Those that sew with me, know that I am almost anal about cleaning the lint from my machine. (OK … I can already HEAR you saying, “Gail, you are anal!”)
I have a personal rule that my sewing machine gets the bobbin case cleaned after every two bobbins.
This is the lint after sewing two bobbins!! Yes, I was quilting – so I was going through 2 layers of fabric and cotton batting. I was using a good quality cotton thread. Can you imagine the lint that would accumilate if I left it for 3 or 4 bobbins?
It takes no time at all to clean your machine and it will run smoother! The other bonus is that it doesn’t need to go to the sewing machine doctor as often!
SEW – How do I clean my machine?
- First, I take out the bobbin case.
- The bobbin case area is wiped out with a make-up brush with natural bristles. Do not use a dollar store one as the bristles tend to come out and you do not want those pesky things down in your machine.
- I dust the bobbin case and then put it back together.
- I will use a special attachment and vacuum it out. You don’t want to put the full strength of the vacuum right up to the bobbin area. There are little tiny springs and what-nots in the area and you don’t want to dislodge them.
- I will fold a pipecleaner in half and get the lint that is further down in my machine.
Do not use canned air. It will blow lint further into the machine. And you don’t want lint where no lint should ever go! As well, there is often moisture in canned air and you really don’t want to water your sewing machine – it is not a plant!
Oiling my machine
I have a Janome, so the only oiling I do is to put a drop on the wick at the bottom of the bobbin case. I do this about every 3-4 months. Check your machine manual for oiling directions. USE ONLY SEWING MACHINE OIL!!!!!!!!! (other oils will gum up your machine)
Things I have heard from sewing machine technicians
- “Machines can catch fire if there is a lot of lint, then the machine is literally toast.” This tech had a machine brought in for “fixing” after the lint caught fire. It couldn’t be fixed.
- “If a machine hasn’t been cleaned, it can take me hours and hours to pull all the lint out. Sometimes, there is so much lint, I need to use a pair of tweezers to get it out.”
- “If people don’t know how to clean their machine, they should check their manual or ask how to do it.”
- “Sewing machines should be covered when not in use. It keeps the dust off.”