November 12, 2017

Sunday Studio Maintenance: How to Clean Your Sewing Machine & Iron


How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

When you own a sewing machine, there is inevitably some maintenance that is required to keep her purring along.

Sewing machine cleaning sounds like such a daunting task. A total sewjo killer, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be.

Just like you probably have a weekly beauty routine, the same applies to your sewing studio. A little weekly cleaning is the ticket to keeping your machine in tip top stitching shape. And, once you make it part of your routine, it won’t feel like such sewjo killer anymore!



How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

All it entails is setting aside one day a week to check-in with your beloved Bertha, Speed Demon, Daisy – or whatever moniker you’ve lovingly assigned your sewing machine 😉

And while you’re at it, why not clean your other essential piece of equipment – your iron? You know the metal piece you can’t get through a single quilting session without? Let’s show her some love and care too! If you own a Rowenta, it should be pretty easy.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Here’s how I approach my studio maintenance.

The day I’ve selected is Sunday. It can be any day of the week, but for me, Sundays work perfectly. And the task is normally accompanied by a yummy hot cup of coffee, sounds good already, right?!

Ok, let’s get to it.

Start by setting your iron to the self-cleaning settings. If you own a Rowenta, you’ll want to turn the dial ALL the way to this setting. And click over to this button on the steam setting.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

While she’s heating away, turn your attention to your machine.

Get your essential cleaning tools ready and lined up so you’re not getting up a gazillion times throughout. I’m speaking from experience here! And nothing kills a mood quicker than having to hunt everything down.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Essential Tools | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Here are my top sewing machine cleaning essentials that I can’t live without:
With the iron heating away, get your screwdriver and start by removing the needle, the presser foot and then the sewing plate.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Very delicately start gathering the lint with the small cleaning brush. Take your time here. You don’t want to push the lint further into your sewing machine. After every swipe, clean the brush on the paper towel you have at the ready. 

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

For the tougher to reach nooks and crannies, my quilty friend Tiffany of Village Bound Quilts had the nifty idea to use a pipe cleaner. It works like a charm! The hubz picked up these pipe cleaners with slight grip to them and they are perfect at catching ALL the fuzz. I’m sure a regular one works just fine too.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

You’ll be amazed at how much lint you’ll have accumulated on your paper towel once you’ve thoroughly passed the brush and pipe cleaner over the entire inner workings of your sewing machine.

Don’t forget to also give the needle shaft a good wipe with the brush too. It’s amazing how the fuzz just gets everywhere!

You’ll want to give your presser foot and bobbin a good cleaning too.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Now, with all the fuzz gone, you can start putting things back together. Start with putting the sewing plate back on, making sure to screw everything back in nice and secure. Then, I take the opportunity to change my needle, before I put my presser foot back in place.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Once I have my bobbin back in, I then spray one shot of the sewing machine oil from the spray can right at the top of the bobbin case. This was a recommendation from the technician who sold me my Juki.

I’ve been using this since day one and I find it super easy to keep that area oiled. It can be a little finicky (and messy, I might add) trying to use the typical sewing machine oil bottle and this spray works like a charm. Since I use my machine regularly, I give it one spray at the beginning of each session.

Sewing Machine Oil | How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Next, you’ll want to add a drop or two of the sewing machine oil in all the little oiling holes. For my Juki, I’ve got 3 spots on top and 2 in the throat area. Refer to your manual for your specific oiling spots. A drop or two in each should do the trick, but this will all depend on your make and model and the frequency you use your machine.

By this point, it’s been about 10 minutes, which is exactly how long the Rowenta takes for the first self-cleaning step. I then turn everything off, unplug her and head to my sink. To show you just how much gunk accumulates with just a weeks use, I held the Rowenta over a bowl to accumulate the water that pours out while holding down the self-clean button. Do this for about a minute. And be amazed at the yucky water and particles that come out!

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Once you’ve done that for a minute, refill your water reservoir back up.

Head back to your ironing board, this time with an old hand towel. Put the dials back to the self-cleaning setting and start passing the iron over the towel. You’ll see some additional debris and brown stained water collect on the towel. Once you’ve passed it a few times, you can leave it to continue heating for another 10 minutes. And then you’re done.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Quilting Studio Maintenance

You’ve now got a completely de-fuzzed and well oiled sewing machine and an iron ready to press any wrinkle you throw at it without any worry of brown stains appearing.

And all it took was about 15 minutes of active time.

How easy is that?!

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

Now that you know how easy and painless it can be, be sure to show your machine some TLC. After all, you’ve invested a good chunk of money in your tools, why not spend a little time to keep them running smoothly for years to come.

How to clean your sewing machine & Iron | Sunday Studio Maintenance with Shannon Fraser Designs | DIY Sewing Machine Care | Rowenta Iron | Juki TL-2010Q | Quilting Studio Maintenance

I would love to hear what your studio maintenance routine is! Share your tips and tricks in the comments below 😊

Happy quilting!

xo

Shannon
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7 comments:

  1. These are great tips, Shannon. I tend to dust and oil my machine after I change out a bobbin, so that is usually 1-2 times a week instead of on any particular day. I live in the desert, so the oiling is helpful where I am but I would probably re-consider and go to once a week if I were in an environment that was humid. I like to also wipe down my desk space once a week using a tiny scrap of batting to collect up the inevitable lint that piles up.

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    1. Such great tips, Yvonne! I am constantly dusting my sewing table and vacuuming my sewing area. It's amazing how much lint, dust and fluff seems to accumulate during the week! I like the idea of dusting and oiling after a bobbin change - that's super easy to remember too! Thanks for sharing 😊

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  2. this is a great post! I think I need to consider this for my own studio!

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    1. Oh, I love that, Kelly! Once you get into a routine, it will feel amazing and your tools will thank you for it 😉

      Let me know how it goes!!

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  3. Oh awesome tips, Shannon! Just love your Juki set up - what a happy room.

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    1. Thank you, Brooke!! Hope the tips come in handy for you and your Juki!!

      My sewing room is definitely my little happy place 😉

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  4. Aren't the pipe cleaners great?! And good tips on the iron too - I only use a hot, dry iron: do you steam regularly? I wonder how this might make cleaning my Rowenta any different (or not).. hmm... anyways, great info! And gorgeous sewing space :)

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