Your machine needs your love – think of it as your ‘other’ child. It needs to be cleaned up and fed periodically. Amy Alan has a great video that details exactly how to clean it up – it’s a video – click here to watch.
Many newer models do not require much time in the way of personal maintenance. Remove plates, brush out lint, a spot of oil and you’re done. Older models let you actually get to the meat of the machine and allow you to oil in all the places it needs. Always consult your machines manual to ensure use of the correct oil for your machine if you plan to do it yourself.
When To Clean
There are a dozen suggestions out there on when to break it all down and clean away. Some suggest three projects, some say 6 months and some even suggest 1 or more years if it’s a newer model. What I’m here to say is use your common sense. Are you constructing with fabric that is super linty? You should clean it right afterwards. Are you constructing with fabric that is not super linty? Then depending on the size of the project you would want to clean it after every 3 super large projects or 10 small projects. I have a machine that has a drop in bobbin. Each time I change the bobbin, I will remove the bobbin case and take a peek at the lint buildup. If I can see it, I clean it. If it’s relatively clean I replace the case, insert new bobbin and off to the races I go. As you can see from this photo:
When To Oil
Many newer machines don’t require oiling – or so the manual says. If you’ve watched the video linked above you will know that you can place a drop of oil under the bobbin case. I do this about every four months. I use my machine 2 – 4 hours each week. Hours are actual pedal to the metal use, not measuring, cutting, ironing board and then sewing time. Just needle to thread time.
When To Service
You must consider having your machines professionally serviced. After all, it is your other child and needs regular check ups too! I would suggest once a year with heavy use, once every two years with moderate use and if your machine has sat for more than 10 months or so then you should have it serviced before you use it again. Be sure to find an authorized repair shop for your specific machine. If you consult the brands website i.e. Brother, Janome, Babylock, etc. they usually have a search function that will allow you to find the closest one to you. If you cannot find one, find the Contact Us portion and shoot them a quick message asking for your closest authorized repair shop.
Remember to treat your machine like you would your kid. Feed it, clean it and give it regular check ups. I recommend covering your machine when not in use. This prevents dust from getting in and on it. If you don’t have a cover there are a few tutorials out there that will guide you in creating one. I used: Notes from the Patch.
Good luck with your maintenance! Please send me a note if you have questions! Sew Jam On!