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Love Your Machine? Then Show It Some Love!

Today’s embroidery machine are hi-tech honchos and we love them!  They run and run and barely ever whimper under the stress of all those hoopings. If you want to keep them humming along, then just follow three simple steps:  Keep them clean, use them and turn them off.

Keeping them clean is easy. Remove the plate.Clean1BL

Remove the bobbin case.Clean2BL

Fold a pipe cleaner about 2” from the end and wrap it around itself to create a soft point.Clean3BL

Use the soft point to swipe away dust from the feed dogs.Clean4BL

Bobbin basket. Clean5BL

And nooks and crannies.Clean6BL

Then shudder at the gunk that comes out of your machine.Clean7BL

This example is a machine long overdue for a cleaning. Don’t let your machine get this messy. I worked really hard to get this shot!

Reassemble all the parts and get back to stitching. Of course, read your manual. Manufacturers have different recommendations for everyday care. Many machines require a daily drop of oil while others leave the oiling to the professional technicians. It’s best to read the manual and FOLLOW the instructions.

Using your machine is good for your machine, you won’t wear it out. It was made to run and running them keeps them lubricated. Don’t be afraid of your machine – remember you own it; it doesn’t own you.

Lastly, turn off your machines when it’s not in use. It’s a good idea to unplug them. I have to admit, I don’t unplug them all the time but when there are thunderstorms in the area or if I’m leaving town, I pull the plug on all of my machines. It’s peace of mind.

How do you care for your machine?




  • Leonard Price

    Thanks for the heads up.

    • Leonard Price

      Thanks for the heads up.

  • Susan Shamekh

    I would like to know what brand of embroidery machine to buy. What do you suggest? A friend of mine suggested Baby Lock. From your experience is it a good brand?

    • Karen Poole

      I have two Brother embroidery machines. I find they are just s little more user friendly, but a lot has to do with what you want to get out of your machine, what size hoops do you want/need? What built in designs are you looking for? The Brother machines have exclusive rights to Disney designs, so if you will want to use Disney designs then a Brother is a must. They all have great features. I would suggest going to your Sewing machine store (not inside a department store or fabric store like Joanns) and sit down and test drive the different brands. Take notes and ask questions then take all the information and see what is the best fit for you!! Good luck. Oh by the way Babylock has wonderful machines as well with fantastic features! I own a Babylock Serger and can’t live without it!! Again it is all up to what you are wanting to get from your machine.

  • Karen Poole

    I clean my machine every time I finish a project and change the needle. Or if my project has a lot of lint, like when using cotton threads, I clean it more often.

  • Royce Zook

    Not to speak out of turn but I find the subject of keeping the machine clean as one of interesting conflict. I have seen that a reasonable housekeeper will repeatedly clean the kitchen and “tools” used there very regularly. Seldom is there any hidden “soiled” kitchen ware to be found. However, the sewing / embroidery machine is totally different. It is used, reused and repeatedly energized to do important project without any thought to CLEAN. It begins to skip stitches or grab fabric and the machine is blamed for the difficulty!
    Good, timely write up, Eileen. My spouse relearned reason for cleaning!

  • Sara Redner

    I try to clean regularly, but sometimes it needs more than what I do. The nearest repair shop is quite a distance and they actually send the machines to a sister shop, so the machine will be gone at least a week. My husband took a class so he can clean, adjust and do minor repairs to my machines and keep them all running with less trips to the shop.

  • Donna Fecteau

    My embroidery machine is also my sewing machine and I use it a lot. I always turn it off and unplug it when I’m done because most of the time I’m sewing on my dining room table these days.

    I try to clean it before every big project. It always amazes me to see the gunk that comes out of the machine.

  • Karen S

    I have been cleaning my machines more often lately. They get lots of use and some threads leave a lot more lint than others.

  • Lizbez

    I use a vac with the little tools to clean as deep as possible. Should NOT used canned air, as it will blow debris further into the guts. Wish there was an easy way to clean the tension discs.

  • Carol Keck

    HOORAY !!!! It is very nice to see that I am not overly protective with my machines. I too clean them after every big and small projects.

  • Joan Shriver

    I clean my baby after each project and sometimes in the middle of a project! Otherwise the bobbin thread shows up on top. I love the things I can do with my baby!

  • Valerie Gwara

    I try to clean and vacuum my machine after every project. It collects a LOT of lint.

  • JD

    I clean mine after every project and maybe in between if the fabric or thread has a lot of loose stuff coming off of it. It is amazing how fast and tightly it can get packed into those areas around the feed dogs and the bobbin case.

  • Donna

    I have been using an embroidery/sewing machines since 1994, and had 2 emb/sew machines since 1996. In all those years, NEVER had a problem with them except one mother board blew out. I clean my machines regularly, after emb, needle change or know what I was working on was messy. When I change a bobbin thread, a needle or finish a project, I at least wipe out the bobbin case area. I teach and sometimes can’t believe how dirty the machines are and it has a lot to do with the quality of the stitch.
    I also use a Battery Backup protector, available at office supple stores or electronics stores as it helps keep the electricity evenly flowing to the machine w/o surges or brown outs.
    It can’t be stressed enough to keep our machines clean.

  • Kati

    I always unplug my machine when I’m done for the day.
    I use a mini vacuum attachment, with the small brush that came with my machine, to help pull lint out of the darker recesses of the machine. It’s amazing how fast the lint builds up!

  • Libby

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