Tip Tuesday – Clean your Machine

This tutorial will be a guideline since there are so many different make and model machines on the market today.

* Manual
* Long Tweezers
* Small Brush or Pipe Cleaner Brush
* Disc Shape Screwdriver
*All of these items should come with your machine except the pipe cleaner brush. You can make that for pennies.
Here is how to clean a sewing machine:
Start by gathering your tools and turning off your machine.  You could even unplug it for extra safety measure.  I start by making sure the needle is in the “UP” position and turn off the machine.  Remove the needle and the presser foot holder.  Slide your flat bed attachment (surface) off.  Slide the needle plate cover towards you to remove.  See all that gunk? YUCK!
Now it’s time to start cleaning.  Grab that small brush and those tweezers and start cleaning away.
If you haven’t cleaned your machine in awhile you might be shocked.  Those lint balls are gross!
Some are buried deep and need to be pulled out with the longer tweezers. Remember the game Operation?  Use the small brush and tweezers to clean out all that gunk.
My machine has a removable bobbin basket.  I like to take this out and clean both it and the area around it off. Before you carefully remove the bobbin case, take a mental snapshot.  (Pull out your camera if you need to. Trust me, if you’ve never done this before you will thank me later.)
mental-snapshotWant to go a few steps further?  Grab that disc shape screwdriver and unscrew the needle plate.  I was shocked at all these dust bunnies the 1st time I did this.  Repeat the cleaning process.  While your there, if your machine has a cutter feature be sure to give the knife a quick sweep of the brush.  This will help keep things running smooth.
Now it’s time to refer to your mental snapshot and put everything back together.  The tricky part on my machine is the bobbin basket.  There is a small green dot that needs to be lined up at the center.  Refer to your sewing manual for tips on your machine.
To keep your machine in top working order, let’s start fresh and grab a new needle.  Once everything is back together, let’s get her looking good by taking it one step further and wipe down the surface.  I like to do it with a soft cloth dipped in a neutral detergent.  Be sure to squeeze it out firmly before wiping down the exterior surface.  Then give it another pass with a fresh dry cloth.  Your baby should be looking good as new!
Additional ways to keep your sewing machine clean:
Keep your girl covered! That’s right, most machines come with a simple dust cover.  Use it! Dust from lint gets everywhere in your sewing space.
Changes your needles often. It is recommended that we replace them after 4-6 hours of sewing.  (I get a big FAIL in this department!)
Watch the tension when winding your bobbins.
Do not use old or vintage thread.  Technology has changed and advanced so much over the years.  Vintage threads tend to produce more loose fibers and lint will accumulate faster. Save the vintage spools for a pretty display.
Be sure to have your machine serviced.  They will grease her up when needed, check tension settings and all machine parts.
That’s it!  Now that you have learned how to clean your sewing machine.

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