How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook

The CB hook system earned BERNINA the reputation for having excellent stitch quality. It’s the system on many of our legacy machines as current models including the BERNINA 3 Series and the B 215. It is a beloved system known for its precision and excellent stitch quality.

The key to helping these machines last and have a long lifespan is taking care of them properly.

Your machine should be taken in to see a tech for a full cleaning and tune-up once a year but it’s important to do some basic maintenance between those visits. Gauging how often to clean your machine is always up for debate but my rule of thumb is whenever you run though a bobbin, it’s time to clean up as well.

The first step in cleaning is to power off the machine and remove all your accessories. Remove your presser foot and needle as well as the stitch plate.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate

Open the bobbin door on the front of the machine. Gently lift the lever on the bobbin case to release it from the hook.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case

Release the hook and race cover with the lever to the left. Grab the center of the hook and gently pull it out.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed

Dust out your machine. Work from the top (starting at the needle bar area) down and use a soft, nylon brush to sweep away any lint and loose threads. Brush around and under the feed dog as well as around the hook race. Never use compressed air on your machine! This is more likely to blow the lint deeper into your machine and will do much more harm than good.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed - dust out your machine

Use a soft cloth to wipe down the hook, including the edge where the hook makes contact with the race.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed - dust out your machine - cleaning with a soft cloth

Apply one to two drops of oil directly on the metal hook race and place the hook back into the machine. Secure in place by snapping the hook and race cover back up into position. Turn the handwheel a few times to ensure the hook is in the proper position while also working to distribute the oil you just placed on the race.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed - dust out your machine - cleaning with a soft cloth - apply a drop of oil

Place a new bobbin, the bobbin case then place the bobbin case back in the machine. Wipe down the stitch plate with a soft cloth and secure back on to the freearm.

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed - dust out your machine - cleaning with a soft cloth - add the stitch plate

Give the face of the machine a quick wipe down and you’re ready to start stitching again!

How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook - Hook Cleaning - remove the needle - remove the stitch plate - release bobbin case - bobbin case removed - dust out your machine - cleaning with a soft cloth - final wipe down

10 thoughts on “How to Clean and Oil Sewing Machines with a CB Hook

  1. What about oiling under the breast plate in the red reservoir? My Bernina guy told me to put in 4 drops each time I cleaned my machine? I have asked this question before and never received a reply.

    1. Hi sellar! In the past, BERNINA has instructed to oil at the reservoir under the stitch plate, indicated by the red dot. In practice, we have learned this often leads to over-oiling and can result in staining fabric, discolored thread, and the excess oil actually traps more lint. To remedy this, the current suggestion from our technical department is to oil the hook race as demonstrated above for CB Hook machines. We also have demonstrations here on WeAllSew for our BERNINA Hook machines as well as overlockers. You can find those here:

      https://weallsew.com/sewing-machine-cleaning-and-oiling/
      https://weallsew.com/overlocker-care-cleaning-tips/

    1. Hi Pauline! That is what we call a Needle Insertion Tool. They come as a standard accessory with our overlockers but can be ordered from your dealer to go with your sewing machine!

  2. My quilt store has been out of oil for a long time. They say it’s back ordered. When are they getting some in? I’m almost out. I have an 8-series machine and a 630.

  3. Hi
    I have an Aurora 450 and the hook doesnt come apart like the one in the video…I keep the dust out but I am never sure I am oiling it in the right place…The instruction book is a little vague about proper oil placement and I dont want to over do it.
    thx
    Megen

    1. Hi janstock99! That is what we call a Needle Insertion Tool. They come as a standard accessory with our overlockers but can easily be ordered by your dealer to go with your sewing machine!

Leave a Reply