How Often to Oil Sewing Machine? – Quick Guide

Last Updated on December 25, 2023

We know the importance of a well-maintained sewing machine. Like any other machinery, sewing machines require regular care to ensure smooth and efficient operation. One crucial aspect of sewing machine maintenance is oiling.

Here, we’ll explore the factors that determine how often you should oil your sewing machine and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

How Often to Oil Sewing Machine


  • Pay attention to the sound and feel of your sewing machine – if it starts to sound rough or less smooth, it’s time for a little oiling.
  • For frequent sewers, consider oiling your machine after completing each significant project to keep it in top condition.
  • If you sew infrequently, avoid oiling your machine whenever you bring it out to prevent stiffness or potential issues.
  • When oiling, concentrate on the needle and bobbin areas for optimal sewing machine maintenance.
  • Use a few drops of oil in the right places to keep your sewing machine running smoothly without overdoing it.

How do I know if my sewing machine needs oil?

How Often to Oil Sewing Machine

If your machine starts sounding rough or the stitching feels less smooth, it’s time to oil it. Additionally, consider oiling it after completing each significant project or if it’s been inactive for a while.

What happens when you don’t oil your sewing machine?

Ignoring to oil your sewing machine can lead to long-term issues, primarily wear and tear on essential components like shafts and gears. This wear is detrimental to the machine’s performance and can also be expensive to repair.

To avoid such problems, cleaning under the bobbin case every few bobbins, add sewing machine oil to the wick under the bobbin case if it appears dry, and schedule a comprehensive servicing annually.

Following these maintenance practices ensures your sewing machine’s longevity and optimal functioning.

Additional Resources – Sewing Machine Oil Substitute?

How often to oil sewing machine?

For frequent sewers, oil your sewing machine when it sounds rough or after each significant project. Occasional users should oil it every time they bring it out to prevent stiffness and ensure optimal performance.

Maintaining your sewing machine is vital to ensure smooth and efficient sewing experiences. The frequency of oiling your machine depends on the extent of your sewing activities.

1. Regular Sewers

Pay attention to the machine’s sound and performance if you are frequently immersed in sewing projects. When the machine starts sounding rough, or the stitching feels less smooth, it’s time for a touch of oil.

Regularly oiling your sewing machine after completing each significant project, such as a pair of trousers or a jacket, is also advisable. This helps maintain optimal performance and prepares the machine for the next creative endeavor.

2. Occasional Sewers

For those who use their sewing machines infrequently, it’s recommended to oil the machine every time you bring it out.

This practice prevents stiffness and potential issues arising from extended periods of inactivity. Even if you don’t do sewing as often, regular oiling ensures your machine is always ready to go when you are.

Oiling Procedure

The primary areas that require attention during the oiling process are associated with the needle and the bobbin.

Needle Area

  • Lower the needle to its furthest position.
  • Apply a few dots of oil to the shaft.
  • Run the needle through its positions several times.

Bobbin Area

  • With the needle in the top position, open the bobbin cover and remove the bobbin.
  • Apply a small amount of oil to the bobbin race.
  • Close the bobbin area and run the machine to distribute the oil.

Can you oil a sewing machine too much?

No, you can’t oil a sewing machine too much. It’s essential to use only a tiny amount of good-quality oil. Overloading the machine with oil can lead to oil contamination on the thread, needle, or fabric being stitched.

Additional Resources – Do Brother Sewing Machines Need Oiling?


Regularly oiling your sewing machine is a small but crucial step in ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.

Even how often you use the sewer, you can choose when to schedule maintenance by listening to the sound and feel of the machine.

Following these simple steps’ll keep your sewing machine humming along, ready for your next creative venture. Remember, a stitch in time saves more than nine!

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