How To Clean And Oil A Brother Sewing Machine

Parts of a Sewing Machine

Before learning how to clean and oil a Brother sewing machine, one must know the parts of a sewing machine and understand its importance in the process. Primarily, a Brother sewing machine consists of a bobbin, treadle, arm and needle. The bobbin is a spool that holds the bottom thread. The treadle is a lever located near the base of the machine, controlling the process. The arm rests on a table and supports the threading and power mechanism. Finally, the needle holds the thread for stitching. Each component is important in the sewing process and needs proper care and maintenance to make sure the process is successful.


Regularly cleaning a Brother sewing machine can help extend its lifespan and prevent future repair costs. To clean the machine, first remove lint and debris with a soft cloth, making sure not to damage any part of the machine. Next, use a small vacuum to remove lint and debris that has stuck in smaller places. To clean the interior threads and needles, use a slightly damp cloth with a small squirt of mild, non-abrasive detergent. For metal components, use a special lubricant cloth from the manufacturer to avoid metal corrosion. Afterwards, use a cotton swab to clean those hard to reach areas.


Oiling is an essential step for maintaining a Brother sewing machine. To oil the moving parts, use a clean cloth and wiping oil. Carefully pour some directly to the moving parts and wipe them in a circular motion, ensuring all oil and dust has been drained from the parts. To avoid clogging of the machine, be sure to use small amounts of oil in each section. Another important part of maintenance is cleaning and oiling the bobbin. Wipe off any debris before applying a few drops of oil and wiping with a cloth. Make sure to use high quality oil (for example, high viscosity sewing machine oil available in hardware stores).


The tension of the thread is an important part of maintaining a Brother sewing machine. To adjust the tension, one must use the tension knob located near the bobbin winder. Pull the thread until it is slightly taut and then turn the knob to find the right tension for the machine. It is important to find the right tension in order to get the most accurate stitches. Too much tension can cause the stitches to be too tight, while too little tension can cause the stitches to be too loose. A proper balance of tension and fabric should be found for best results.

Storage and Troubleshooting

When not in use, it is important to store the Brother sewing machine in a cool, dry place. Moisture and too much heat can damage the parts of the machine. Before troubleshooting any issues, user manuals usually include a guidebook listing various problems and solutions. With a manual handy, many common issues can be solved. If the issue still persists, it is advised to take the machine to its local dealer or technician for repairs.

Maintenance and Care

The key to prolonging the lifespan of any Brother sewing machine is the proper maintenance and care. Clean the parts regularly and oil them with high-quality materials for better performance. Notice any issues immediately and troubleshoot or take it for repairs. Storing the machine in a cool, dry place is also important to keep it in good working condition. With regular care, a Brother sewing machine can last for a long time.

Tips For Cleaning and Oiling

When cleaning and oiling a Brother sewing machine, there are certain tips to keep in mind. First, it is important to always wear protective gear (gloves, goggles, etc.). Second, use small amounts of oil on each section and stop pouring it when tiny droplets are visible at the tip of the oil tube. Wipe off any excess oil with a cloth. Lastly, make sure to use high quality oil for better performance.

Replacements and Accessories

If any part of the machine breaks or needs to be replaced, it is important to purchase reliable replacements and accessories. With original parts, the machine always operates at its maximum potential. Other accessories for a Brother sewing machine include thread racks, thread spools, bobbins and extra needles. Spending a few extra dollars on quality parts and accessories can help keep the machine running and producing the best fabric pieces.

Safety Precautions

When operating a Brother sewing machine, safety precautions should always be taken. Never leave the machine unattended while operating and keep your hands and garments away from the needle and other moving parts. Make sure the bobbin is properly wound and the thread is tensioned before sewing. Be aware of stray threads and tie-off any loose ends. To avoid fashion accidents, always avoid handling the moving parts with your fingers. Lastly, wear protective goggles and gloves to avoid any accidents.

Learning Curve and Practice

Learning how to operate and maintain a Brother sewing machine requires patience and practice. Start with simple stitches and practice until the process becomes natural. Watch tutorials and read articles and books on stitching to learn the basics. Develop a routine for cleaning, oiling and troubleshooting to keep the machine in top condition. With consistent practice and regular maintenance, one can successfully and seamlessly put together fabric pieces.

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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