How to Oil a Sewing Machine with Simple Steps

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A sewing machine is a valuable tool for anyone who enjoys sewing, whether for fun or for work. Regular maintenance is essential to keep it running smoothly, and one of the most critical parts of this maintenance is oiling the machine. In this post, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to oil your sewing machine properly.

Why Oil Your Sewing Machine?

How to Oil a Sewing Machine with Simple Steps

Oiling your sewing machine is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it reduces friction between the moving parts, preventing wear and tear and extending the life of your machine. Secondly, it ensures that your machine operates smoothly and quietly. Thirdly, it helps to prevent rust and corrosion by keeping the metal parts lubricated. Finally, regular oiling can help to prevent thread breakage and skipped stitches.

Before You Start Oiling Your Sewing Machine

Before you start oiling your machine, there are a few things you need to do first:

  1. Read the manual: The first thing you need to do is read the manual that came with your sewing machine. It will provide you with specific instructions for your machine and let you know which parts need oiling.
  2. Gather your supplies: You will need a few supplies before you start oiling your machine. These include:
    • Sewing machine oil: Use only oil specifically designed for sewing machines.
    • Lint brush: You’ll need to remove any lint or debris from the machine before oiling.
    • Clean cloth: You’ll need a clean cloth to wipe away any excess oil.
    • Screwdriver: You may need a screwdriver to remove the needle plate or other parts.
    • Gloves: It’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands from getting oily.
  3. Clean your machine: Before you start oiling, you need to clean your machine thoroughly. Use a lint brush to remove any dust or debris from the machine, paying particular attention to the areas around the feed dogs and bobbin case. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris.
How to Oil a Sewing Machine with Simple Steps

How to Oil Your Sewing Machine

Once you’ve prepared your machine, it’s time to oil it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Identify the parts that need oiling: Check your manual to see which parts of your machine require oiling. Typically, these include the hook race, the feed dogs, and the needle bar.
  2. Apply the oil: Apply a few drops of oil to each of the parts that need lubrication. Be sure to use only sewing machine oil, as other types of oil can damage your machine. Apply the oil to the metal parts only, and avoid getting it on any plastic or rubber parts.
  3. Distribute the oil: After you’ve applied the oil, you need to distribute it evenly across the parts. Turn the handwheel slowly to distribute the oil, or run the machine at a slow speed for a few minutes.
  4. Wipe away excess oil: Once you’ve distributed the oil, use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess. Be sure to wipe away any oil that may have dripped onto the fabric or other parts of the machine.
  5. Reassemble the machine: If you removed any parts to access the areas that needed oiling, now is the time to reassemble the machine. Be sure to replace any screws or other parts that you removed.

How Often Should You Oil Your Sewing Machine?

The frequency of oiling your sewing machine depends on how frequently you use it. A good rule of thumb is to oil it after every eight hours of use or once a month, whichever comes first. If you use your machine more frequently, you may need to oil it more often.

How to Oil a Sewing Machine with Simple Steps


Oiling your sewing machine is a simple but essential maintenance task that can help to extend the life of your machine and keep it running smoothly. By following these steps and using the right type of oil, you can keep your machine in top condition for years to come. Remember to always refer to your manual for specific instructions, and if you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for assistance. With proper care and maintenance, your sewing machine can continue to be a valuable tool for your sewing projects.