Sewing Machine Care & Maintenance

Something that is far too often overlooked by many shop owners is the proper maintenance of sewing machines to prevent damages, extend the use of the machine, protect the investment and ensure that the quality of their production remains high. Here are a couple of important tips for keeping your industrial sewing machine well maintained:

Important: Make sure to turn off all power and unplug the machine before cleaning.

Oilingoiling points

Self-Oiling Machines: Completely replace all the oil at least once per year for average users, 2-3 times per year for more frequent users. Self-oiling machines include all serger/overlock machines, straight sewers and coverstitch machines.

Manual-Oiling Machines: For all other industrial sewing machines, make sure to oil the machine once to twice a month for average users, and once every 5 hours of operation for frequent users. Place several drops of oil into the holes in the machine head (some are marked by a dot of paint) as well as on all other moving parts, gears and bushing (long pipe under machine head). Use only clear white sewing machine oil.


It is nearly impossible to see when a needle is worn out by just looking at it. The sewing machine needle should be replaced every 2 weeks for frequent users or once a month for average users. Failure to replace the sewing needle can lead to a number of problems including uneven stitches, broken thread, skipped stitches and tension problems.


Due to the vibration that occurs when using your sewing machine, some screws may become loose over time. Grab a screwdriver and tighten all screws during every maintenance.

Remove Lint + Stray Threadshook area

With a pair of tweezers and a small brush, remove all stray threads and lint from the faceplate, bobbin case and hook area.

Overall Cleaning

A damp cloth should be used to wipe any dust or dirt from the surface of the machine head and surrounding area.

Cover Up!

When the sewing machine is not in use, use a plastic cover to protect the machine head from dust and dirt.

Make a habit of maintaining your industrial sewing machine often so to keep it in proper and safe condition. Also, take it for a general tuneup every 2 years or so to make sure the gears, hook, and other general parts are in safe condition.


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