Sewing Machine Maintenance: How to Oil and Clean Video Tutorial (Top Loading Bobbin)

Sewing Machine Maintenance How to Oil and Clean video tutorial for top loading bobbin sewing machines

Sewing Machine Maintenance How to Oil and Clean Top Loading Bobbin sewing machines!

A great video tutorial for sewing machine maintenance oil and clean for top loading bobbin sewing machines. Easy to follow so you can maintain your sewing machine at home.

I had always been too scared to take my sewing machine apart, but doing the podcast with my sewing machine specialist (not available any more though sorry) made me realise that it wasn’t that scary after all (and he could fix my sewing machine if I did manage to break something anyway 😉 ).

If you have a sewing machine with a front loading bobbin you can see my step by step video for how to do some sewing machine maintenance on it.

Sewing Machine Maintenance Video for Top Loading Bobbin Machines

or you can see it on YouTube here

Steps for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Sewing Machine

The following guide is a snapshot of what you will find in the video above

Before I started removing parts I took out the thread and unplugged the power cord from the sewing machine. 

Step 1 : Remove the needle and foot (I removed the ‘ankle’ part as well).

remove foot and needle plate

Step 2: Remove the needle plate by loosening the screw/s. keep the screws with the needle plate as you do not want to lose these.

remove needle plate 2

Step 3: Remove the bobbin case.

remove bobbin case

Step 4: Use a soft brush to gently brush out the lint build up and any pieces of thread in the hook race area. Be sure to brush the lint out of the machine and not let it fall through the cracks and further into your sewing machine.

brush out lint

Also clean between the feed dog teeth as well. You can get a big build up of lint here.

check your manual for this step as some machines do not need to be oiled!

Oil the middle of the hook race with one or two drops of sewing machine oil. You really don’t need very much. (I’m using my old machine in the video and photo as my newer machine does not need oiling. I knew I kept it for a reason!)

oil hook race

Step 6: Reassemble your sewing machine and don’t forget to change the needle for a new one now if it is needed!

Step 7: Wipe you machine over with a dry cloth and you are done.

The thought of taking your sewing machine apart can be scary, but once you know how to do it, it’s not all that scary after all.

If you’re still having trouble getting your head around sewing machine maintenance then think of your sewing machine like you would think about your car. You tend to check your car frequently to see how the tyre pressure, oil, water, etc are going between professional services, right? It’s the same with your sewing machine. Cleaning out your bobbin area and feed dogs and oiling (if needed) is your maintenance you do in between your big sewing machine services. These big services should be done by your local sewing machine technician or specialist once a year or so. If you look after your sewing machine, it will look after you. 😉

If you’re interested in how to do some sewing machine maintenance for your machines timing and tension then you can also check out these Man Sewing Video tutorials. His photo on the videos are hilarious so even just check that out for a laugh!

Happy cleaning and maintaining!




Posted on

26 November, 2014


  1. Jayne

    Love, love, love that you posted this. I am sewing machine rich with no knowledge of how to do preventative maintenance. I tried taking one to a local repair shop but after $90 they didn’t fix anything and actually lost my bobbin holder that moved to wind a bobbin! Thank you for sharing!

    • Domenica Tootell

      You’re welcome!

  2. Barbara Quinn

    I am a firm believer in sewing machine maintance for good even stiching cleaning & maintance is a must. Especially on serger machines. It is just a minor issue but can turn major real fast. So keep a constant maintance.


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