Sewing Machine Care Tips: 8 Ways to Keep your Machine Running Smoothly

Looking for a list of sewing machine care tips that you can use? 

Great..we have you covered!

If you want to keep your sewing machine running smoothly, there are certain things that you need to do to take care of your machine.

In this article we outline 8 key sewing machine care tips to help you get the most out of your machine. 

We will also provide a list of recommended resources and products that you can use to keep your sewing machine running in tip top shape! 

Let’s jump into the post shall we?

Why Do Sewing Machines Require Maintenance?

Here’s the deal:

Most sewing machines will continue to work just fine if they have the proper care, upkeep and maintenance.  However, if they are not properly cared for issues may crop up down the line.

With that said…

Let’s dive off into our list of 8 simple ways to keep your sewing machine running smoothly so that you can keep it for years to come.

Our Top List of Sewing Machine Care Tips for Sewists


#1:  Use a High Quality Needle and Thread on your machine

While it may be tempting to get the cheapest needle and thread possible to use with your machine, it’s not a good idea to do so.  

In fact, using a low quality needle and thread can actually cause damage to your sewing machine for two reasons: 

  • Most basic threads that you find in stores have “wax” on them that are not recommended for use on sewing machines.
  •  Low quality sewing machine needles tend to bend easily and will cause stitch problems with your sewing projects.  This is why when you are starting a new sewing project its best to use a sewing machine needle that works with the brand of sewing machine that you are using. 
  • Bad or low quality sewing machine needles will actually damage your fabric.  That’s right folks. This is why it’s even more important to make sure that you are using great needles for your sewing project – because who wants to deal with ripped fabric?

Based on our research, SCHMETZ and Organ make some of the best sewing machine needles for sewing projects.  

As far as thread is concerned, Aurifil and Metler are great threads for everyday sewing projects while Simthread is a popular choice for advanced sewing projects — like embroidery designs.

#2:  Keep your Sewing Machine Covered

If you want to keep your sewing machine from collecting tons of dust and debris while its not in use, we recommend keeping it covered.

Sewing machines have a tendency to collect a lot of dust and debris while they are not in use. To protect your sewing machine and to keep it running in tip top shape, it’s best to use a cover on it.

Yarwo Sewing Machine Cover

If you do find that your sewing machine has dust or lint in it, you can use this tutorial to learn how to properly remove debris from it.

Now the great thing is this:

A lot of sewing machines come with covers.  However if you buy a sewing machine that doesn’t have a cover, you can use one of these or sew your own cover.


#3:  Apply Oil to your Sewing Machine

Did you know that oiling your sewing machine will increase the lifespan of your machine and help it run more quietly?

Its true…

In addition to increasing the lifespan of your machine, keeping your sewing machine oiled will also prevent the parts from rusting and reduce friction in it. 

Hoppes Sewing Machine Oil & Lubricant


ZoomSpout andHoppes are some of the BEST oils to use to keep your sewing machine parts lubricated and extend the life of your machine.  You can read more reviews about them right here.


#4:  Use the Correct Bobbin for your Sewing Machine (and wind it correctly)

Using any old generic bobbin and sewing machine needles that are not appropriate for your sewing machine can cause major problems with your machine.

In fact, based on our research, most of the issues that crop up from tension problems appear to be caused by using the wrong bobbin. 

To make sure that you’re using the correct bobbin for your machine, we recommend checking your manual to see what bobbins it recommends using.


When it comes to winding your bobbins, you want to make sure that you don’t have any thread hanging from it when you insert it into your sewing machine.

Loose thread can jam up your sewing machine and break the other thread that you are using on your sewing project.


#5:  Change Your Needles Often

Here’s the thing:

Bent or blunted needles often cause tension problems, skipped stitches and other issues with your sewing projects.


Schmetz Sewing Machine Needles


Based on our research, most sewing machine experts recommend changing out your sewing machine needle after each project. In addition to this, using a needle that works well with the type of fabric that you are sewing.

