09 April, 2010

Friday Favourite - Lint Tool


Okay, hands up. How many of you clean your sewing machine on a regular basis? And just what do you define as cleaning?

With the knees injured my machine was getting a bit of a rest. So I took it in for a little tune-up and deep clean. In the almost 4 years I've owned it there has been very little that has ever bothered me about it, other than the needle threader breaking. It may just be because it is a good machine, but I also think I take care of it rather well.

One of the things I do is clear the lint every single time I change a bobbin. Yup, every time. The bobbin case is out anyway, so I have a good clean view of all that lint! I used to use a Q-Tip with a dab of oil to do this. This was how I was taught to oil my machine. Then a swap partner sent me a handy little tool. With regular cleaning I've found that I only need to do a quick swab with oil once a month or so, depending on how often I've sewn.

Today's favourite is the handy little tool.  It can be yours for less than a dollar, or even free if you, like me, often have straws and pipe cleaners around. Ah, preschool crafts.

Take a roughly 2 inch piece of pipe cleaner and a thin straw. The little coffee straws work best for this.
Fold the pipe cleaner in half and pinch the ends together close. Insert into one end of the straw. Don't worry about glue or anything. A small straw will hold the pipe cleaner in place.

Open up your machine where the bobbin is. This is what mine looks like after a a bobbin's worth of sewing. You don't have to look too close to see the lint.

Drag the pipe cleaner/lint tool through the entire area, behind the bobbin housing, in the bobbin case, and underneath the throat plate. This is what came up for me.

Do this every time you change your bobbin and your machine will run quite smooth. Trust me, a clean machine saves you a lot of headaches and repair bills.

31 comments:

whatktmadenext said...

Thanks for the tip. I quite enjoy cleaning my machine - there's something oddly satisfying about seeing how much fluff I can remove. But I don't do it as regularly as you do - I guess I need to up my game!

Betty Crocker Ass said...

I clean after every quilt.
Otherwise it doesn't work.
Thanks for the rad tip.
You pretty much rule.

Janet said...

great tip. I clean every time I change the bobbin but my little brush sometimes just pushes the lint further in.

Andrea said...

Ah yes...I absolutely love getting the fluff balls out of my machine. It is kind of odd, but I love it when I get a good wad of it. I don't use the pipecleaner thing though, and that looks very cool!
Someone I know also uses a computer keyboard vacuum attachment and sucks out all the lint each time with her hand vac. Sounds like a great idea, but then I don't get that satisafaction of seeing my lint.
Once again, you rock!

r0ssie said...

nice! that looks like it works better than the little brush that came with the machine. I'll give it a go!

badlandsquilts said...

Great idea... I usually give it a blow with the canned air but pipe cleaners are a bit cheaper!

Lee said...

great tip, I also have a kids small narrow paint brush i use to get into the fluff. I also have some bent tweezers from my serger that work really well.

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

I clean mine with every new project. It looks like I'm not the only one who likes to see all that fuzz come out of there! I'm going to try the pipe cleaner tip. Thanks!

Nichole said...

great tip! i am a quasi-regular lint cleaner, but this looks like it will make it even easier. thanks for sharing.

elle said...

this is god tip, Cheryl!

Exuberant Color said...

I clean mine every 2 bobbins but I usually wipe away whatever is in front with my finger on the time between. That looks like a pretty handy gadget. I agree the brush that comes with the machine doesn't pull it all out.

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

Great Tip! Im pretty fanatical about cleaning and oiling my bobbin area.

I wish I was better at changing my needle...
thanks for the maintenance reminder!

patty a. said...

I catch the dust bunnies with an old Clique blush brush. It is a natural brush and the bunnies just stick to it. When I am machine quilting on my Pfaff 1475, I clean out the bobbin casing area at every bobbin change because the lint builds up quickly.

Purple Quilter Queen said...

What a clever little tool! I was just looking for something to use on mine! That blowing dust out just isn't working when it comes right back into your face! Thanks! Jenn

~Michelle~ said...

ooh, great tip! plus the straw has a little bit of give to it, so you can squeeze it into some of those awkward spaces I can get with the solid plastic lint cleaner that came with my machine!

amandajean said...

that's genius!!! i'm so going to make my own cleaning tool. yay for pipecleaners! (i never thought i'd say that!)

MelanieO said...

I like the pipecleaner idea. I use an old paintbrush, but it sometimes leaves bristles behind.

Helena said...

Such a nifty idea, thanks for sharing.

sewkatiedid said...

You also have most killer machine. Don't ever get rid of it, I regret it.

Kaye Prince said...

I came over here from Sew, Mama, Sew because I saw your comment there - I just tried this and it totally worked! I ended up having to cut my pipe cleaner a little long and fold it in half twice because I only had the skinny pipes hanging around, but it did the trick! Thanks!

Cassie said...

Fantastic idea!!!!!
=)

CraftyMummy said...

Thanks for the tip! Off to find the pipe cleaner and straw right now

Adrienne said...

Great idea! I'll have to step up my game and clean the lint out more often! :)

Regan Rothery said...

Great idea!

Mary Sarah said...

This is a great tip. I need to go clean and oil my machine now...

Carly said...

I cleaned my macahine right after I read this! (good thing i did, it was SOOO dusty) thanks for the tip! :)

Linda said...

What a great tip!! Thanks so much. Do you mind if I post this on my blog? I'd definitely give you credit.

Diane S said...

great idea - thanks - I will surley use this tip - off to find or buy pipecleaners and straws and Q-tips

SeeLifeMarvels said...

Making and taking these to our next quilt guild meeting. Like you, I clean my machine after each bobin. Unlike you, I don't use the straw, just the pipe cleaner. I like coffee stirrer version better. Thanks so much.

Denise Bevard said...

I clean every bobbin change--pipe cleaner my favorite as well

Daphne Lewis said...

Now I'm going to make one of these handy lint tools and a new resolution to clean the lint more frequently!!!