Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Lint from Your Sewing Machine

Lint in your sewing machine is the natural consequence after hours of time spent sewing. Cleaning and removing lint is a key item on your regular machine maintenance checklist.

You might think that using compressed or canned air to remove lint is a quick and easy solution. But don’t reach for that can so fast, read on to find out how cleaning your machine using compressed or canned air can affect your sewing machine!

Machine Cleaning Tip
Here is a tip from expert Hans Herzog, innovation and technical education manager at BERNINA of America:

When using compressed air or canned air to clean your sewing machine, where does all the lint go? The hook area might be free of lint, but most lint ends up in areas where usually no lint ever accumulates, deep inside the machine. That lint accumulation over time could become an issue and negatively affects the performance of your machine. As you can see in the picture, the hook area is perfectly clean and on the right hand side with the covers removed the lint is packed in.

Machine Cleaning Tip

We recommend not using compressed air for cleaning for obvious reasons. Using the cleaning brush provided by the manufacturer or using a larger soft brush is effective as anything else. In general we recommend to have the machine serviced once a year by an authorized store.

Machine Cleaning Tip

Read more machine cleaning tips here on WeAllSew and watch for more tips form expert technician here on WeAllSew.

5 thoughts on “Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Lint from Your Sewing Machine

  1. This picture looks like either a machine used for industrial purposes, or someone who sews many hours each day. Taking a machine to the dealer, especially an electronic one can be expensive. If you don’t use the machine but a couple times a week, soft brush out (not canned air as article points out as well) should be used and I take mine in for an overhaul every two years. On electronic computerized machines, canned air is even more dangerous as it can blow dust and lint into the electronic boards and components, creating a very expensive problem, possibly even ruining your machine. This is a good article and would love to see more from Bernina on machine care.

    1. A miniature tip with a brush on the end of the vacuum cleaner hose is preferred in order to get into the small openings of the hook area for cleaning. Clean where you see lint, usually underneath the feed dogs, on each side of the hook and behind the hook, also remove the bobbin case and hook if possible. After each cleaning lubricate the hook according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
      Personally I prefer vacuum cleaner attachments that are being used for cleaning computer key boards. Take a look at the Micro Vacuum Attachment Kit No. 7625 from Brewer http://www.brewersewing.com/p-261832-micro-vacuum-attachment-kit.aspx or at visit a computer store.

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