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Thread: Why bobbin areas need to be cleaned

  1. #1
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I decided to give my sewing machine a bit of cleaning, so got out the owner's manual to see what to do. I removed the bobbin cover like it said and much to my surprise, this is what I saw:

    [IMG]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/E-G-L/Bobbin1.jpg[/IMG]

    There's a LOT of junk in there! And this machine is only 3 months old. Granted, I have made 6 quilts on it during that time, but I was really surprised by how much junk has accumulated in it already during this short time. Time to get the shop vac out now.

  2. #2
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    I clean mine once a week when I'm piecing and before and after any quilting. They fill up fast!

  3. #3
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    LOL - that reminds me of when I was a new sewer and I kept getting "birdsnests" on the bottom of the fabric - my friend/quilt teacher suggested I clean the bobbin casing area - I took out the bobbin and thre was about 1/8 in. worth of sewing dust under the bobbin! cleaned it out and everything immediately worked!

    great suggestion/picture!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Deara's Avatar
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    Yup, you got the fuzzy thing going on there. :shock:

    Much to my delight I am not the only one with a fuzzy bobbin area. :lol:

    Using fleece as a soft touch to placemats adds quickly to my fuzzy bobbin area. :shock: :roll:

    Deara


  5. #5
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Sometimes I get so involved in quilting I forget to clean. Once I had so much lint under the cover that it pushed it up. Never again.

  6. #6
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimee4
    Sometimes I get so involved in quilting I forget to clean. Once I had so much lint under the cover that it pushed it up. Never again.
    That must have been scary! :shock:

  7. #7
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    I bought an attachment for my vacuum cleaner with a brush head, and angeled head and a flat head to clean my bobbin area. Of course I don't use it often enough!! I got it out of a Bethlehem HomeSew catelogue

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I'm surprised it didn't cause you any problems - some machines are real tempermental about build-up.

    I scoot the cleaning brush around about every second or third bobbin change.

  9. #9
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    I'm surprised it didn't cause you any problems - some machines are real tempermental about build-up.

    I scoot the cleaning brush around about every second or third bobbin change.

    My machine is that way. I have to clean it about every second or third bobbin. Sometime I have to clean after one bobbin depending on the thread.

  10. #10
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    I clean mine after every project,just depend on the size.And not to hjack your thread but how often to you oil your machine and change needles. My repair guy says oil to machines is like people/water,and we all know how we work when dehydrated. And I change needles after every large quilt project( I don't throw them away,I use them them for a spare. What do you all do?

  11. #11
    user3587's Avatar
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    I have Babylock machines and you don't oil them, you can void your waranty if you do. As for needles I throw mine away after using, I feel that once I've changed a needle its "goodness" is gone. I really don't see a need to keep a used needle unless you changed it out to change to another size and it's still got its "goodness". If a well used needle can be recycled for something else, I would like to know. I'm all for recycling. :lol: :wink:

  12. #12
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Wow, Eddie, that is a whole lot of junk in there - your machine is FULL of dust bunnies. I think you are going to have to do some housekeeping a bit more often than every three months! LOL. And while you are at it, have you checked inside the bobbin case too? I have a little spring inside mine, and dust collects there just as much as anywhere else.

  13. #13
    farscapegal
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    I clean mine every time I put in a new bobbin. It doesn't take that much time to clean.

    Sybil

  14. #14

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    Okie, used sewing machine needles can be used to hang pictures. It leaves a smaller hole than a nail and is just as strong or stronger.

    Judy

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I cleaned out the lint around the bobbin case and didn't realize how much builds up in areas where you can't see it. So I was surprised to see the "matress pad" under the throat plate.

    Now the plate comes off regularly as well; but if you don't know.....

    (When I first started sewing, I did not realize that I was supposed to change the needle. I thought the clunking noise and the big holes were normal. :oops: :lol: )

  16. #16
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    Wow, Eddie, that is a whole lot of junk in there - your machine is FULL of dust bunnies. I think you are going to have to do some housekeeping a bit more often than every three months! LOL. And while you are at it, have you checked inside the bobbin case too? I have a little spring inside mine, and dust collects there just as much as anywhere else.
    Yeah, after I look that picture I lifted the bobbin case out and there was a lot of fine lint under it as well. The shop vac sucked it all out, and then a few blasts of compressed air took care of the rest. Looks great now!

  17. #17
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Yikes!! And I thought mine was bad..........

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder!!! :D :D :D I try to clean mine often, but do forget!!! :oops:

    I will look for an attatchment for my vacuum, mine has lots of nooks and crannys!!

    Awesome tip on using the needles for nails!!! I think I will file them a little blunter first, just in case one hits the ground :roll:



  19. #19
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    I decided to give my sewing machine a bit of cleaning, so got out the owner's manual to see what to do. I removed the bobbin cover like it said and much to my surprise, this is what I saw:

    [IMG]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/E-G-L/Bobbin1.jpg[/IMG]

    There's a LOT of junk in there! And this machine is only 3 months old. Granted, I have made 6 quilts on it during that time, but I was really surprised by how much junk has accumulated in it already during this short time. Time to get the shop vac out now.
    After the shop vac, I finish the cleaning with bent cotton swabs in the hard to reach areas. Amazing how much lint is still sticking in the crevices. :!:

  20. #20
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    That's scary. I need to go and clean mine out too. It may take a while. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Adriane's Avatar
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    Definitely fills up fast. I take my plate off, usually because I've messed something up, but it gives me a chance to clean that area out! I've found that a LIGHT spray of canned air helps me.

  22. #22
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Far out!

    *rushes off to check machine, armed with vacuum cleaner*

  23. #23
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    WOW! I clean mine every time I use it! I oil the bobbin case too after about every 4 or 5 bobbins I use too. My tech said I keep my machine very clean.

    I also use the vac attachment for sewing machines.

  24. #24
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    I clean my bobbin area every few hours of quilting. I know the best way to keep my macine running for a long time is good maintenance. I am always surprised at how much accumulates in just that little bit of time, and how much quieter it is after each cleaning.
    OHSue

  25. #25
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I have cleaned mine out to find enough lint to knit a small sweater, I clean it pretty often but every so often it still coughs up a hairball or two, I clean it fairly often, maybe not as much as some of you do but on a fairly regular basis,

    Don't forget to check between your feed dogs as well, sometimes it can build up there as well and they won't work quiet as well.

    My new machine is a front loading one, I use the extended table all the time unless I am doing something that has to wrap around to sew it, I leave the door open, that way some if it escapes all on it's own and I can see when it is building up.

    Watch using the canned air, it is cold and you can freeze things with it if you over spray.

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