How to Oil a Sewing Machine? Step-By-Step
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How to Oil a Sewing Machine? Step-By-Step

Follow the instructions below to learn how to oil your sewing machine if you’re unsure how to do it. We’ll go over the fundamental methods used and offer advice on how to get the best outcomes.

  1. Check your owner’s manual
  2. Remove the needle
  3. Remove the needle plate and bobbin case
  4. Clean the feed dogs and bobbin well
  5. Oil the bobbin area
  6. Oil in any other area specified in your manual
  7. Replace any parts you removed
  8. Wipe down your machine

A sewing machine is a fairly complex device that requires good maintenance to ensure smooth operation. Regular sewing machine users should take care of their machine’s maintenance to prevent unanticipated problems from slowing down their work. When all of a sewing machine’s components are well-oiled and working together harmoniously, you will get the best results.

By degreasing and lubricating the bobbin area, let’s practice taking care of our machines to ensure that they continue to function flawlessly.

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What You’ll Need to Oil Your Sewing Machine?

You only need a few basic tools to oil a sewing machine:

  • A soft-bristled lint brush
  • Sewing machine oil
  • Screwdrivers
  • Cotton swabs

Most of the tools required to maintain your machine will typically be included when you buy it.

How to Oil a Sewing Machine? Step-By-Step

How to Oil Your Sewing Machine?

Although it can seem intimidating, oiling your machine is actually very simple and only takes a few minutes. Here is Where to Oil Your Sewing Machine?

Before performing any maintenance, it is crucial to refer to your owner’s manual because every sewing machine is unique. If your machine needs to be oiled, your manual will specify which parts to oil and when.

Step-by-step instructions for maintaining your machine may be provided in your manual. If that’s the case, you should prioritize adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions. Any active warranties could become void if you use methods other than what they advise.

Before cleaning or oiling your machine, always remove the needle first. This gives you more room to move around while cleaning and protects you in the event that your hand slips. If you require even more space to work, you can also remove the presser foot or the entire needle arm.

Screwdrivers can be used to remove the screws holding the needle plate—a metal component that sits just below the presser foot—by removing the screws. The bobbin case should be simple to lift from the machine once it has been taken out.

Clear any debris from the feed dogs and the well under the bobbin case using your brush. Take your time and be thorough because lint from the thread will quickly clog up these areas.

If your machine needs to be oiled, apply some oil to a cotton swab and rub it around the region under the bobbin case. Use only enough oil to thin coat the well because a little goes a long way.

While many machines only need the bobbin area to be oiled, some models require additional upkeep. This could refer to the needle arm or another location where metal rubs up against metal. If any other parts require your attention, your manual will let you know.

Put the needle plate back on and insert the bobbin case into the well. If you previously took out the needle arm, replace it. If necessary, use this chance to replace your old needle with a new one before placing the new one in the needle arm. Reattach any additional parts of your machine that you had to remove in accordance with the owner’s manual.

To clean the outside of your machine, use a paper towel or a scrap of fabric. Before using the machine again, you should clean off any oil that may have unintentionally gotten on the outside.

This video explains how to oil a sewing machine:

Additional Tips

  • Before using your device, make sure everything is working properly by testing it.
  • Avoid cleaning your machine with compressed air. Even though it might be tempting to blow all of the lint away, doing so increases the likelihood that they will get stuck deeper inside the machine and clog up a sensitive mechanism.
  • When your machine is not in use, cover it with a dust cover to lessen the amount of debris that gets inside.
  • No sign of your manual? Google the brand and model. Online PDF versions might be offered by the manufacturer.
  • To absorb any extra or spilled oil, sew a scrap of fabric onto the surface after oiling.
  • A long sewing machine life is only possible with at-home maintenance. For optimum performance, have your machine professionally serviced once a year.
  • Use caution when using any sewing machine oil substitutes because the incorrect oil can harm your machine.


  • To avoid harm when working on moving parts and needles, make sure the sewing machine is unplugged during the cleaning and lubrication process.
  • Although a variety of lubricants made from natural and mineral sources can be used as sewing machine oil ingredients, it’s crucial to check when considering other popular options. For instance, WD40 and car oil should not be used.
How to Oil a Sewing Machine? Step-By-Step

How Often You Should Oil Your Sewing Machine?

Cleaning and lubricating your sewing machine is a crucial component of maintaining it, as was already mentioned. While not all sewing machines require oiling, they do need routine cleaning.

Depending on how frequently you use your sewing machine, you may need to clean or oil it more frequently. If your machine is rarely used and is kept in storage for extended periods of time, you should clean and/or oil it before each use. You should oil it at least once per week if you use it more frequently or live in a dry area.

Conclusion: Oil Your Sewing Machine

A sewing machine’s performance and longevity depend on routine oiling. It is best to follow the model manual when cleaning or lubricating your own sewing machine and other important dressmaking tools, to avoid using hazardous or industrial chemicals, and to use your common sense when applying tools and oils to machine parts.

These were the key procedures to follow when cleaning and lubricating your sewing machine with WD-40. Given its complexity, you should always take the utmost care and precaution when caring for your sewing machine.


Can I Oil My Own Sewing Machine?

To apply, turn the hand wheel back and forth while using one hand. Look to see where the moving parts are touching and friction is being produced; this is the area that needs lubrication. Put a tiny bit of sewing machine oil on these moving parts and really make sure it is sewing oil specifically. A small oil container might be included with your machine.

Can I Oil My Own Sewing Machine?

Use one hand to rotate the hand wheel back and forth to apply the oil. Look to see where the moving parts are touching and friction is being produced; this is the area that needs to be oiled. Put a tiny bit of sewing machine oil on these moving parts and really make sure it is sewing oil specifically. You might get a little oil container with your machine.

Can I Use WD-40 Instead of Sewing Machine Oil?

When it comes to cleaning and oiling your sewing machine, a single product is capable of doing all the work – WD-40 Multi-Use Product. True to its name, the product assists you in lubricating and cleaning various sewing machine components to ensure the device operates smoothly and effectively.

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