get a drop of oil at this point.
Okay, let's get your machine put back together so you can use her again.
Find your tiny white triangle on the bobbin case. Match it up with the tiny white dot next to your screw. Pop the case inside matching these 2 together. You may have to finagle it to get them matched up.
Slide the needle plate cover back into place.
Stay with me. We're almost done. I'm hopeful at this point, you're saying to yourself.. "This was easy!"
Side note: don't mind my broken thumb nail. #Sewinghappens.
Slide the bobbin cover back on.
Add your presser foot and insert your needle.
You're back in sewing business!!
If you have any parts leftover, that is not good. Take a deep breath, drink of coffee and retrace your steps.
This is my list of sewing things I use everyday.
I clean my machines whenever I notice them having little issues. This simple task will make your machine perk up and run more smoothly.
You should also take the machine into a reputable sewing shop for a cleaning once a year. They take the whole thing apart and fix any issues. I do my part by getting the dust out. Haha
Let's take another look at the dusty, yucky cotton swabs. Yikes!! Don't forget to toss those dusty swabs in the trash.
Thanks for hanging out and cleaning with me. Did you time yourself? How long did it take you to clean your machine. Tell me in the comments, below.
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Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.