How To Store a Sewing Machine?


Sewing machines can be very delicate, which means they need to be handled with care when being used and during storage. Here is everything you need to know about how best to store a sewing machine.

The best tip for storing a sewing machine is cleaning and oiling it first, covering it properly, and then storing it in a dry room with moderate temperature.  

Properly storing your sewing machine will help it last longer and function better. The article below shows how best you can store your sewing machine, maintaining it in a good condition for your next project.

1. Clean your machine before storage

You should clean your sewing machine before storage. First, you should unplug the machine. You should never clean your sewing machine while it is still plugged in. This also applies to any other electronic device. You should unplug the machine first for your own safety.

Once the machine is unplugged, take out the throat plate. Most of the fabric fibers and dust tend to gather in the throat plate. In some sewing machines, you can remove the throat plate by simply sliding it off while other models come with a screw driver for unscrewing the plate.

Using a soft lint brush, collect all the dust in your sewing machine, focusing on all the nooks and crannies. You should avoid using compressed can air to clean your sewing machine. Blasting air into your sewing machine may push dust and dirt further into your machine. This makes it even harder to get the dirt out, and may cause real damage to the machine. The air blower may also contain moisture which may end up on parts inside your machine, creating rust.

If your sewing machine has a bobbin case, take it out and clean it thoroughly. Clean in-between the feed dogs and the needle bar areas. You should also clean the exterior of the machine using a mild cleanser. The machine should be completely dry before storage.

2. Oil the machine

Once you have cleaned the lower part, you can oil the machine. The sewing machine is oiled using a specially formulated lubricant to ensure that the machine parts operate smoothly by preventing the effects of friction such as wear and tear of the moving parts.

To apply the lubricating oil on the sewing machine, first turn the hand wheel back and forth to determine the parts where there is friction. Once you have confirmed these parts, apply oil to them. Oil these parts using the sewing oil that comes in a small container with the machine.

Once you have applied the sewing oil to the machine, turn the hand wheel back and forth several times to work the oil into the machine. 

You should, however, avoid excessive use of oil when lubricating your sewing machine. Using too much oil may end up attracting a lot of lint and dirt, instead of helping the machine operate smoothly. Using excessive oil also causes the oil to build up inside machine parts, creating a place for dirt and little hair balls to accumulate.

To avoid the excessive accumulation of sewing oil in your machine, use a piece of fabric such as muslin to absorb any excessive oil present on the body of your machine. Once you have gotten rid of the excessive oil, install the throat plate back on and wipe down the entire machine using a dust cloth. Plug the machine back in and do a few test seams using pieces of scrap fabric. This help you determine if the machine is well oiled before storage.

3. Cover the machine

It is important to cover the sewing machine before storing it. If you have a cover case for your machine, use it to cover the machine properly before storage. In case you lack a case for your sewing machine, a fabric cover will do just fine. Alternatively, you can use an old towel to cover the machine. Better yet, if you don’t have a cover, you could sew one for yourself before storage. 

Covering the sewing machine will keep the dirt and dust away. This eliminates the risk of dust affecting the moving parts while the sewing machine is in storage. Dust can find its way into the inner parts of your sewing machine. Even if you plan to store your machine in the closet, it is important to keep it covered. It is important to develop this habit especially if you don’t use your machine very often.

4. Store the machine in moderate temperature

You should also ensure that you store your sewing a machine in a room with moderate temperature. Storing your machine in extreme temperature conditions makes it more susceptible to rust.

5. Change your needle

Once you are done cleaning the sewing machine, change the needle. You should create a habit of replacing the needle every time you clean the machine before storage. It is important to replace the needle regularly instead of waiting for the needle to break for it to be replaced. This helps the machine to run as smoothly as possible.

Regularly replacing the needle allows you to work in the best conditions. Old needles are more likely to bend and hit the bobbin case, making a mess on the project you are working on. Once you have replaced the needle, power up the machine for a test run.

Use a scrap piece of fabric for the test run especially since you have just oiled the machine. This helps you see how well the needle functions and limits the risk of oil getting on the fabric from the machine’s teeth on your next project. The machine is good for storage once you are satisfied that it is working properly.

6. Change threads for easy sewing

It is always important to observe the thread before you start sewing. When threading your sewing machine, it is important to use threads that have the same weight for both the bobbin and the top thread. This is to avoid alteration in the tension of the stitch, usually caused by using different weights.

The first thing you need to do is to fill a bobbin. It is advised to use bobbins supplied by your manufacturer. You should wind your bobbin neatly and evenly. Winding your bobbin evenly will help you avoid stitching problems associated with poorly wound bobbins on your next project.  

Once you are done winding your bobbin, insert it in the machine and bring the bobbin thread to the top. You should make sure that the bobbin is inserted in the right way by referring to your instruction manual. Inserting the bobbin correctly will help you avoid stitching problems in your next project.

The next thing is to change the top thread. To do this, you should avoid pulling the thread from your sewing machine. Instead, you should first lift your pressure foot to release the tension discs of your machine. Once you have done this, cut the thread at the top of your machine and then pull it down through the machine until you completely remove it from the sewing machine.

If you forcefully pull the thread at the top of the machine, you are also pulling up any fuzz or lint through your tension discs. This, in the long run, is not good for your sewing machine. The bits of fuzz and lint, over time, may cause problems with the tension of your machine. Pulling the thread downwards through the machine follows the path the thread normally takes and does not interfere with the tension of the machine. 

7. Store in a dry place

It is also important to store your sewing machine in a dry place. The room where the machine is stored should have no moisture. You should prevent moisture from getting into your machine at all costs. Most sewing machines are metallic. Even the ones that do not have a metallic exterior have metallic moving parts inside. These parts should not be exposed to moisture.

Moisture causes the rusting effect that affects the metallic parts of your sewing machine. Your sewing machine can be completely destroyed by rust. If you live in a humid area, you should probably store your machine in a room with a dehumidifier.

Final thoughts

If you intend to store your sewing machine for a long time, you should find the best place with the best conditions to put it. The room should not be moist or have too much dust. Most sewing machines are metallic and have a lot of metallic moving parts inside. This makes sewing machines vulnerable to rust if placed in a moist environment. 

It is advisable to find a permanent place to put the sewing machine inside the house. If you choose to store your sewing machine in a room such as the attic or the basement, you should cover the machine with extra care. This is because these rooms usually have more dirt and are dustier than your normal living space. If this is the case, it is advisable to wrap your sewing machine in plastic outside the fabric cover.

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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