by Staff Writer
Sewing machines are big investments, meant to last through years of sewing and craft projects. If you want to keep your sewing machine in top condition, you need to do some maintenance on a regular basis. Maintaining your sewing machine can help you get the most out of it and enjoy sewing and quilting tasks for years or even decades. A well-maintained sewing machine will also reduce the need for repairs and tune-ups, saving you time and money.
Get into the habit of covering your sewing machine when you are not using it. Keeping your sewing machine covered with a high-quality case when not in use will help keep dust from accumulating on and in the various parts of the machine. You can also invest in a sewing machine cabinet or table with a special top. These pieces of sewing furniture will do the most for keeping your machine clean and dust-free.
Oiling your sewing machine can extend the life of your expensive investment. Manufacturers each have different guidelines, but it is generally recommended that the average user oil her sewing machine about every 30 days. A drop or two of oil in moving parts is all you need. Be sure to wipe away excess oil, so you don't damage fabric during future sewing projects.
Use compressed air to clean out crevices. Canned air will safely help keep lint and thread from accumulating and building up in moving parts of your sewing machine. Be sure to use canned air after sewing on fabrics that shed quite a bit, like corduroy.
Check the cords. When you do other maintenance, get into the habit of quickly checking the cords on your machine for wear and replacing them promptly to avoid electrical problems and dangers.
Using your sewing machine properly will help immensely in extending its life. When you first purchase your sewing machine, it is important to read the user's manual and manufacturer's warnings and guidelines. In addition, you should always use the appropriate supplies and equipment for individual sewing projects. Use the proper size needle for the fabric you're sewing and use the correct thread type for the needles you choose. Also, never force any of the parts on your sewing machine; always gently and carefully remove parts, thread and fabric as needed.