Knowing how to clean sewing machine feet isn’t easy. They aren’t often seen and looked at as a high priority and can go unnoticed. They are a vital part of the sewing machine but don’t require much looking after.
Though if you are looking at buying a second hand machine, have been given and old machine or restoring a dated machine you might find that many of the parts, feet included are rusty or well worn.
General maintenance is good for a sewing machine, lots of dust and pieces of thread often get caught and can cause all kinds of chaos. Sewing machine feet however don’t often get looked at.
When Should I Clean My Sewing Machine Feet?
They are generally clean and tidy and don’t hold onto too much dust or dirt so they can be overlooked and don’t actually require too much attention or regular cleaning. Keeping all your parts of your machine clean and well looked after will help prolong the lifespan of your machine.
I tend to give mine a wiped down every so often or when I am changing the foot on my machine. Otherwise, I would say if your machine is getting regular service and clean the feet should be fine.
If you have bought a second hand machine, inheritied or have been given and old machine that hasn’t been used a while I would advise getting it serviced or even just give it a deep clean.
Some machines that are much older, haven’t been used in a while or are a little rusty can be brought back to life and work just perfectly.
I like the idea of restoring an old beat-up sewing machine as some of the traditional singers were beautifully made and look stunning as an ornament even if they don’t work.
This can also apply to finding sewing machine feet from older relatives, charity shops and car boots that might need a little TLC and updating to fit the machine you have at home.
5 Ways Of How To Clean Sewing Machine Feet
One of the biggest issues with cleaning and using cleaning products is that they can often leave a residue behind. The residue would then transfer to the fabric as you sew and can create grease marks which won’t come out.
So I would advise you to read instructions and other reviews or even ask fellow sewers about the products you are using before doing so. Many of the products below do not leave a residue but I would always advise you to do your own research and testing before using the feet again.
Here are my top ways to clean sewing machine feet.
WD-40 is widely known and used in households across the UK, it has a number of factors that are great for home improvements.
WD-40 is a multi use product which means you might have a can or bottle laying around in the garage to save you buying a new one.
This is a great product to use on removing dust form your sewing machine feet. If you have other parts such as your drop feet or plate that are also showing signs on rust you can take those out and use the same product.
Soak the metal pieces in WD-40 and use a soft wire brush or wire brillo pad to gently scrub away the rust. Leave to soak for a couple of hours or until you feel confident the rust has gone.
Be sure to wear gloves while using the product and while rinsing the solution off afterwards. The solution will help protect the metal from getting rusty in the future.
Buy Here: WD-40 Spray Can
2. Baking Soda
Not everyone will want to use strong chemicals or store bought items. If you are looking for something you may have at home baking soda is for you.
Baking Soda is another remedy for rust, it can also be a general cleaning product for metals around the home. If you are looking to just give your sewing machine parts a general clean you can do this with baking soda.
To remove rust use a teaspoon and a little water to create a paste. Rub the paste over the metal and cover it completely. Rub on with a damp cloth and work into the smaller areas.
Baking soda won’t scratch the metal and if cleaned away properly with water and then a kitchen towel or kitchen roll you can get the remaining water and residue.
Test on a scrap piece of fabric for leftover residue or water before using on your main fabrics again.
3. White Vinegar
White Vinegar is another great home remedy you can use to clean your metal and remove rust. To give your sewing machine feet a general clean use a piece of cloth of kitchen roll with a small damp area of white vinegar and rub over the surface.
To remove dust create a shallow pool in a container, enough to cover the sewing machine feet and place in. Let the feet sit in the container for a couple of hours and then remove them.
I would suggest wearing gloves to protect you from the rust and save you from having vinegar hands. Remove the metal pieces and place on a piece of kitchen roll to dry.
You can then clean them off to make sure all the residue has gone.
4. Salt & Lime
Another way of cleaning metals and removing rust is using salt and lime. Placing the items in a plastic dish, sprinkle of salt to completely cover the metal and then sprinkle on the lime.
Leave the mixture on the metal for up to 3-4 hours before removing. Remove by cleaning off with a damp cloth, you can use the leftover mixture to rub on if there are any spots that have beenb missed.
The mixture is easy to use and is less harmful to both you and the metal as there are no strong chemicals involved.
More commonly known and used in the US, Evapo-Rust is similar to WD-40. Though is more specialised to getting rid of rust.
I would only suggest using this if your sewing machine feet are very old, very rusty and are in need of some serious care and attention.
You can use this on a number of metal parts from the sewing machine if you are restoring an old machine.
Cover the metal parts with the mixture and let sit for a couple of hours, the chemicals will lift the rust from the metal and leave them looking brand new.
Clean with a damp cloth and kitchen roll to ensure all the residue has gone.
Buy Here: Evapo-Rust
I hope you have found this tutorial on how to clean sewing machine feet helpful and have given you some ideas on how to maintain yours. If you have any tricks and tips on cleaning your sewing machine I would love to know, share in the comments below.