How To Clean Your Sewing Machine

Have you cleaned your sewing machine lately? If your answer is no, you probably need to take a look at it. Sewing machines can get quite a bit of fibers and dust built up beneath the needle plate cover. With a few simple steps, you can clean your sewing machine to ensure it will work properly with each and every use. See below for a step by step guide to cleaning your sewing machine.

Tools For The Job:

  • Sewing machine manual
  • Tweezers
  • Small brush
  • Small screwdriver
  • Soft cloths
  • Dish soap/water mixture


  1. Begin by unplugging your machine. Then you'll need to remove the needle from the needle foot and pull back the metal plate cover. You should be able to see some of the dust bunnies and other fibers immediately. This is the area you will be cleaning.
  2. Using your small brush, begin dusting off the inside elements of your sewing machine. Be sure to get into all of the smaller spaces as well. Take your tweezers and remove the dust bunnies from your machine.
  3. Look at your sewing machine manual to see if you have a bobbin basket or anything else that can be easily removed to clean as well. Use your tweezers and carefully remove the dust and fibers. 
  4. If you can remove your metal plate cover, do so using the small screwdriver. Carefully clean beneath this area as well. 
  5. Now it's time to replace anything that you removed. Be sure to do so carefully and make sure everything is back in place. Refer to your manual for help if need be.
  6. Once the inside of your machine is clean, you can begin cleaning the exterior of your machine. Wipe down your machine using a soft cloth and your dish soap/water mixture. Wring your cloth out, so it's just damp, not soaking wet, then wipe it clean with a separate, clean, dry cloth.
  7. Finally, replace your needle with a brand new needle. Your sewing machine should be back in order and running like new again.

See below for a few additional tips.

  • Always cover your machine. If you don't have a cover for your machine, put your machine to use and make one. Covering your machine will help keep the dust out.
  • Change your needle often. You should be changing your needle after 6 hours of sewing. A new needle will make a difference in your sewing projects.
  • Only use new thread. Don't try and use old or vintage thread, as they will lose more fibers, which will build up in your machine.
  • Have your machine checked by a professional. A professional will be able to get into your machine to grease and oil where needed to keep your machine in tip top shape.

Cleaning and maintaining your machine will help keep it working like new for years to come.