Clean your machine day – to suck or blow?

It’s the age old question, and one that sparks plenty of debate.  The following information is from my own experience only, and is not meant as a guarantee or order in any way shape or form.

When you clean your machine, should you use a vacuum style device (suck), or compressed (blowing) air.

I personally have always had a lot of good experience using compressed air, however I have recently noticed a long line of people suggesting that this is not the best way to go.  So I took my questions to my mechanic…..

compressed air

for display purposes only, not meant to encourage you to purchase one brand over another.


Do you use compressed air when cleaning machines?

Yes – compressed air is a quality product, that directs a spray of air at a particular place in the machine at a high speed.  It is not meant to be used in excess (one spray is more than often enough), and you only spray at certain parts of your machine.

You also need to remember that the compressed air is only used at the end of the clean to get rid of the “last” little bits of debris, not at the beginning where it will bank up.

I am very carefully where I use compressed air, and use it in the bobbin/bottom area of the machine, and not in the top area, where all of the threading guides/loops are.

Do you use Vacuum style devices that such the debris from a machine?

Generally No.  Whilst I understand that many people prefer this method, “pulling” parts away from where they are supposed to be can be damaging.

How would you suggest people clean their sewing machines?

Firstly – regularly – I love that you are prompting customers with the “Clean your machine Day”.

Next, clean out the bobbin area with a soft paint brush, and if necessary a pick almost like a dental tool.

Take your compressed air, and spray one small squirt on an angle into the machine, this way any dust trapped will fly up and out of the machine.

Oil your machine with a small drop of oil (Julie recommends the precision oil pen)

For the threading guide, use a lint free cloth and run it through the thread run.

Now you can easily see where I developed my own system for cleaning my machine, to complete the story on compressed air, I want to give the following advice


  • Do not use compressed air on the top of the machine, this is where your delicate threading system is, and can be easily pulled out of whack.
  • Do not “blow” with your breath on your machine – your breath is moist and will contribute to rusting out your machine.
  • Do not use more than 1 small squirt of compressed air on your machine.  It doesn’t take much to make a big difference.
  • Do not use compressed air in your overlocker (particularly if you have an automatic feed system).  I have seen one of these completely stuff up because of this.


  • Do clean the majority of fluff and debris from the machine before using your compressed air can.
  • Do squirt a short sharp squirt of air only
  • Do spray at an angle to facilitate air being removed.

I am sorry that I am a day late in reminding everyone to clean their machine, however lets all get to it, and have a great month.

For more details on how to clean your machine, check out Last Day of the Month – Lets All Clean our Sewing Machines

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ week.  Julie

Related Posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: