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.