First and foremost, with any cleaning you need to get deep. This means taking your machine apart (as far as you are comfortable) to get to the grime. As a safety precaution, it may be wise to unplug your machine for the cleaning operation. Now, pull out your user manual and find out how to open up the bobbin case area. The majority of your lint and debris will collect there. Once the case is exposed, you can use your brush and a pipe cleaner to get the lint out. Be careful using a vacuum attachment as some parts aren’t as secure as you may think. I almost lost my thread cutter that way! Also, many manufacturers warn against using air as it can push lint into the machine. Based upon what I pulled out, one would think I never clean it. On the contrary, I clean it after every project!
After you clean the bobbin area, it is a good idea to change your needle. Again, I do this after every project. If they are small projects, I may wait. If it is a large project, I may change it twice. Sharp needles make for much better stitches. Remember, your needle choice should coordinate with your thread size, fabric and application. Sulky, Superior, and APQS have good resources for needle selection.
Clean the outside of your machine to make it look its best. Remove fingerprints, spills and lint with a disinfecting wipe. Then, dry it with a microfiber cloth. The added bonus is minimizing germs during this cold and flu season! Remove adhesive from tapes and labels easily with an alcohol wipe. Make sure to remove any adhesive on the spool pins. Labels from some spools will wear off.
Replace tapes and other guides used for seam guides or useful applications.
Make sure your machine is lubricated if needed. I am lucky, my Viking Sapphire 870 doesn’t need routine oiling. In addition, you may need to schedule some time with your local technician for routine maintenance. This is a good time to schedule it. Some technicians are booked weeks or months out.
Perform software updates if your machine needs them.
This is a good time to also clean and maintain your sewing surface. I use a “Sew Steady” table with my machine. It gets a good rub down with a disinfecting cloth/microfiber cloth. Then, old marking tape is removed and replaced. Again, alcohol works well to remove adhesive as it does not damage inks used in the rulers.
Your machine will be so much happier after all the tender loving care.
Our next topic in the Studio Spa Treatment is Machine Massage.