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Basic Sewing Machine Maintenance

Easy Sewing Machine Maintenance - a video from Shiny Happy World

So, you’ve got yourself a sewing machine. Now you have to learn how to take care of it. Don’t worry! Sewing machine maintenance is pretty easy – just regular cleaning and the occasional drop of oil. You’ll have to change the needle pretty often too. I show you how to do it all in this video.

Update! A lot of commenters on YouTube have freaked out because I blow compressed air into my machine. The guy who cleans my sewing machine actually taught me to do this, so I feel pretty ok about it – but it’s important to do it after you brush all the big, obvious stuff out. It helps to get the little bits that are hidden in nooks and crannies. 

See how easy basic sewing machine maintenance is? I give my machine a good cleaning and oiling in between every major project – and sometimes multiple times during larger projects like a quilt. It only takes a minute and your machine will thank you. 🙂

Here are handy links to all the posts about quilting tools and supplies.

Sewing Machine


Rotary Cutting Tools


Other General Sewing Room Supplies

One More Hugely Popular Post that Seems to Fit Here Better than Anywhere Else

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the posts about choosing your quilt pattern.

Happy sewing!


  1. You are the most beautiful person for having this site and for making this video. Thank you, thank you. Santa left me my first machine this past Christmas, and I am still scared of it. I’ll be keeping my eye on you.

  2. Have fun with your new machine!

  3. This is really helpful information and I’ll be following you so I can re-learn stuff I’ve forgotten and learn the stuff I’ve missed. I didn’t know I shouldn’t turn the hand crank clockwise, although I think I usually automatically turn it counterclockwise anyway. Thanks for doing these! Also…I LOVE your hat. Did you make that? I can crochet and love to find new patterns to make.

    • Thanks so much. I didn’t make the hat – it was a gift. I’m pretty sure they bought it on Etsy, but I’m not sure which shop. 🙁

  4. Doris Steele SAYS...

    Wendy, you don’t know how much I appreciate this sewing machine tutorial. I have a Pfaff Expression 226 that looks exactly like yours. I luv, luv, luv this machine. How great is this to find a tutorial for your exact machine. Sincerely, Doris

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I love my machine too – though I’ll admit I tried out some newer machines at Quilt Market and was ASTOUNDED at some of the features. I keep daydreaming about them. . . 🙂