Find out which oil is ideal for using in sewing machines

When it comes to keeping our sewing machines running smoothly and efficiently, choosing the right sewing machine oil plays a crucial role. While it may be tempting to use whatever sewing machine oil is available, it is important to remember that different machines require different types of sewing machine oil to ensure optimal long-term performance. In this article, we will explore the main types of oil suitable for sewing machines and highlight their unique characteristics.

1. Singer Sewing Machine Oil

Singer sewing machine oil is a popular choice among many sewers, especially those who own Singer machines or other similar brands. This oil is specifically formulated for sewing machines and is known for its high quality and efficiency.

This oil has an ideal viscosity to lubricate the internal parts of sewing machines, ensuring smooth and silent operation. Furthermore, its exclusive formula allows for precise application, avoiding excess lubrication.

2. Sewing Machine Engine Oil

Motor oil is another popular option for lubricating sewing machines, especially for industrial models. This type of oil is designed to withstand high temperatures and heavy workloads, which are common in industrial environments.

One of the main advantages of engine oil is its ability to resist oxidation, preventing the formation of harmful residues that can affect the machine’s long-term performance. Furthermore, its adequate viscosity ensures consistent and reliable lubrication of all moving parts of the machine.

3. High-Viscosity Sewing Machine Oil

For sewing machines that experience excessive squeaking or friction, high viscosity oil may be the best choice. This type of oil is thicker compared to other sewing machine oils, making it ideal for situations where heavier lubrication is required.

The high-viscosity oil penetrates the internal parts of the machine with ease, creating a long-lasting protective film that reduces wear and tear and extends the life of the machine. However, it is essential to follow the machine manufacturer’s instructions to avoid excessive use of this oil, as it can result in residue buildup.

SINGER 2131E All Purpose Machine Oil

4. Silicone Oil for Sewing Machines

Silicone oil is a waste-free alternative for sewing machines that may be appealing to many sewers. It leaves no residue or stains on fabrics and is known for its stability over a wide range of temperatures.

This oil is highly compatible with rubber and plastic materials, which is beneficial for sewing machines with parts made from these materials. Additionally, silicone oil offers excellent oxidation resistance and long-lasting lubricating properties.

5. Bio-oil for Sewing Machines

For environmentally conscious sewers, bio-sewing machine oil can be an environmentally friendly choice. This type of oil is formulated with natural and renewable ingredients, reducing the environmental impact compared to conventional oils.

Bio oil also offers excellent lubricating capacity and protection against wear, ensuring that your sewing machine runs smoothly. Check compatibility with your machine before using this oil, as some models may require specific formulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sewing Machine Oils

What types of oils are suitable for sewing machines?

Sewing machines typically require specific oils formulated for lubricating internal components. Common options include traditional mineral oils, synthetic oils, and bio-based oils.

Why is it important to use the right oil for sewing machines?

Using the correct oil ensures proper lubrication of moving parts, reducing friction, preventing wear and tear, and prolonging the lifespan of the machine. It also contributes to smoother operation and quieter sewing.

Can I use any oil for my sewing machine?

It’s not recommended to use just any oil for sewing machines. Different machines have different requirements, and using the wrong type of oil can lead to damage or malfunction. Always consult your machine’s manual or a professional for guidance.

What are the benefits of synthetic sewing machine oils?

Synthetic sewing machine oils offer advantages such as enhanced temperature resistance, reduced residue buildup, and longer-lasting lubrication compared to traditional mineral oils. They are also suitable for high-performance sewing machines.

Are bio-based sewing machine oils environmentally friendly?

Yes, bio-based sewing machine oils are derived from renewable sources like plant oils, making them environmentally sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based lubricants. They offer excellent lubricating properties while minimizing ecological impact.

How often should I lubricate my sewing machine?

The frequency of lubrication depends on factors such as usage, machine type, and manufacturer recommendations. As a general rule, it’s advisable to lubricate your sewing machine according to the guidelines outlined in the manual or whenever it starts to sound or feel less smooth during operation.

Can I mix different types of sewing machine oils?

It’s generally not recommended to mix different types of oils unless specified by the manufacturer. Mixing oils can alter their properties and lead to ineffective lubrication or damage to the machine. Stick to using the recommended oil for your specific sewing machine model.

How do I know if my sewing machine needs oiling?

Signs that your sewing machine may need oiling include increased noise during operation, stiffness or resistance when sewing, or visible signs of wear on moving parts. Regular maintenance checks and following the manufacturer’s guidelines for lubrication can help prevent these issues.

Can I use household oils like vegetable oil or motor oil for my sewing machine?

No, household oils like vegetable oil or motor oil are not suitable for sewing machines. These oils may not have the right viscosity or properties needed for proper lubrication, and they can potentially damage the machine. It’s essential to use oils specifically designed for sewing machine maintenance.

How should I store sewing machine oil when not in use?

To maintain the quality of sewing machine oil, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent contamination. Avoid storing oil near heat sources or chemicals that could degrade its quality.

Can sewing machine oil expire?

While sewing machine oil typically has a long shelf life, it’s essential to check for any expiration dates or recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Over time, oil can degrade and lose its effectiveness, so it’s best to replace it if it appears discolored, has a foul odor, or doesn’t perform as expected.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when using sewing machine oil?

When handling sewing machine oil, avoid contact with skin and eyes, as it can irritate. Keep oil away from children and pets, and clean up any spills promptly to prevent slips or accidents. Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions and use protective gear if necessary.


Choosing the right oil for your sewing machine is crucial to ensuring reliable performance and a long life. Among the oils mentioned – Singer sewing machine oil, motor oil, high viscosity oil, silicone oil, and bio-oil—each has its unique features and benefits.

When applying the oil, always remember to follow the machine manufacturer’s recommendations and perform maintenance regularly. This will ensure that your sewing machine continues to be a reliable ally in all your sewing projects. Choose the right oil and enjoy smooth, pleasurable sewing!

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