How To Oil A Sewing Machine

If you want to keep your sewing machine running smoothly, it’s essential to oil it regularly. Oiling a sewing machine isn’t as difficult or complicated as it may seem — all you need are the right tools and supplies, and a bit of patience. In this blog post, we will explain the steps required to properly oil any type of sewing machine.

prepare the sewing machine for oiling

It is important to prepare the sewing machine before beginning to oil it:

1. Read the Instructional Manual

sewing machine instructional manual

Every sewing machine brand is different, so it’s important to read the manual that came with your machine to understand how to clean and oil it.

Take some time to study the instructional manual drawings, so you know the function and name of each part.

If you do not have a copy of the instructional manual for your sewing machine, you should be able to get one on the manufacturer’s website.

Many manufacturers provide digital copies of the manual which can be downloaded or printed for easy reference.

Or, you can call the manufacturer and ask for a copy, or contact a local dealer for a manual. Knowing the make, model, and serial number of your machine is usually necessary to get the correct manual.

2. Disassemble Parts

sewing machine parts

If you need to do any oiling, you’ll need to take apart the small parts of the machine piece-by-piece, following the instructions in your manual.

3. Add the oil slowly

oiling a sewing machine slowly

You don’t need to use much oil when oiling your machine. Start by adding a small amount of oil and then see how it works. If you need more, add a few more drops. It’s also important to place a piece of newspaper under the machine while oiling it.

4. Prepare the Machine for Cleaning

Prepare the sewing machine for cleaning

Turn off the machine and unplug it, then remove all the extra pieces that will get in the way of a thorough cleaning. This includes thread, bobbin cases, plates, and the presser foot.

How to clean a sewing machine

By following these steps, you can make sure your sewing machine is clean and ready for oiling.

1. Use a stiff lint brush

small stiff lint brush

Use a small, stiff lint brush to brush away lint from each part of the machine. If there are pieces of lint that are hard to sweep away, use tweezers to remove them.

2. Use a can of compressed air

sewing machine compressed air can

Using a can of compressed air to clean parts of the sewing machine is a great way to get rid of dust and lint.

Yet, it is important to pay attention to caution when using compressed air. Hold the nozzle about 4 inches (10.2 cm) away from the machine part, and spray air into the machine at an angle so that the lint is blown out instead of into it. 

Following these precautions will ensure that your machine is clean and well-maintained.

Oiling the sewing machine

When you buy the right sewing machine for your needs, you should be oiling it regularly. To be always the best.

1. Buy a Sewing Machine Oil

sewing machine oil

Be sure to buy the right oil for your machine, it must be specifically for sewing machines and not car oil or household oil. You can find this at any sewing and fabric shop. Do not use car oil or WD-40 as it won’t be effective.

2. Add Drops of Oil

oiling a sewing machine

Drop 1-2 drops of oil into each part of the machine as instructed by your owner’s manual.

Generally, you will be told to place drops of oil on the housing unit for the bobbin case and on the shuttle hook and its housing.

Be sure not to put any oil on the needle, bobbin, presser foot, or plate as this could stain your fabric.

3. Wipe Away Excess Oil

wipe  away excess oil on the sewing machine

If you notice any oil on the presser foot or plate, needle, or bobbin, use a cloth to wipe away the excess oil. Otherwise, it could end up on your fabric and thread.

4. Test Your Machine

Once you’re done oiling your machine, it’s a good idea to do a few stitches on a piece of fabric before you start your project. This will help ensure any excess oil has been removed from the machine.


Now that we have outlined the steps to cleaning and oiling a sewing machine, you should be ready to get started. Before beginning, make sure to consult your sewing machine’s manual for any specific instructions.

Once you’ve done that, let us know how it went! We’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips or tricks you may have come across while working on your sewing machine.

Allen Miller

Allen Miller is the main author of Stitching Elite. He’s a whiz with a needle and thread. He spends his time reading, playing football, and writing. You can find more about him here.

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