For example, if you’re planning to sew a denim it’s best to use a heavy duty needle. Whereas if you’re sewing a pair of curtains or making throw pillows you can use a regular sewing machine needle. 


#6:  Keep your Bobbin Area Cleaned

The bobbin area of a sewing machine is probably one of the most overlooked places that many people may not consider cleaning.

However, it is very important to do so and here’s why:

Source: StitchingSewcial – Cleaning the bobbin area of a sewing machine

Most of the loose threads, fuzz and lint in the bobbin area of your sewing machine can cause jams and wear out the parts of your sewing machine.

To prevent this from happening, the experts from Janome recommend cleaning your bobbin area after every project.  To clean the bobbin area of your sewing machine, be sure to read your handy manual for instructions. 

It will give you detailed and specific instructions on how to remove your bobbin plate to start the cleaning process.


#7:  Read your Sewing Machine Manual

Here’s the thing yall:

Reading your sewing machines manual is essential to understanding how to properly use and care for your machine.  

Your manual is important for 3 main reasons:

  1. It guides you through how to properly use your sewing machine
  2. You will get a rundown and list of all of the different tasks that your sewing machine can perform
  3. You will learn how to troubleshoot your sewing machine (in case any issues crop up with it)

Our advice: 

Definitely keep your sewing machine manual handy to familiarize yourself with your sewing machine. 

Now, if you have by chance misplaced your manual, here are links to Singer, Brother and Janome sewing machine manuals:  Singer, Brother, Janome.

 #8: Get your Sewing Machine Serviced

To really go that extra mile and keep your sewing machine for years to come, its recommended to get it serviced every year.

A qualified sewing machine technician will be able to identify issues that may be cropping up with your machine and most importantly provide a thorough cleaning of your machine.

They will also check for broken parts, lubricate the parts on your machine and make any necessary adjustments to it.   

As far as maintenance costs are concerned, according to this article sewing machine tune ups for basic sewing machines run between $75 to $100.  Whereas advanced machines like computerized and embroidery sewing machines cost $100 and up.

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine repair companies in your area, we recommend running a simple google search for “Sewing Machine Repair” + (your city).  

From there you should be able to locate a qualified sewing machine specialist that you can take your machine to get it serviced.

Wrapping Up the Post

Experts will tell you that the majority of problems that crop up with sewing machines are due to poor maintenance or neglect. 

In order to prevent this, properly maintaining your sewing machine is essential.  As outlined in this post, proper care consists mainly of cleaning your sewing machine, keeping it oiled, and reading your sewing machine manual to learn how to properly use your machine.

Additionally, things like keeping your bobbin area cleaned, changing your needles often and using the right thread can help keep your sewing machine in tip top shape.

To recap what we’ve covered, here is a running list of the 7 essential sewing machine maintenance tips that we recommend using:

  1. Use high quality needle and thread on your machine
  2. Keep your Sewing Machine Covered
  3. Apply Oil to your Sewing Machine
  4. Use the correct needle and bobbin for your sewing machine
  5. Change Your Needles Often
  6. Keep your Bobbin Area Cleaned
  7. Read your sewing machine manual
  8. Get your sewing machine serviced


Heres to Keeping your Sewing Machine Running For Years to Come!

We hope that you enjoyed reading this post that features 8 sewing machine maintenance tips that you can use to keep your machine running for years to come.

As always, if you are buying a sewing machine for the first time, here’s a nifty guide that you can check out for our top 10 list of things to consider before making a purchase.

We also recommend checking out our sewing machine reviews from the top brands in the marketplace to find the perfect machine for your sewing projects.

Happy Sewing! 



Shelly is the main editor and author of this website. She is passionate about helping fellow sewing enthusiasts find the right sewing machine for your sewing projects plus design beautiful sewing spaces that inspire your creativity. If you're ready to DIY a stunning sewing room (on a budget), be sure to check out the Sewing Room that Sizzles Workbook bundle (complete with a 50+ page workbook) and two Bonus Guides that will put you on the fast track to setting up, designing and organizing a sewing room that is TOTALLY you (on a shoestring budget).

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