10 commandments of Machine Embroidery – Thou Shalt clean their machine!

Hello, and welcome to my 10 week series on the 10 commandments of machine embroidery.

I really wanted to go over some of the basics of machine embroidery, and look at the rules that we should all be looking at to make the most of our stitching time.

Today we are going to look at one of the most overlooked commandments – cleaning your machine.

I originally created this post a few years ago, and received a massive backlash of people telling me how disgusting my machine was, and hoping that I take more care of the children than the machines.  Just to clear things up, the kids get cleaned daily, and my machines work a lot, and therefore get more dust than others may.

I recommend people clean and oil their machines at least monthly.  I make the last day of the month clean your machine day, and even mark it on the callendar.

Today I am going to take you through what I do to clean each of my machines.

Tools

  • A clean soft bristle paint brush (this is perfect for getting lint out of the machine, and cleaning around bobbins etc.
  • Oiler. I love my precision oiler, because it gives a tiny delicate drop of oil in an exact position.
  • Screwdriver – the one that comes with your machine is fine, however if you need a better style, check out my offset screwdriver.
  • Magnet tray (or needle tray) to collect all of your screws and not loose them.
  • Compressed Air Can, perfect for getting rid of the last of any dirt etc.
  • Spray cleaner – I like Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol) sprayed onto a clean wipe.
  • Microfibre cloth.

For top loading bobbin machines…

  1. Turn off the machine, and turn on a bright light near the machine
  2. Use your screwdriver to remove the needle plate.
    remove screw
  3. Place your screws into a magnetic tray, or with your pins so that you don’t misplace them.
    place screw in magnetic bowl
  4. Remove the bobbin case from the machine, and use your paint brush to remove any fluff from the case.
    remove bobbin

    dirty bobbin area

    This is my machine with only 1 month of lint and dust built up.

  5. Gently run the paintbrush around the inside of the bobbin area.
    cleaning bobbin area
  6. Take the can of compressed air, and blow a couple of sprays into the bobbin area. This will remove any excess fluff or debris from inside the bobbin area where you cannot get to.
    use compressed air
  7. Using your precision oiler, place a drop of oil onto the centre of the bobbin area.
    oiling your machine
  8. Lightly spray (I mean one spray of rubbing alcohol) the microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol, and run the cloth around the threading guide on the top of your machine.
    clean thread path
  9. Run the cloth with rubbing alcohol over the needle plate to clean it.
  10. Replace the bobbin case.
  11. Replace the needle plate and screws.
    replace bobbin plate
  12. Run the microfiber cloth over the entire machine to remove excess finger prints, as well as any dirt and dust.
    clean outside of machine

For bottom loading bobbin machines…

  1. Turn off the machine, and turn on a bright light near the machine
  2. Remove the bobbin case from the machine, and use your paint brush to remove any fluff from the case.
    open up your bobbin area
  3. Gently run the paintbrush around the inside of the bobbin area.
    partially cleaned bobbin area
  4. Take the can of compressed air, and blow a couple of sprays into the bobbin area. This will remove any excess fluff or debris from inside the bobbin area where you cannot get to.
  5. Using your precision oiler, place a drop of oil onto the centre of the bobbin area.
    oil as per machine instructions
  6. Lightly spray (I mean one spray of rubbing alcohol) the microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol, and run the cloth around the threading guide on the top of your machine.
  7. Run the cloth with rubbing alcohol over the needle plate to clean it.
  8. Replace the bobbin case.
  9. Run the microfiber cloth over the entire machine to remove excess finger prints, as well as any dirt and dust.

So I hope you will join me in Making today Clean Your Machine Day.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.

Julie

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