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Thread: Oiling your sewing machine

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Finger Lakes, NY

    Oiling your sewing machine

    I bought a nice old White machine I am going to clean up and give to my DDil and DGDs. Our local sewing machine repair place now charges $90 for a cleaning and oiling which is more than I paid for the machine so I think I will do it myself. Someone at the LQS said she uses extra light extra virgin oilve oil on her machine. Have you ever heard of this? Do you know what sewing machine oil is?
    Thanks for any advice.
    I don't want to brag but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Sewing machine oil is mineral oil. I am sure that olive oil (organic) would get rancid and stink! I clean and oil all my vintage machines. You can get the "zoom spout" oiler at Joann, ect. with the notions (it's a 4 oz. bottle of sewing machine oil with a long tube that pulls out to reach into places) pretty reasonably. I use Tri-Flow oil (find it at a bike shop) which is a light machine oil with teflon so it lasts longer. Tri-flow needs to be shaken well before each use. Don't use 3-in-1 oil, it contains parafin which will harden and gum up your machine.
    Last edited by Skyangel; 06-07-2012 at 01:58 PM.
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Walmart has the Zoom sewing machine oil also. If you have the manual , it should tell you where to oil the machine. The newer computerized machines only get oil in the bobbin case. If the machine is sewing well, oiling it should be enough. Save the $90 visit for when the new owners mess up the timing.

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Blog Entries
    Olive oil is good for a lot of things but I don't think I'd use it on a sewing machine. The sewing machine oil is relatively inexpensive and as others have said comes with a nice spout so you can direct the drops of oil just where you want them.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    howell, Mi
    Sewing machine oil evaporates, so I'm told. I was told not to use anything else on my machine. Another thing, older machines have many places to oil, so you should follow the "map" in the instruction manual. I had a White machine in the 70's and put many miles on it. It is my emergency machine now. It just goes on and on.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Outer Space
    Oh my gosh, don't use olive oil! I'm sure your friend means well...but, NO!!! You've gotten good advice from the abouve posts. Use sewing machine oil only.

  7. #7
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    As others have said, I would use only sewing machine oil as labeled on the package.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rain Country USA
    Blog Entries
    ONLY SEWING MACHINE OIL in a sewing machine. Other products gum up and an organic one like olive oil would probably go rancid. Also if it is an older, mechanical machine use some petroleum jelly (original vasoline) to lubricate the gears --- I usually buy Singer lubricant to do an old machine I have once a year. This all said, it doesn't hurt to pay the clean and repair person $90. They go all the way through the machine and vacuum, dust, oil and lube and make sure things are timed. They can also spot burrs on throat plate covers, etc. I also have a machine from twenty years ago that says it doesn't need oiled as the metal parts are impregnated with oil that is released when the machine is used. So if I haven't used it for some time I put a drop of oil here and there and then run it without thread for several minutes and then thread and do some basic sewing with it before going all out on a project.

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