How To Service Your Sewing Machine

Taking care of your sewing machine is essential to ensure its longevity. Depending on the type of machine you own, regular cleaning and maintenance is required to prevent damage to the fabrics, thread, and other accessories that you use with it. Here are some tips on how to service your sewing machine.

Know your Machine

The first and most important step in properly servicing your sewing machine is to know the make and model of the machine and its components. Familiarize yourself with the machine and the instructions manual that comes with it. The instructions manual should provide detailed instructions on how to properly oil, lubricate and maintain your machine. If the manual does not provide clear instructions, it may be best to take it to a professional for servicing.

Cleaning and Oil Maintenance

Cleaning and oiling are two of the most important maintenance steps for any sewing machine. Before performing cleaning or oiling tasks, it is best to turn the machine off and unplug the power cord from the outlet. Next, use a dry cloth or whip brush to remove loose lint and dust from the machine. Be sure to avoid getting water or any other liquid into the machine parts. Additionally, use a few drops of sewing machine oil on all the metal parts of the machine to keep it lubricated and running smoothly. Once you have finished cleaning and oiling your sewing machine, plug it back in and turn it on.

Check and Replace Accessories

When servicing your machine, it is important to check the condition of all the accessories, such as needles and bobbins. Ensure that all needles and bobbins are securely in place and replace them as needed. The instructions manual should include information on the type of needle and bobbin appropriate for your machine. Additionally, check for any worn or loose parts, such as the drive belt, presser foot, and bobbin case. If necessary, replace any damaged or worn parts.

Adjust the Tension Settings

Tension settings tell the machine how much thread to pull as it stitches. Pay attention to the type of fabrics and thread you are using, and adjust the tension settings accordingly. If the tension is too tight, the thread may be too tight, causing it to snap and unravel. If the tension is too loose, the stitches will not be secure. This is especially important when sewing different fabrics with different thicknesses. The optimal tension settings may need to be adjusted each time the type of fabric or thread is changed.

Test the Machine

Before returning the serviced machine to its owner, it is important to run some tests to make sure it is working properly. To do so, sew a scrap piece of fabric with several different types of stitches and check the results. Make sure the stitches on the fabric are secure and even. In addition to testing for stitches, it is also important to check for any noisy or faulty components, such as the drive belt, motor, and needle plate. If any of these parts are faulty, they should be fixed or replaced before the machine is used again.

Replace the Needle

When servicing your sewing machine, make sure to replace the needle if needed. Depending on your machine, you may need to replace the needle after every 10 to 20 hours of use. Needles become dull and lose their sharpness over time and should be replaced in order to ensure proper stitching. It is important to use the correct size and type of needle for your machine and fabric. This information can usually be found in your machine’s instructions manual.

Troubleshoot and Repair

If you are experiencing any issues with your machine, such as skipped stitches, tension problems, or noisy components, troubleshooting the issue may be necessary. The best way to troubleshoot a problem is to review the instructions manual for your machine. The manual should provide detailed instructions on how to identify and fix any issues. If the manual does not provide sufficient information, it may be best to seek help from a professional.


Properly servicing your sewing machine is essential to prevent potential damage to fabrics and accessories. Cleaning and oiling are important tasks that should be done regularly. Additionally, check and replace accessories, adjust the tension settings, and test and replace the needle as needed. Finally, if you encounter any issues or problems with the machine, review the instructions manual and troubleshoot the problem or seek help from a professional.

Swapping Parts

When servicing your sewing machine, you may need to replace some worn or damaged parts. Before ordering new replacement parts online, ensure that the replacement parts are compatible with your machine and its model. Additionally, some parts can be salvaged from old and damaged sewing machines, so these may be a cheaper and faster alternative to ordering new parts online.

Storing the Machine

When storing your sewing machine, it is important to keep it in a dry, climate-controlled environment. Keep it away from extreme temperatures and moisture, as these can cause damage to the parts and components of the machine. Additionally, make sure all the accessories are tightly secured, as loose parts can cause damage when the machine is being moved.

Safety Precautions

When using your sewing machine, it is important to always follow safety precautions. Always read the instructions manual thoroughly before using the machine, as it contains important safety information. Additionally, make sure the machine is unplugged before performing any maintenance tasks. Make sure not to leave the machine running unattended, as this can lead to injury or fabric damage.

Organizing Accessories

Keeping all the necessary accessories organized is an important part of servicing a sewing machine. Be sure to store needles, bobbins, and other small parts in labeled containers or pouches. This will help you keep track of all the accessories and parts and make it easier to find the part you need when you need it. Additionally, label all the parts and accessories so you can easily identify them later.

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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