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WD40 on an old sewing machine?

(14 Posts)
Trisha57 Fri 20-Nov-20 11:07:39

I've resurrected my old Jones sewing machine after the super duper computerised one I bought 17 months ago developed timing issues. The Jones machine was bought in 1982 and has only been serviced once, although I have hardly ever used it, to be honest. Since lockdown, I've started sewing and would like to clean up the machine but have no sewing machine oil to use on it. Can I use WD40 instead? Any info would be really helpful.

Auntieflo Fri 20-Nov-20 11:11:42

Trisha, it isn't to be advised, as it is used as a solvent, and not as a lubricant.
Hope you can read the text

Sarnia Fri 20-Nov-20 11:15:01

I have used it as a lubricant on stubborn door handles and garden gate bolts. It is a good solvent too, getting rid of sticky tape residue etc. I would give it a go, sparingly.

Witzend Fri 20-Nov-20 11:20:34

If you’re not in a tearing hurry for it, can you not order some sewing machine oil online?
I don’t think I’d risk WD40.

Witzend Fri 20-Nov-20 11:20:35

If you’re not in a tearing hurry for it, can you not order some sewing machine oil online?
I don’t think I’d risk WD40.

Ilovecheese Fri 20-Nov-20 11:33:59

You probably already know this, but just in case you don't. You don't need special oil for a sewing machine, ordinary 3 in 1 oil is perfectly fine, do you have any with your tools?

GrannyLaine Fri 20-Nov-20 12:12:52

Trisha57 I belong to a couple of specialist vintage Bernina sewing machine groups and they would say that neither WD40 nor 3 in 1 oil are OK. Proper sewing machine oil used in the correct places if you value your machine.

MrsThreadgoode Fri 20-Nov-20 12:16:33

I hate to be a health and safety nut here, but I would get the electrics checked first and then get proper machine oil for it.

J52 Fri 20-Nov-20 12:24:42

Wouldn’t use on an electrical machine, but I have used it on an ancient hand cranked one.

cornishpatsy Fri 20-Nov-20 12:34:22

I used WD40 on my machine last year, fine so far.

Mogsmaw Fri 20-Nov-20 12:59:22

I’d advise caution, it’s used for “loosening” screws so the vibrations might make it shake apart. This was the advice on knitting machines and I think it holds good.
I’ve got ballistol oil I use, it doesn’t go “gunny” so is used on machines and is food-safe so you can use it on loads of things. It’s originally gun oil and, if you google it, it seems widely available.
I’d think about getting it serviced too. Good luck and happy sewing.

felice Fri 20-Nov-20 13:13:17

X had a sewing machine repair business, he was often heard ranting when having to clean and repair machines where someone had used 3 in 1 oil or WD40 on machines. A very big no no.
The machine parts are delicate and only very light oil used.
And gears should be greased not oiled.
Our local supermarket sells the oil, you could try one, online in the UK perhaps.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 20-Nov-20 13:23:46

No, don't use WD4. Check that the plate under the needle is not blocked up with fluff on the side that faces the spool (under thread),

You need to remove the plate, using, if you have it, the screwdriver that came with the machine, or else any very fine screwdriver - electrical ones are usually the right size.

Unless the machine has been stored in a damp place, it may not need oil, as you say you have hardly used it.

Does it work all right, if you sew a couple of samples? If it doesn't, but sounds all right, check the upper and lower thread tension - that's is usually what causes trouble.

You can order sewing machine oil online from any reputable sewing machine firm.

I'm still using a Singer, made in 1926. I only oil it if I have sewn something that takes a full 40 hour week to do, so it can be a couple of years between oilings - but I can hear when it needs it because I have had that machine since I was twenty-five.

Trisha57 Fri 20-Nov-20 16:26:13

Thank you all for your advice. I will order some special sewing machine oil online, I think. It sounds like the sensible thing to do. The machine sounds and stitches just fine. I've got all the fluffy out from under the needle plate and round the bobbin holder but I'll just give it a few drops to make sure.

grandtante, how amazing that you are still using a 1926 machine. I learned to sew (basics only) when I was little using an old Singer treadle machine that my mum had. She was a court dressmaker (apprenticed at age 14) and purchased a second hand industrial Singer machine when she stopped working to have children. All our clothes were made on it. It had an motor like a Rolls Royce engine on it, and we could hear it through the whole house when she used it! Happy days smile