I use to take my machine to a tiny little vacuum repair shop. The man had a friend that fixed sewing machines. I would drop it off & pick it up 3 weeks & $85 later. I did this religiously because my machine usually sounded like a freight train & that's when I knew it was time for a cleaning. I would get it back 3 weeks & $85 later humming along I felt like it was money well spent.
I was sewing up orders & couldn't wait 3 weeks & $85.
That's when I decided to take a thing or two apart on my machine & try to repair & oil a few things. To my surprise I found so much lint & fabric fibers under the plate on my dog feed. I took my needle nose tweezers & one picked it all out. Then I looked underneath & found more. About an hour & a pile of lint later my sewing machine was humming along like new. And it cost me 1 hour & I saved 3 weeks & $85.
I clean my machine often. I sew several hours a week. You may not have to clean yours as often. But I encourage you to get to know your machine & how it threads, what comes off with screws, where lint may gather for a small party etc. It will empower you when you come across a small thread that may be stuck somewhere & it's making the most awful noise & you claim it's broke. If you know your machine, you will be able to dig around & hunt down that tiny thread &save yourself time & money.
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I keep a box of swifter clothes in my sewing room & a box of q-tips. Also you will need a brush, I use a child's paint brush. Needle nose tweezers or something that can grab threads & lint piles. Oil, that comes with your machine. Screw driver, mine came with my machine as well.
Remove spool of thread from machine before cleaning.
4. I removed the top of my machine &oiled it. Refer to your machine manual for oiling points. All machines are different.