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Thread: How do I remove grease from plastic gears?

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    How do I remove grease from plastic gears?

    Not a vintage machine this time, but a relevant question I think.

    We bought a Singer 4622A ZZ machine last year. This was before I learned about greases and lubes. It was dry dry dry inside even though it has few actual lube places.
    I oiled what ever moved using a good oil, but not a sewing machine oil. That is easy to correct.

    But I lubed the plastic cam stacks with white lithium grease. Now that I've learned that was a no no I want to remove it and some really solidified amber colored grease that was in the machine from before.

    What can I use to remove the grease that will not damage the plastic cam stack and other gears?
    Some I can simply wipe off, but others will take more than that.

    Joe

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    dawn dish soap and warm water maybe??

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, that's an idea. I actually was able to get it out with a flat blade screw driver and paper towels followed by a tooth brush.

    The grease had not solidified any at all, so it was pretty easy.

    Joe

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    Hi Joe, why is lithium grease a "no-no" for plastic gears? I don't have any plastic-geared machines but I'm curious.

    As for removing it, I second Jacquie; if I had to remove grease from plastic parts, I'd give it a good soak in water and dishwashing detergent followed by a good rinse.
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, lithium grease is kind of heavy and it will gum up. My wife was using it some a couple days ago and it ran well but seemed to me to be sluggish. Could be just because it's a new plastic machine. Anyway I cleaned the cam stack off and a couple other gear sets too. And it seems to be running freer.

    The grease won't actually damage anything, it just gets gummy over time.

    Joe

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    Rubbing alcohol will work too. It won't harm plastic...it's sold in plastic bottles. I'm not crazy about putting water on the inside of my machines. The alcohol will evaporate quickly & they'll be less chance of any leaving moisture inside the machine.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage.Singers.NYC View Post
    Hi Joe, why is lithium grease a "no-no" for plastic gears? I don't have any plastic-geared machines but I'm curious.

    As for removing it, I second Jacquie; if I had to remove grease from plastic parts, I'd give it a good soak in water and dishwashing detergent followed by a good rinse.
    Rain,
    I've been doing a lot of reading the last 8 months and some things have become mixed up in my memory. Here is where I read not to use lithium grease in sewing machines:
    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2009/01/...g-machine.aspx
    Although Jenny is discussing removing it from steel gears, she also cautions about using greases on non metal gears unless it's called for.

    Joe

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