How To Oil A Sewing Machine?

If you work with a sewing machine that doesn’t work well, you surely know how frustrating it could be. We all expect smooth and uninterrupted performance from even the best sewing machine in the market, and this can only be done if it is well lubricated. The cleaning and oiling of a sewing machine are needed, no matter how high the sewing machine’s quality. If you ignore its regular maintenance, it won’t last long.If you want to ensure your sewing machine’s proper working and performance, make sure all of its parts are well-lubricated and cleaned. Think if you have a ten-year-old machine that has never been oiled or got service, the chances of it not working correctly are way much higher, and the reason is that the parts would’ve been dried out and gotten hard. Many novice sewers fail to understand how to oil a sewing machine to keep the parts well-lubricated, and this is the reason why we’ve come up with this article to help you understand more clearly and correctly about the sewing machine oiling process.

Steps to oil a sewing machine

It is required that you consider a few things before you begin the oiling process. Before you start to research about the oil, you plan to use as an oiling agent for your sewing machines, determine all the steps you need to take before you get your sewing machine ready for lubrication. You must clean the sewing machine and get all the tools and equipment you’d need to oil the machine. The most important thing you must not miss is that you consult your sewing machine’s guide and manual as different models come with different oiling processes. Still, here we have mentioned the necessary steps used in almost all the sewing machines. Do not miss reading any warnings or instructions given for your sewing machines; or otherwise, you may end up damaging it. In case you have lost your user manual, then take online help from the manufacturer’s website.Now we’ll start with the step by step process of oiling a sewing machine:

Step 1: Gather the right equipment and tools

The first step requires you to gather all the materials you would require to clean and oil the machine. To clean the sewing machine, you need to use stiff brushes like toothbrush, soft fabrics, and dust cleaners. Make sure to reach the small spaces inside the machine without doing any damage, which is why these items are a good pick. If you want to lubricate nicely, we suggest using the sewing machine oil recommended by the manufacturer or the one with petroleum products in it.

Step 2: Cleaning of the sewing machine

The second step towards oiling the sewing machine is cleaning it. If you don’t clean the machine before you oil it, there is no point in lubricating it as all the dust will be trapped in the machine parts, resulting in more significant damage.To clean the machine, the first thing you must do is remove the additional parts to not become a hindrance in the process. First, you need to disconnect your machine from the power source and then remove the needle, excess thread, stitching plate, and hooks. You will then use a can of compressed air to blow away dust and lint from inside your sewing machine. There is a need to remove all the dirt and small debris pieces as they might get mixed with oil and stay behind. So when you use air to blow away dirt, make sure to keep the can at a distance of about 15 cm from the machine if you want to keep it clean. 

Step 3: Lubrication and oiling

Now once all the cleaning of the sewing machine is done, the next step for which you took all the pains is to oil the machine. So when you start by applying oil to your sewing machine, always ensure that you reach out to every corner and part of it. In case the oil is used in excessive quantity, it may slow down the machine components and make it challenging to sew efficiently. Pour a few drops of sewing machine oil into all the moving parts of the machine because you may not know which parts of the machine must be lubricated, and nothing gets left out. If a part gets rubbed against another machine part while the sewing machine is working, it must get lubricated. Just in case you drop more oil than the required quantity, then wipe it with cloth very carefully and gently. Do not forget to put a few drops of oil inside your machine’s hook race so that its shuttle can be oiled well. You can identify this part by looking for something that is round and allows the machine’s bobbin hook to fit in one place. Once the area is well lubricated, the small parts won’t rub against each other, and the machine won’t wear out quickly.

Tips and warning to consider before oiling a sewing machine

    • Few newer models of sewing machines do not require oiling and are self-lubricating. So check whether the model you have needs oiling or not.
    • Do not forget to disconnect the machine before you start the oiling process or it.
    • Consider oil with extra cautions while selecting because some oils are a big ‘NO’ to use for a lubricating sewing machine.
    • Never use oils like – Motor oil, alcohol cleaners, all-purpose grease, petroleum jelly, waxes, or automotive lubricants
    • If you are unsure how to oil a sewing machine, consider the user manual and follow the instructions.
    • Disassemble only a few parts of your machine because if you disassemble all at once, the process to reassemble them will be much more complicated.
    • Regularly lubricate and clean your machine to ensure continuous performance.


If you want to increase your sewing machine’s life with its efficient operation, then oil and clean it regularly. Never forget to use only the oils recommended for sewing machines and do not use anything apart from them; otherwise, you may end up destroying the machine. We hope you can now understand how you can oil a sewing machine with all the necessary things you must remember. The process is not too complicated, and if you do it correctly, you will be successful in lubricating your sewing machine in the right way.