Efficient Way of Oiling a Sewing Machine at Home

Oiling a sewing machine is necessary for enhancing its performance and improving its shelf-life. The typical sewing machine oil can be used for different lubricating types of sewing machines and models.

There are different types of sewing machine oil available, including both synthetic and natural oil. While synthetic oil is usually prepared from petroleum products, natural oil is prepared from natural sources like coconut oil.

Oiling a sewing machine makes up an important sub-procedure of sewing machine maintenance.

In this article, we will discuss the types of sewing machine oil, the process of oiling a sewing machine, and useful tips for oiling the machine.

Types of Sewing Machine Oils

The sewing machine oils used at home are different from the ones used in industrial applications. The industrial sewing machine oils contain heavy mineral and harmful ingredients that humans are not safe for use.

Ensure that you don’t use industrial lubricants and oils for oiling your sewing machine, as these may contain Teflon, paraffin, and other harmful chemicals that are not appropriate for home-usage.

Natural Sewing Machine Oils

Natural sewing machine oils are prepared from natural and domestic lubricants such as coconut oil, olive oils, and silicone oils. You can use these oils individually or mix them to create another lubricant to be used as sewing machine oil.

Natural oils are relatively less expensive and readily available at home. You can experiment with these oils and use the one that works best with your sewing machine.

You only need to apply a small amount of these oils for ensuring effective lubrication of your machine. It provides effective protection for your machine against any damage.

Petroleum Lubricants

Most of the ingredients of sewing machine oils are extracted from petrochemicals. These are the natural lubricants that contain minerals and other ingredients found in petroleum.

Petroleum lubricants are widely used as industrial lubricants. As these contain harmful chemicals, ensure that you use them with great caution and avoid contact with the skin and eyes.

Steps for Oiling Your Sewing Machine at Home

Go through your sewing machine manual carefully and read the directions regarding cleaning and oiling your machine.

Some models require cleaning your machine after fixed hours of operation. It’s better to clean your machine as soon as you see lint gathering on it.

Various models have their standard settings and warnings. That’s why you should consult the user manual before cleaning and oiling your machine.

If you don’t have one, you can download it from the manufacturer’s website by searching with model making.

Collect the Tools for Cleaning and Oiling

You should gather all the tools required for maintaining your sewing machine home.

Use dust cleaners, stiff brushes like toothbrushes or lint brushes, and soft fabrics; for cleaning your machine. Your tools should reach small spaces within your sewing machine.

Clean the Machine

Ensure to clean the machine before starting lubricating it with sewing machine oil from inside the machine.

Remove all the additional materials and components that may prevent you from cleaning the machine conveniently. Disconnect your machine from the power source and remove the needles, hooks, excess thread, and stitching plate.

Blow away the dust and lint from inside your sewing machine by using compressed air.

Ensure to completely remove the debris and dirt before oiling your machine, as this may mix with sewing machine oil and stay behind.

Use the compressed air at a shallow angle and a distance of 15 cm from the components so that the dust gets blown away rather than getting deeper within the machine.

Clean the larger surfaces and spaces in your sewing machine using a piece of dust cloth and soft fabric. Rub hard to remove stains using a damp cloth and completely dry the sewing machine and its components afterwards.

Oiling the Machine

Ensure that you use only a few drops of sewing machine oil for lubricating your machine. Excessive amounts of oil can interfere and slow down the internal machinery of the sewing machine.

All the movable accessories of your sewing machine require lubrication, and hence you need to put a few drops of oil into all those components. Use a dry cloth for rubbing away the excess oil gently and carefully.

Lubricate the sewing machine’s hook race by putting a few drops of oil inside the shuttle hook. Lubricating this ring area ensures that the smaller components don’t rub against each other and don’t wear the machine.

Manually move all the movable components after the lubrication for uniformly spreading and distributing the oil.

Tips for Oiling a Sewing Machine

  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s guide on lubrication if you have any doubt about how to oil a particular sewing machine.
  • Some models may not require lubrication with sewing machine oil. In such cases, you don’t need to oil your machine.
  • While using a can of compressed air for blowing out the lint or dust, keep it at an appropriate distance and angle from the machine part to be cleaned.
  • Clean the bobbin case area and the bobbin case by using compressed air.
  • Test the machine by stitching a sample fabric after lubricating the machine. This is to check if there is any excess oil left within the machine.


Sewing machine oils are prepared from various natural ingredients, minerals, and lubricants. Before you set out to oil your sewing machine, you should clean it.

Your sewing machine’s age and design may determine what type of sewing machine oil is suitable for lubricating it. Follow the manufacturer’s manual for cleaning and oiling guidelines specific to the sewing machine model and makeup.

Ensure to do regular oiling of your sewing machine as it not only improves your machine’s performance but also enhances its longevity.

Avoid using excessive oil for lubricating, and wipe the extra oil drops using a clean and dry cloth.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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