Machine maintenance: cleaning out the lint

Lately, my machine had started to make some odd noises when it sews.  Like is was having a hard time getting smoothly through the fabric.  I realized that it had been quite awhile since I had taken the face plate off my machine and really cleaned out all the lint.  When I opened it up last night, I was kind of shocked by how bad it had gotten.

machine 1

There is a very thorough layer of fuzz over everything under the face plate. It took me at least half an hour to get it all out. I used the little brush that came with my machine, and a small pair of tweezers. Some of the fuzz had migrated to way down under all the gears, so it took a bit of doing to get all of that out. Before I put the face plate back on, I remember that it’s also a good idea to clean under the bobbin holder.

machine 5

To get the bobbin case out in my machine, you have to take out the screw of the little plate that holds it in place, and then the bobbin holder will just lift right out. The arrow is pointing to that screw on my machine.

machine 2

Oh my. That is one heavily packed chunk of lint there. I was amazed that my machine was actually sewing despite all the lint that had been hidden inside.

machine 3

This is what I ended up taking out, and I know there was some that was so far down that I couldn’t reach it despite trying very hard. I didn’t want to disassemble the machine too much in case I wasn’t able to get it back together again.

machine 4

I also removed the light cover and cleaned the lint out from there. I have no before picture of that, unfortunately. This was after I put the face plate back on, so I put arrows by the two screws that you need to remove on my machine in order to get the face plate off.

I sewed a little after it was all cleaned and I put a new needle in. It was amazing how quiet it was! No more bobbing clicking noises! I had to reduce the top tension as well, since all that lint had been affecting it. I had been gradually increasing it in the weeks before cleaning my machine. That should probably have been a hint that a deep cleaning needed to be done!

It really is not difficult to do, and makes your machine run much more smoothly. It’s one of the things they do when you take your machine in for a service, and it’s very easy to do yourself. So take the time to clean out your machine if you haven’t done it in a while. Your machine will thank you!

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5 thoughts on “Machine maintenance: cleaning out the lint

  1. Oh my, I clean my machine about once a week and right after any machine quilting. Your machine will love you if you do that a bit more often. It is surprising how quickly the lint builds up.

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  2. Just a tip, I use a pipe cleaner to clean out the deep areas beside the bobbin case. I fold in half and run it down inside and the lint clings to the pipe cleaner. Also I cut up a Swiffer dust cloth into 16 pieces and keep them handy beside my machine. I use them to wipe all that lint out from under the bobbin case. Got this idea from my sewing machine dealer. And she told me to clean my machine everyday after I finish sewing. Must admit that I don’t do it “every” day…but definitely every few days…LOL

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  3. I clean my baby out after every project completion. It’s nasty. I know it’s coming due for a big maintenance though and I dread that. I use my machine almost every single day.

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