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A Quick Guide to Sewing Machine Maintenance

After spending the time and energy into finding that perfect sewing machine— ensuring its longevity and optimal performance becomes a priority. Just as a well-tuned instrument produces beautiful melodies, a well-maintained sewing machine is the key to making flawless stitches and turning your sewing space into a haven of creativity. In this guide, we'll share essential steps of at-home sewing machine maintenance.

Maintain a Regular Cleaning Routine

Just like any tool, your sewing machine requires regular tidying to keep it in top-notch shape. You can decide to do this weekly or after you finish a project, just make sure you have a regular cadence so that it’s not too long in between each cleaning. When cleaning your machine, remove lint, dust, and stray threads from the bobbin area, feed dogs, and thread path. Use a small brush, such as the Microbrush Bendable Applicator,  to gently– do not get too aggressive with the brush as there are small springs that can be dislodged– sweep away any debris. 

Change Your Needle Regularly

One of the simplest yet often overlooked aspects of sewing machine care is changing the needle regularly. Over time, needles can become dull or bent (this is hard to see without a microscope, but trust us, your needle does get dull!), leading to uneven stitches and potential damage to your fabric. Aim to change your needle after every 8-10 hours of sewing or with each new project. Our favorite needles for quilt piecing are Schmetz Microtex needles

Proper Threading Techniques

Correct threading is crucial for optimal sewing machine performance. Consult your machine's manual for the recommended threading process, and always thread your machine with the presser foot up to ensure proper tension. This small but important step can prevent thread jams and ensure smooth stitching. It’s also important to use the correct weight and type of thread for your sewing machine and project. Test out various thread brands to see which one your machine likes best!

Oiling Your Machine

Check your sewing machine's manual for guidance on oiling. Some machines are self-lubricating and may not require oiling, while others benefit from periodic lubrication. Use only the recommended oil specified by your machine manufacturer and follow the instructions carefully to keep the moving parts working smoothly.

Storage Matters

When not in use, cover your sewing machine to protect it from dust and sunlight. Choose a breathable cover or a hard case, depending on your machine's size and your storage space. You can also make your own! Our favorite is the Under Cover pattern from ByAnnie! Storing your machine properly prolongs its life and keeps it at the ready whenever inspiration strikes.

Taking care of your sewing machine at home will only extend the longevity and reliability of your trusted tool. It’s also important to bring your machine in for regular service. If your machine starts to have a consistent issue, do not self-diagnose. Bring it in for a checkup and we can help! Learn more about our sewing machine repair and servicing team here. If you’re preparing to bring your machine in for service, complete the form here.