Baby Oil as Lubricant for Sewing Machine: Can I Use?

Last Updated on December 25, 2023

Using Baby Oil as Lubricant for Sewing Machine is it ok? Maintaining your sewing machine is vital for achieving accurate and smooth sewing results. One common question often arises is whether baby oil can be used as a substitute for sewing machine oil.

Baby Oil as Lubricant
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Is baby oil the same as sewing machine oil?

No, baby oil is not the same as sewing machine oil. Baby oil and sewing machine oil have different properties and uses. Baby oil is typically used for moisturizing and is unsuitable for lubricating sewing machines. On the other hand, sewing machine oil is specifically designed for lubricating sewing machine parts, ensuring smooth operation and preventing damage. 

Can I Use Baby Oil as Lubricant for Sewing Machine?

No, it is not recommended to use baby oil as a lubricant for sewing machines. It may not provide sufficient lubrication and could potentially damage the machine. It’s best to use a sewing machine oil or lubricant specifically designed for that purpose.

Using baby oil on your sewing machine may lead to performance issues and is not recommended. Stick to using sewing machine oil for proper maintenance and optimal sewing results.

Baby Oil vs. Sewing Machine Oil – Simple paper towel test

To put this debate to rest, we conducted a simple paper towel test to compare the two oils’ lubricating properties. Let’s find out the results and see which oil comes out on top!

Test 1: Paper Towel Test

To start the experiment, I poured baby oil onto one set of paper towels and sewing machine oil onto another set. I tilted the paper towels slightly to allow the oil to flow down evenly instead of pooling in one place. Next, I gently moved the sewing machine oil around to help it soak in better.

Observing the Results

After allowing the oils to soak for a minute, I examined the paper towels’ layers to see the results. The first layer showed that both oils had soaked through. As I moved to the second layer, it was evident that the baby oil had soaked more than the sewing machine oil.

However, when I reached the third layer, I noticed the machine oil was not as soaked as the baby oil. And finally, upon reaching the fourth layer, there was no soaking of the sewing machine oil at all.

The Clear Winner


Upon flipping the paper towels underneath, it became evident that the baby oil had leaked through, while the sewing machine oil showed no signs of soaking. Even after waiting for five minutes, the sewing machine oil did not penetrate the paper towels any further.

Video: Baby Oil vs Sewing Machine Oil | The Test!


Based on the paper towel test results, it’s clear that baby oil and sewing machine oil are not the same. The test demonstrated that sewing machine oil is thicker and more effective at lubricating your machine’s parts compared to baby oil. Using the right oil is essential to ensure your sewing machine’s smooth operation and longevity.

So, when it comes to oiling your machine, always opt for sewing machine oil over baby oil. The latter is not suitable for lubricating portable sewing machines and may lead to issues like attracting dust and lint, which can hinder your machine’s performance.

So, stick to using sewing machine oil, and you can rest assured that your sewing buddy will serve you well for years to come.

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