How Do I Dispose Of a Sewing Machine?


Sewing has become extremely popular in recent years. It is a skill that will allow you to make your own clothes and save lots of money by doing your own repairs at home. Sometimes, though, you may need to upgrade your current sewing machine or just to dispose of it. What do you do then?

Disposing of a sewing machine will depend on the type of machine you have and the state it is in. If it is in good condition you can choose to sell it or donate it. If not, it can be recycled or refurbished.

There are electric and automatic sewing machines as well as older mechanical models. Some older sewing machines may have more value than you may think, especially if they are old family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.

Disposing an electrical sewing machine

  • Recycling

Our society’s poor recycling culture is one of the main causes of global warming. When things are constantly being disposed of in landfills, the effects build up over time. Throwing your old sewing machine in the trash and forgetting about it is therefore not the answer.

Recycling old electrical sewing machines is much kinder to the environment. There are a lot of companies that specialize in recycling electronics that will take it off your hands and even pay you for it. In some places, the local laws require that old used electronics be taken back by the companies that made them, so you should familiarize yourself with the regulations around where you live.

Alternatively, you can take apart the sewing machine yourself and try to find recyclable parts. This, however, requires that you have some basic knowledge of electronics and how they work. In a sewing machine, parts like the rotary blade can easily be converted to a paper cutter and used in your home office.

  • Donating  

This is a great way to give back to the community. If your sewing machine is still operational, you can donate it to organizations that need them. Sewing machines are very useful items and are always in demand.

Your sewing machine can become an extra income source for disadvantaged families. It may also help other people get access to cheaper, much-needed clothes. Alternatively, it can become a training tool to help someone else gain a useful skill.

For this reason, many organizations accept used sewing machines. If you are not sure of where to donate it, simply go online and advertise it as a free listed item on a site like Craigslist. You will receive lots of inquiries about it.

If you are up for it, you can also physically visit places like schools, local shelters, hospitals and hospices, and even churches which will gladly take the sewing machine off your hands. Places like schools offer art and design classes and your sewing machine may come in handy.

Hospices or assisted living shelters also offer sewing classes and have clubs for the elderly to practice this craft as a past time. Most have tight budgets and are unable to afford these machines. Therefore your donation will be highly appreciated.

You can also visit international charities like the Salvation Army. Your sewing machine will find a new home in faraway places like Africa where it will transform the lives of a lot of people.

Other international charities like the Sewing Machine Project have donated over 3000 sewing machines worldwide. These machines have been donated to women cooperatives and other groups. Their impacts have not only been income generating but assistance in disaster relief through the creation of much-needed items of clothing.

If you are going to donate to these charities, though, your machine has to be in good working condition. They won’t accept a run-down machine. Make sure to include all parts of the sewing machine and the user manual if available.

  • Selling your sewing machine

If the machine is still in good working condition, you can make some extra money off it. With the power of the internet, it is now possible to sell it to people all over the world. All you have to do is post it online and potential buyers will come to you.

Platforms like eBay and Craigslist are good starting points. Be sure to research the current market prices before deciding on the final selling price. The selling price should also include shipping costs to make sure that you gain the most from your transaction.

Take a lot of photographs and give a detailed description of your listed sewing machine. It may also help to highlight its best features but do not exaggerate its performance. You can also make small repairs before selling it to ensure that your buyer gets a fair deal.

If selling it online is not an option, there are lots of local dealers that you can talk to. Face to face transactions is arguably better than anonymous online ones because they provide a common level of trust. While you may end up getting a lower price for your machine, it will save you a lot of time.

  • Disposing in the trash

Sometimes, though, you may have a sewing machine that is damaged beyond repair. As a last resort, it may need to go to the trash. Since it is an electronic sewing machine, though, there are certain regulations that need to be followed to properly dispose of it.

Do not place the sewing machine in the same trash bin as organic waste. This is because there are parts of it that can be recycled. Place the items in a separate bin and mark them for recycling.

If there are any sharp parts that came with it, place these in a container, or stick them on cork before throwing them away. These may include the machine needle and pins to prevent injury to those handling the trash later.

Disposing a mechanical sewing machine

  • Selling to antique collectors

This is the most popular way of disposing of old mechanical sewing machines. They are in very high demand especially Singer sewing machines. The first thing you need to do is find out whether your sewing machine is a collector’s item.

You can do this by noting down the serial number and or date of manufacture. If no date is available, online charts can be used to identify the period of manufacture. These are found in specialized websites online. Simply key in the serial number on to the database provided for results.

If it is a collector’s item, post the item on online platforms specialized in antique collections. Be sure to post photographs highlighting its best features. You should also give a good backstory especially if the machine is a family heirloom.

  • Parts reuse

You do not have to dispose of the mechanical sewing machine as a whole. Simple but creative ways can transform these items into ornaments around your apartment. You however need to have some knowledge on disassembling them so as not to damage them entirely.

Old sewing machines were made of head units and a table stand. The table stand can gain new purposes in your apartment. The table stands have leg irons that have intricate pattern designs. They are not only sturdy but can improve your home décor as an accessory.

Visit online interior design websites to get creative ways of transforming this stand into a useful item. It will eventually save you money in the process.

A sewing machine table stand can be converted into a dining table with simple modifications. It can also be a kitchen table, coffee table, nightstand, or even an office table. There are DIY websites that may help you create these items. This could even be your part-time hobby as you recreate something new.

Interestingly, there are still hundred-year-old sewing machines running strong. Parts of your machine can come in handy for them. You can donate these by posting online or visiting your local dealers. This is one of the best ways to give your machine a new lease on life.

Final thoughts

You don’t always have to throw out your old sewing machine. There are lots of creative ways to reuse them or recycle it. You can also opt to donate it and make someone else’s life a little better. If you have an antique sewing machine, you might even end up making a lot of money off it by selling it to antique dealers. These are all great ways to dispose of your sewing machine while also being a little kind to the environment.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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