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How To Store Your Sewing Machine

sewing machine

Properly storing your sewing machine will help it last longer and function better. Sewing machines are highly complex, with many small and delicate components. This means attention needs to be given to the way they’re stored.

Clean Your Machine First 

You should always clean your sewing machine before storage. Start by switching it off and unplugging it for your safety. Never attempt to clean the machine whilst still plugged in. 

Start by removing the throat plate. This is where most of the fabric fibres and dust tend to gather, so it needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid a build-up and hinder the running of your machine. Some sewing machines can have the throat plate removed by simply sliding it off, while other models come with a small screwdriver to unscrew the plate. Refer to your machines instruction manual before removing the plate to avoid causing unnecessary damage. 

When cleaning your machine, be aware of how intricate the components are. Use a soft lint brush to collect all the dust in your sewing machine, paying attention to the nooks and crannies. These are the areas where the most build-up can occur because they often go unnoticed by the naked eye.  Try to avoid using compressed air in a can to clean your sewing machine, as it will push the dirt further into the internal mechanisms and hinder its running.

Some machines come with a separate bobbin case. If this is the case with your machine, take it out and clean it thoroughly. Be sure to clean in-between the feed dogs and needle bar areas. The exterior of your machine can be cleaned using a mild cleanser or polish but be sure not to interfere with the internal workings. Make sure the machine is completely dry before storing it to avoid it smelling or rusting. 

Oil Your Machine 

Once the machine has been cleaned, you can move on to oiling. A specially formulated lubricant oil must be used on the machine to ensure it’s not damaging it internally. Oiling your machine helps to prevent friction on moving parts. 

First, turn the handwheel back and forth to identify parts where friction is occurring. Once these have been identified, apply the oil. This avoids a build-up of oil as it’s only being used where needed. Be sure to use the oil that came with your sewing machine to know it will not cause further damage. Once the oil has been applied, turn the handwheel back and forth several times to work the oil into the machine. Plug the machine back in and do a few test seams using pieces of scrap fabric. This will help you determine if the machine is well oiled before storage.

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 correctly 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. 

It is important to cover the sewing machine before storing it. Use a cover case to avoid damage and generally protect the case. Sewing machine bags are also a good option for an added protection and a good way to promote safe transportation.

Covering the sewing machine protects it from dirt and dust and eliminates the chance of damaging the internal parts while in storage. Covering the sewing machine between uses is also an excellent way to protect it and prolong its lifespan. It’s essential to get into the habit of covering your machine from the start, even if you plan on storing it in a closet. 

Store Away In A Cool And Dry Location 

You must pay attention to the temperature at which your sewing machine is stored. A regulated temperature is best for your sewing machine. Exposing it to extreme warmth or cold can make it more susceptible to rust. 

One of the best places to store a sewing machine is in a cupboard or wardrobe area at home, if you have the room. Make sure the space isn’t susceptible to damp or near any water to avoid rusting. You can even add a little more padding into the case around your sewing machine to keep it protected should it be exposed to any liquid. Most sewing machines are metallic, which means any moisture can cause rusting, destroying your machine. If you live in a particularly humid area, consider a dehumidifier where you store your machine to keep it protected. 

Change Your Needle

The process of cleaning your machine should encourage habits that will prolong the life of your machine, particularly changing the needle. Rather than waiting for your needle to break to replace it, change it regularly. This helps the machine run as smoothly as possible and avoid errors in your work. Old needles are more likely to bend and hit the bobbin case, damaging your work.   

Once you’ve replaced the needle, complete a test run to ensure it functions properly. It’s particularly important to do this after oiling your machine, as using a piece of scrap fabric for a test run avoids the risk of getting excess oil on your next project. Once you’re satisfied, the machine is safe to be stored.

Adjust The Thread 

It’s always important to check the thread before you start sewing. You must use threads that have the same weight for both the bobbin and the top thread to avoid altering the tension of the stitch caused by different weights.

The first thing you need to do is to fill a bobbin. It is always 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.  

Start by filling your bobbin; it’s advised to use the ones your machine’s manufacturer supplied to ensure a good fit. Winding the bobbin should be done neatly and evenly to avoid stitching problems. Once wound, refer to the instruction manual on the correct way to insert your bobbin. 

When changing a bobbin, be sure to change the top thread also. Lift the pressure foot to release the tension discs of your machine rather than pulling the thread. Then cut the thread at the top of the machine and pull it through until it’s completely removed. 

Whether you intend to store your machine for an extended period or keep it safe between uses, you should pay attention to the storing process to prolong its lifespan. We advise you to find a permanent place to keep your sewing machine within the house and repeat this process regularly to keep your machine in full working order. 


For more tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your sewing machine, check out our blogs! If you have questions about storing your machine or are unsure which machine is suitable for you, contact our friendly team today! 


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