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How to Oil a Brother Sewing Machine

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Keeping a Brother sewing machine oiled is an essential part of regular maintenance. A sewing machine, particularly an older model, that is not oiled will run roughly and sound clunky. If you use your Brother sewing machine a short time every day, you should oil it weekly. A Brother sewing machine that receives heavy use every day should be oiled daily.

Unplug the machine from the power source.

Loosen the screws holding the needle plate to the sewing machine. If the screwdriver is too large to stand upright over the needle plate without hitting another part of the machine, use a dime to loosen the screws. Lift off the plate. Flip open the face plate that covers the bobbin case.

Put two to three drops of sewing machine oil on the mechanism directly below the needle; the needle goes through this mechanism on its path to the bobbin case. Put an additional two to three drops of oil on the shuttle race, the mechanism under the bobbin case.

Loosen the screw holding on the cover on the side of the machine that protects the thread guides and thread take-up lever. Turn the hand wheel on the opposite side of the machine to observe how these parts move. Place two to three drops of oil on the shaft that moves up and down as well as any other visible moving parts.

Reassemble the machine.

With no thread in the machine, run the sewing machine at a fast speed for about a minute. Wipe away any excess oil.

Thread the machine and sew a scrap of material to ensure that no drips of oil remain.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sewing machine oil
  • Small, flat-blade screwdriver
  • Dime (optional)


  • Some Brother sewing machines, particularly new computerized models, are designed so that they do not need oiling after they are manufactured. Be sure to check the owner’s manual for your specific model before attempting to oil it.
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