General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.

To Oil or Not...

Does a sewing machine need oil?

To some, this may sound like a silly question. Yet frequently, we hear people in the shop make a comment along the line of "I was told that I do not need to oil this machine." And most of the time this statement is made as they are dropping off the machine for service because it is not functioning correctly.

Let's set the record straight. Sewing machines need oil. There are many moving parts and without lubrication a failure will eventually happen. This being said, for most modern machines, there are very few places on the machine that the user would oil. The majority of the oiling points are under the outer cover and panels requiring disassembly. And further, unless you are an especially heavy user of your machine, you need not oil those inside ports but once per year to eighteen months.

The assumption is that a disconnect exists between what was said and what was heard. Possibly, some manufacturers may state that the user need not oil the machine, leaving that task to a technician.

In the case of Sweet Stitches and the Janome and Elna brands of machines, we always train our new sewing machine owners to clean the hook and bobbin holder and to oil the hook wick at least once per month using only sewing machine oil. The user is responsible for this one oiling location and we will service the inside of the machine based on its frequency of use which is usually once per year to every eighteen months.