Regular sewing machine maintenance is so important and yet how many of us remember to do it.
As we sew lint from the fabrics and thread we are using build up in our machines and it needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis. Regular cleaning is very simple and can prevent many problems such as broken threads, thread bunches and more serious mechanical errors.
For my own machine I need to remove the needle plate and the bobbin case as well as the needle and presser foot for a little easier access. My needle plate comes off with pressure on a small button, but some machines may require a screw driver. Once those pieces are removed I gently brush all the lint out with a soft brush that came with my machine. Avoid blowing the lint as this can cause it to get lodged in and cause more problems. After is cleaned, I give it a couple drops of oil in the places my manual instructs me and put it all back together. Once it is all together again I take a small scrap of fabric and sew with it to ensure that I don't have any excess oil and it is all together properly.
It takes less than five minutes and makes all the difference in how my workhorse performs.
So now how often do I repeat this little sequence of events? I do it every time I empty my bobbin. At first this may seem excessive to you, but I find it an easy way to remember to do it, and since I need to remove the bobbin anyways it is just a few more simple steps. I also replace my needle at this time, since it too has been removed for the cleaning. The general rule for a replacing a needle is new project new needle. But since I am always working on multiple projects for me it is empty bobbin, cleaning and fresh needle and bobbin. Once you get into the habit, you barely even notice doing it. If you find every bobbin a little crazy, set your own schedule, like the first day of the month.
Your manual will have full instructions on how to clean your machine and where it needs oil (some machines say they no longer need oil, so double check that as well.) If you are still in doubt on how to clean or are a little scared to take pieces off of your machine ask your sewing machine repair person for a demonstration the next time you drop it off for its yearly checkup.
If you don't know where your manual is, just google the make and model of your machine and it is most likely available on the internet.
How often do you clean your machine, are you doing it often or are have you never done it before?
We will be closed on Monday for Family Day, our family is planning to visit the Chrysalis Cafe for their Family Day Special and head to Get Air to burn some energy that is building up in my boys. Hopefully everyone is over this flu bug that has hit our house again by then so we can make it happen.
Pictured is my machine, and I cleaned it only a few days ago, and I am about halfway through my next bobbin, so as you can see the lint and threads can build up quite quickly.
I have seen machines where the lint is literally packed in, those machines were purring after they were emptied out.