Can I Use Any Oil For Sewing Machine

When we think of sewing machines, we usually assume that any type of oil is okay to lubricate the metal parts. After all, it doesn’t seem like it would matter what kind of oil you use. However, not all oils are created equal, and some may actually be damaging to your sewing machine.

The truth is, the oil used in sewing machines should be specifically designed for that purpose. Sewing machine oil is often much thinner than other types of oil, and it is specifically designed to penetrate the small moving parts of your machine. Regular oil may be too thick to work properly in a sewing machine, and can also lead to clogs and build up.

Another important point to remember is that you should avoid using any kind of grease on your sewing machine. Grease can also lead to build up on the moving parts in the machine, impacting the performance. Additionally, certain types of grease can damage certain kinds of rubber seals in the sewing machine.

It is very important that you research the type of oil recommended for your machine, as not all machines are the same and may require different types of oil. Do not use any type of oil if you are unsure as to what type it is.

There are different types of oil available, including petroleum-based oil and vegetable-based oil, and each has its own benefits. Depending on the type of machine that you have and the climate in which you are operating, one type of oil may be better suited than the other. Some of these oils may not be too expensive, so it is worth considering which oil is best for you.

If you are concerned about the environment, you may wish to consider a vegetable-based oil, as these are generally considered to be more eco-friendly. These types of oil also tend to be more biodegradable, which means that if you accidentally spill some of it, it won’t cause any lasting damage to the environment.

It is important to remember that any oil used in a sewing machine must be changed regularly, as the oil can become clogged with dirt and dust over time. It is best to refer to the manual for your specific machine to find out how often this should be done.


Once you have selected the type of oil that is best for your machine, it is important to store it correctly. Oils should always be stored in a clean, dry place, away from direct sunlight and high temperatures. This is to ensure that the oil does not break down, as this could lead to it becoming clogged or not functioning properly.

If the oil is to be stored for a prolonged period, it should be kept in a sealed container to prevent contamination. Additionally, it should be kept away from any other chemicals, such as solvents or cleaners, as these may react with the oil and cause it to break down.


When applying oil to your sewing machine, it is important to use only as much as is necessary. Over-oiling can be worse than not using any oil at all, as it could lead to a build up of oil on the machine’s parts.

When you first begin applying the oil, you should begin with a drop or two on each of the main moving parts of the machine. You should then use a small brush or cotton swab to spread the oil over the parts in an even layer. This will help to reduce any friction between the parts and ensure that the machine works properly.

Once the oil has been applied, you should then use a cloth to wipe away any excess oil, paying particular attention to any areas where oil may have built up over time. This should be done regularly, as it will help to keep your machine in good condition.


It is important to keep your machine clean, as a build-up of dirt and dust can lead to clogs and other problems. Regularly cleaning your machine will also help to prevent any damage that may be caused by oils and other substances becoming trapped in and around the parts.

It is also important to check all the moving parts of your machine regularly, as any worn out or damaged parts can cause your machine to malfunction. If in doubt, it is best to refer to the manual that came with the machine or contact a qualified repair person.


In addition to the oil, there are also other accessories that can help to improve the performance of your machine. These can include lint brushes, cleaning solutions and fabric lubes. Each of these can help to ensure that the machine is properly lubricated and functioning at its best.

It is important to take the time to choose the right accessories for your machine, as the wrong ones can cause damage and lead to costly repairs. Additionally, certain types of fabric may require a specific type of lubricant or cleaning solution in order to prevent any damage to the fibers.

Other Considerations

When using a sewing machine, it is important to remember to keep it away from any sources of heat. This is particularly important when you are storing the machine, as too much heat can cause the oil to break down or evaporate, which in turn could lead to a decrease in performance.

It is also important to make sure that your machine is well-maintained, as any issues or problems that arise can lead to damage or poor performance. Pay particular attention to the moving parts of your machine as they are the most likely to be affected by any problems that arise.

Finally, it is important to remember that proper oiling of your machine is essential for its performance. Always use the oil specifically designed for your machine and remember to change it regularly to ensure that your machine performs at its best for as long as possible.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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