Diy Video Tutorial: Oil Your Sewing Machine Properly!

With the upcycling/recycling movement gaining popularity, and a trash-into-treasure mentality becoming acceptable, it’s no wonder that people are reacquainting themselves with sewing crafts.

But what people forget – or never even learned, is that sewing machines need routine, simple maintenance for years of service. This DIY Video Tutorial will teach you how to Oil Your Sewing Machine Properly.

Here’s a great DIY Video Tutorial: How to Oil Your Sewing Machine Properly presented by our friends at

Oil Your Sewing Machine - a DIY video tutorial showing you how to maintain your sewing machine properly.
Use a good quality SEWING MACHINE SPECIFIC oil. “All-purpose” household oils will frequently congeal into a sticky mess, and after sitting a while, they’ll harden like a varnish. Then you’ll be facing a major restoration project!

Editor’s note: Always refer to your owner’s manual to address your specific machine’s oil needs.

You have your mom’s old machine but you can’t find the manual? It’s not a problem these days. There are numerous groups dedicated to vintage and antique sewing machines on social media sites, and of course, you can typically download a manual for almost any machine – even antique ones that are over 100 years old.

Oil Your Sewing Machine - Always refer to your sewing machine manual. If you don't have one with your machine, you can most likely find on on the internet! Download an e-copy for handy reference. It will identify the oil ports, as well as the types of lubricants (oil and / or grease) you need to use.

Be aware that certain components on vintage and antique machines should NOT be oiled, such as cloth belts, and on newer machines, you should not put oil on gears – they should receive gear grease unless directed by your owner’s manual. Many vintage and antique sewing machine enthusiast groups recommend 100% synthetic sewing machine oil with Teflon added  – a common brand name is Tri-Flow oil. They also make a Gear Grease that has Teflon in it. This prevents “gumminess” or “oil varnish” that happens when oil sits for extended periods of time. Always use sewing machine-specific oils/grease. Other types of “multi-purpose” household oils/lubricants will harden over time and can potentially cause damage!

Diy Video Tutorial: Oil Your Sewing Machine Properly! 3 • Do-It-Yourself Ideas

Without proper maintenance, here is what can happen to your machine over time:

Diy Video Tutorial: Oil Your Sewing Machine Properly! 5 • Do-It-Yourself Ideas

Did you know that you can wipe down the exterior of a vintage or antique sewing machine with the same sewing machine oil that you use to lubricate the inside? It keeps the machine clean and shiny! You can use sewing machine oil to clean old oil that has gotten sticky.

Oil Your Sewing Machine - This is a 1889 Singer Model 13 Treadle head unit (the machine part). The top photo is the "as-received" condition, and the lower photo shows what the machine looks like when it is wiped down carefully with sewing machine oil. It removes old oily residue and leaves it shiny!
This is your editor’s personal sewing machine (one of many). It is an 1889 Singer 13 Treadle that is in the process of restoration. To clean the body of a vintage or antique sewing machine, all you need is a good-quality sewing machine oil. That was all that was used on the black body & gold foiling to make it look gorgeous again!

Now that your machine is running tip-top, how about making some Inner Tube Bags?

Follow Sikana on YouTube & Facebook!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top