Can You Use 3 In One Oil On Sewing Machines

Uses Of 3-in-1 Oil

3-in-1 oil is a multipurpose lubricating product most commonly used for maintaining tools and home appliances. It is a light viscosity oil made from mineral oil and other additives—including rust inhibitors and surfactants. With a multitude of uses, 3-in-1 oil is an effective lubricant for low-speed applications. While you can use it on a variety of manual tools, it is also an ideal lubricant for sewing machines.

Sewing machines require an adequate amount of lubrication to function correctly and to last long. If the machine lacks lubrication, metal parts rub against each other, generate heat and wear down over time. This can result in broken threads, jammed fabric, and a rough stitching surface. In order to prevent these issues, it is recommended to apply 3-in-1 oil to metal parts along the path of the needle and other areas that require lubrication.

To apply, remove the bobbins, needles, and presser feet. Inspect the machine to identify which parts are made of metal, and then add a small drop of 3-in-1 oil to each part while turning the wheel. Depending on the machine, you may need to oil the timing gear, the feed gear and the bobbin area.

Advantages Of 3-in-1 Oil

One of the reasons 3-in-1 oil has become popular is due to its wide variety of uses. It works well in smaller devices such as manual tools, kitchen appliances, and more. In additional to lubrication, 3-in-1 oil helps prevent rusting and corrosion on metal surfaces. It also helps disperse dust which is important for sewing machines, as it can collect in the machine’s chain and cause problems. The oil also minimizes friction, which in turn helps reduce wear and tear and increase the lifespan of the machine.

Aside from the advantages mentioned above, 3-in-1 oil is also relatively affordable and easy to use. It can be applied with a cloth or cotton swab, and does not have to be removed or replaced in between uses. When used regularly, 3-in-1 oil will help to keep sewing machines functioning smoothly.

Alternatives To 3-in-1 Oil

Since 3-in-1 oil is petroleum-based, some people may hesitate to use it and prefer other alternatives. But there are several other options available. WD-40 is also an option, as it is a water-displacing and corrosion-inhibiting lubricant that is safe to use on sewing machines. However, it is important to note that WD-40 is not a high-grade lubricant, so it is not suitable for high-speed applications.

Synthetic-based oils, such as sewing machine oil, are another popular option. It is specifically designed for lubricating machines and has a higher viscosity than mineral oil-based products. Sewing machine oil can go for longer periods between applications and it does not attract as much dust as other types of oil. But this oil is slightly more expensive than 3-in-1 oil.

How Often Should You Apply Oil?

The frequency of applications varies based on the machine. If you are using a machine for work purposes, you should oil it twice a month. For less frequent use, you can oil the machine once every three months. However, you should oil the machine after every third hour of usage; this will ensure the pieces are properly lubricated and running smoothly.

It is important to make sure you are applying the correct amount of 3-in-1 oil. If you apply too much, it can attract dust and cause the machine to become clogged. In addition, too much oil can also lead to breakage of the machine’s parts, so it is essential to use just a small amount per application.

Safety Precautions For Using 3-in-1 Oil

It is important to keep in mind that 3-in-1 oil is a petroleum-based product, so there are certain safety precautions that should be observed when using it. Make sure to wear gloves and a respirator when handling the product and avoid contact with eyes and skin. When oiling a machine, make sure the area is well ventilated to avoid inhaling fumes. In addition, make sure to clean the machine thoroughly after oiling to remove any excess oil to prevent dirt from sticking to the machine.

Before applying 3-in-1 oil, make sure to unplug the machine to avoid electric shocks. If you are inexperienced with oiling machines, it is best to consult a professional to get the job done correctly. By following the above tips, you can make sure your sewing machine is properly oiled and running smoothly.

Storage Tips For 3-in-1 Oil

Making sure that 3-in-1 oil is stored safely is essential in order to keep it in good condition. The best way to store the product is in an upright position in a cool, dry area. It is also important that the oil is not exposed to direct sunlight, because this can cause it to deteriorate quickly. If you have to store the oil for an extended period of time, it is best to store it in a sealed container in a temperature controlled area.

It is also important to keep the bottle tightly sealed after use. If it is open for an extended period of time, it can attract moisture and dust which can affect the oil’s composition and cause it to become thick and unusable. Make sure to dispose of the oil according to local regulations.

Cleanup Tips After Using 3-in-1 Oil

Once you have finished oiling the machine, make sure to clean the area using a soft cloth and warm soapy water. This will remove any excess oil residue and prevent dust and dirt from sticking to the machine. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove any hardened oil residue that has accumulated over time. After cleaning, make sure to dry the machine and all its parts thoroughly.

It is also important to keep all the components properly reinstalled. This will help ensure that there is no breakage in the needle thread and that the fabric will not bunch up in the bobbin thread. Additionally, make sure to replace worn-out parts, such as needles, bobbins, and presser feet, in order to keep the machine running efficiently.


Using 3-in-1 oil on a sewing machine can go a long way in keeping it well lubricated and in good condition. The oil is versatile and can be used on a variety of manual tools and home appliances. When used regularly, 3-in-1 oil will help to keep the machine functioning correctly and extend its lifespan. Proper storage, clean up and safety precautions should also be observed when oiling a sewing machine in order to keep it running smoothly.

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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