The Ultimate Guide to Sewing Machine Lubricant.

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

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Sewing Machine Lubricant Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These Tips!

Sewing machine care and cleaning are essential if you want to maintain it in top functioning condition. As your machine ages, it will get more and more clunkier since you haven’t taken care of it. Sewing machine lubricant is one approach to keep the machine functioning smoothly.

Sewing machine oil and how to use it for sewing machine maintenance will be discussed in this blog article.

We’ll also discuss sewing machine lubricant alternatives and the consequences of not using any at all.

Sewing machine lubricant oil types:

Sewing machine oil

Sewing Machine Lubricant May Be Divided Into the Below Types:

Mineral Oil

Mineral Oil is a petroleum-based product.  The best sewing machine oil is this one. As a result, most sewing machine manufacturers have suggested it as an option for their products.

There are other oils that are more likely to clog up your machine’s filters quickly, but this one is non-drying and may gather dust or debris in the needle region.

Mineral oil does not lubricate as effectively as some of the other lubricants available today, therefore you should only apply it when absolutely required. Mineral oil may be necessary if you want to sew together a lot of thick materials, such as denim and wool, since it helps minimize friction, resulting in stitching that is less prone to skipped stitches or jammed textiles being trapped.

Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil that is not natural.  For those who don’t have access to mineral oil, synthetic oil may serve as a temporary stand-in. If your sewing machine is towards the end of its useful life, or if you aren’t using any other oils, this is the oil you should use. Water resistant properties help avoid dust from clinging to sewing machine components, so it won’t dry up like other sewing machine oils and will help keep your sewing machine clean.

As previously said, synthetic oil may be used on any fabric type, but since it has a more liquid consistency than mineral oil, it may exacerbate the issue if anything gets trapped in there, as attempting to push anything through this grease would just create additional difficulties.

Natural Oil

Oils that are made from natural sources.  In comparison to mineral and synthetic oil, natural oils are less effective.

Many machines can become useless within weeks if they are filled with natural oils, however mineral or synthetic oils may survive for months since they have a more liquid quality that enables them to cover all the surfaces within your machine without leaving residue behind.

Cutlery Cleaner / Clipper Oil

In many ways, clipper and sewing machine oils are comparable. A natural, light oil obtained from animals, seeds, or plants is known as clipper oil.

In a pinch, it might be used as sewing machine oil, although it won’t last as long before it has to be replaced.

Even though mineral coolants typically come in larger bottles at lower prices per ounce, clipper and sewing machine oils often come in small bottles that can run up quite an expensive bill if you need to keep reordering them for each time you want to sew something new. Mineral coolants, on the other hand, are generally cheaper than many types of synthetic oils.

There are several oils that you should avoid using to oil or lubricate your sewing machine. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Motor oil is a kind of oil that is used in automobiles.
  • Kerosene
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Mustard Seed Oil is a kind of vegetable oil that comes from the seeds of mustard plants.
  • Bovine Liver Oils (also known as bovine tallow)
  • Lanolin/wool waxes should be avoided since they might clog the machine. Instead of using these oils as a lubricant for your sewing machine belt, you may use white petroleum jelly or silicone spray instead.
  • Gasoline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is sewing machine oil?

Specifically designed for use in sewing machines, sewing machine oil is a high-performance lubricant. Reduce friction between the machine’s moving components to prevent them from snarling up and to provide a smooth stitching experience are its primary goals

In order to maintain your sewing machine working at its best, add sewing machine oil to the needle bar, the bobbin region, and any other moving components. The more you stitch, the dirtier your sewing machine will get.

Should I oil my sewing machine?

The accumulation of dust and debris in sewing machines makes them vulnerable to clogging, which may lead to a variety of typical sewing machine issues. On the other hand, regular cleaning and oiling of your sewing machine may fix a lot of problems with your machine.

Oiling your sewing machine may also help keep it from overheating, as we mentioned in a prior tutorial. Sewing machines may get damaged if the tension rises over what is considered a typical level of usage.

You may sew more quickly and without issues with your sewing machine skipping stitches or jammed fabric by using oil to lubricate your needle.

If you don’t keep an eye on what sections require oiling, the machine’s exterior may begin to wear out. Neglecting routine care may result in costly repairs down the road, so prevent this from happening by using a sewing machine cleanser and following our instructions on how to oil your sewing machine.

What are the advantages of using a sewing machine oil over other methods?

There are several advantages to utilizing a sewing machine oil when doing routine maintenance on your machine. Some of these advantages are as follows:

It aids in the prevention of rusting and corrosion.
It helps to keep your sewing machine functioning smoothly, particularly around the needle bar region.
It helps to avoid inadvertent thread breaking when bobbin winding.

When is it necessary to oil your sewing machine?

If you see any of the following indicators on your sewing machine, you should clean and oil it immediately:

When you switch on the machine, it immediately begins to smoke.
The gears may be seen to be covered in dust and filth, as well as what is known as “sewing dirt,” which is a mixture of oil residue and fragments of fabric that have been ground up by friction.
Your sewing machine is making an unexpected noise that is out of the ordinary – this indicates that your sewing machine need some care.”
When you see that the seams aren’t aligned,
When the sewing machine emits a burned scent, it is time to clean it.

What kind of oil do you use to lubricate your sewing machine?

Your sewing machine should only be lubricated using sewing machine oil. Because it’s made of white mineral oil, sewing machine oil is transparent and odorless. Because of its low viscosity, the oil won’t build up on the machine’s gears and cause damage. Machine oil or sewing machine oil are common names for this product.

How do you make sewing machine oil?

The oil is made by combining 1/3 cup jojoba oil with a tablespoon of each ester oil and silicon oil to form a thick paste. Some machines will not function well with the homemade combination, therefore it is advisable to test a little amount of the oil mixture on the equipment before adding it completely to the machine.

Is olive oil good for sewing machine?

Sewing machine oils may be made from a range of natural, non-toxic, and readily available household lubricants. Typical culinary components like as olive oil, coconut oil, and silicone oils may be used alone or in combination to make an alternative lubricant that is compatible with your own sewing machine oil ingredients.

Is Clipper oil the same as sewing machine oil?

Sewing oil is identical to the oil that is used for hair clippers in terms of composition. Refined oil is used to make this product. It is a fatty liquid with no discernible odor that differs from the machine equivalent. It is safer to use sewing machine oil, vaseline, or even baby oil instead of rubbing alcohol.

How often should you clean and oil your sewing machine?

A decent rule of thumb is to get your sewing machine cleaned every four months. To ensure that your sewing machine continues to function properly, get it serviced by a professional at least once every two years. Your sewing machine will be oiled during your servicing call.

What’s the best place to lubricate a sewing machine?

A few drops of oil squeezed on the housing unit in which the bobbin case rests is standard procedure. Oiling the shuttle hook is a common request on most machines (which is the thing that spins inside the bobbin casing). Sewing machine owners are often instructed to add a few drops of oil to the hook race and the machine’s housing.


To some, the expense of sewing machine oil is prohibitive when they may use soap or cooking oil instead, but this may really do more damage than good since both things are predominantly water-based, which can lead to corrosion in the long run.

Cleaning and oiling your sewing machine is an investment that pays off in the long run since it guarantees that your machine is always in top shape and that any potential harm is avoided.

We really hope that this article has provided you with a better understanding of sewing machine lubricant oil.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.