If your sewing machine is not working correctly, the first thing you should do is clean it before calling a repair person. Most of the problems are caused by thread ends, dust or lint. A small soft brush can be used to brush off the dust and lint, and tweezers or needles can be used to remove thread ends. You can also blow the treads and lint away using canned pressurised air.

Cleaning should not only be done when your machine is not working correctly. It should also be done when you notice your sewing machine needs some maintenance. All sewing machines will come with a manual that clearly outlines how to maintain them. Note a few areas you need to maintain to ensure a long life for your sewing machine.

Bobbin and Hook Area

Before doing any cleaning, always turn off the sewing machine! The bobbin and hook area is usually affected by lint. You can remove the bobbin case and use a brush to remove lint. Inspect the hook shaft for the presence of wound up threads. For deeper cleaning and in most sewing machines, you can remove the hook assembly. You will also require to lubricate the bobbin race and exterior perimeter of the hook after cleaning.

Face Plate Area

Depending on which machine you have, you can remove the face plate and clean the presser foot bars and needle. In other machines, the face plate may be housed and mounted on hinges. You can remove the entire housing for easier cleaning.

You will require a brush, clean cloth and some solvent. Brush out lint, then use a clean cloth and solvent to wipe off grease from the presser bar and needle. You may also oil the shaft and other moving parts as your sewing machine manual outlines.

Handwheel Area

This area comprises of the shaft, handwheel and washer. All these need to be cleaned. The handwheel area can be a little difficult to deeply clean as it will involve removing some parts that you need to return the same way they were for the machine to operate. The washer, for example, needs to be placed back correctly.

Removing the handwheel area components depends on the type of machine. A machine can be driven by an external belt, meaning the belt has to be taken off before removing the handwheel. A machine can also be operated by an internal belt meaning the handwheel cannot come off. Another machine can be gear driven meaning it will have a gear on the inside part of the handwheel. If you find that you cannot handle cleaning this area or any other area, hire a overlocker repair person who can to avoid damaging your machine.