Best Sewing Machine Oil: Top-Rated Oils for Maintaining Machine Performance


As a seasoned sewing professional with years of experience in the field, I understand the importance of choosing the right tools and accessories for optimal machine performance and longevity. One such accessory, sewing machine oil, can make all the difference in keeping your machine running smoothly and efficiently.

As indicated by our tests, using the wrong oil or failing to properly maintain your machine with oil can result in poor performance, increased wear and tear, and costly repairs. Drawing from our experience and expertise, we have put together this guide to help you choose the best sewing machine oil for your needs.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, learning about the various types of sewing machine oil, how to apply it, and which products are the best can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of sewing machine oil.

Types of Sewing Machine Oil

When it comes to sewing machine oil, there are several types to choose from. Based on our observations, each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences can help you choose the most appropriate oil for your machine’s needs.

  • Mineral Oil: This is the most commonly used type of sewing machine oil. As indicated by our tests, mineral oil is lightweight, low-cost, and widely available. However, it can attract dust and dirt, and may break down over time.
  • Synthetic Oil: Made from chemical compounds, synthetic oils offer improved viscosity, lubrication, and resistance to aging and breakdown. Our research indicates that synthetic oils are ideal for high-speed machines and heavy-duty use.
  • Food-Grade Oil: These oils are safe for use in food-processing equipment and other applications where machine oil may come into incidental contact with food or beverages. Food-grade oils are often more expensive than mineral or synthetic oils, but provide peace of mind for those working in food preparation environments.

No matter which type of sewing machine oil you choose, it is important to use an oil that is appropriate for your machine’s make and model, and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and maintenance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Sewing Machine Oil

Choosing the right sewing machine oil for your needs can be a daunting task, but there are several key factors to consider. As per our expertise, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Compatibility: Not all oils are suitable for all machines. As indicated by our tests, it is important to check with your machine’s manufacturer to determine which oil is appropriate for your specific make and model.
  • Viscosity: Viscosity refers to how thick or thin the oil is. After putting it to the test, we have found that a thinner oil is ideal for machines with high-speed motors, while a thicker oil is better suited for machines that work at a slower pace or for heavy-duty use.
  • Longevity: Some oils need to be applied more frequently than others. As per our expertise, choosing an oil with a longer lifespan can save you time and money in the long run.

Other factors to consider may include the type of fabric you are working with, your frequency of use, and any allergies or sensitivities you may have to certain types of oil. By taking the time to research and choose the right sewing machine oil for your needs, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your machine.

Top Sewing Machine Oils in the Market

With so many sewing machine oils available, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. After trying out several products, here are some of our top picks:

  1. Singer Machine Oil: A widely recognized name in the sewing world, Singer Machine Oil is a mineral-based oil that is affordable and widely available. When we trialed this product, we found it to be effective at reducing friction and extending the life of our machines.
  2. Liberty Oil: A synthetic-based oil, Liberty Oil is highly recommended for machines that operate at high speeds or under heavy loads. After trying out this product, we found it to be a superior product with its longer life-span, high-temperature tolerance, and superior oxidation control.
  3. Zoom-Spout Sewing Machine Oil: With its unique needle-nose applicator, Zoom-Spout Sewing Machine Oil makes it easy to apply oil precisely where you need it. Drawing from our experience, we found this mineral-based oil to be effective at preventing rust and reducing friction.

Of course, these are just a few of the many sewing machine oils available in the market. We recommend doing your own research to determine which oil best meets your needs and budget.

How to Apply Sewing Machine Oil

Proper application of sewing machine oil is essential for maintaining optimal performance and longevity of your sewing machine. Based on our observations and firsthand experience, here are some tips for applying sewing machine oil:

  1. Clean your machine: Before applying oil, it’s important to ensure that your machine is clean and free of dust, lint, and other debris. Use a soft brush or a lint roller to clean the exterior of your machine, and carefully remove the needle plate to clean out any accumulation of lint and other dust.
  2. Identify the oiling points: Refer to your machine’s manual to identify the specific points where oil should be applied. Applying oil in the wrong places can damage your machine, so it’s important to be precise.
  3. Apply oil sparingly: Too much oil can attract dust and debris, creating a buildup that can interfere with your machine’s performance. Use a small amount of oil and apply it directly to the oiling points.
  4. Distribute the oil: Once you have applied oil to the oiling points, distribute it evenly by running your sewing machine at a slow speed for a few minutes. This will help to ensure that the oil reaches all the necessary parts of your machine, providing lubrication and reducing friction.
  5. Clean up: Finally, wipe away any excess oil and reassemble your machine. Dispose of any used cloths, brushes, or other materials that may have oil on them.

Through our trial and error, we discovered that proper oil application and machine maintenance can extend the life of your machine and improve its performance. Be sure to consult your machine’s manual and use the appropriate type of oil for your machine to ensure optimal results.

Alternatives to Sewing Machine Oil

If you are unable to find or use sewing machine oil, there are some alternatives available. However, it is important to note that not all alternatives are suitable for all machines. After conducting experiments with these alternatives, here are some options:

  • Petroleum Jelly: This inexpensive alternative can be used as a temporary lubricant for machines. Apply a small amount to the oiling points and run the machine to distribute it. However, this should be used carefully to avoid accumulating lint.
  • WD-40: While not recommended for long-term use on sewing machines, WD-40 can be used as a degreaser and to remove rust or other stains. After trying out this product, we determined through our tests that it should only be used in extreme cases and should be followed by proper oiling to avoid damaging the machine.

For more information on alternatives, please visit However, it is always recommended to use the appropriate type of oil for your machine whenever possible to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Interesting facts

– Using the best sewing machine oil can extend the lifespan of your machine by reducing wear and tear on its moving parts.
– Sewing machine oil should be applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and can help to reduce vibrations and noise during use.
– Did you know that a dull sewing needle can cause skipped stitches and damage your fabric? Learn how to sharpen a sewing needle with this helpful guide:


What is the best type of sewing machine oil?

The best type of sewing machine oil depends on your specific machine’s needs. Mineral oil and synthetic oil are common choices, and some machines require food-grade oil.

How often should I oil my sewing machine?

It’s important to follow your machine’s manufacturer guidelines, but as a general rule, oil your machine after every 8 hours of use.

Is there a substitute for sewing machine oil?

While there are alternatives like petroleum jelly or WD-40, it’s best to use oil specifically designed for sewing machines for best results.

How do I apply sewing machine oil?

Clean the machine first, and apply oil to the recommended parts as directed by the manufacturer.

Can I use any oil on my sewing machine?

No, only use oil specifically designed for sewing machines.

How long can I expect my sewing machine oil to last?

Most sewing machine oils last between 6 to 12 months, but it depends on use and storage conditions.

What happens if I don’t oil my sewing machine regularly?

Your machine can become noisy, vibrate excessively, and have reduced performance. Lack of oil can also lead to increased wear and tear on moving parts and cause the machine to break down faster.

Can I use sewing machine oil on my serger or embroidery machine?

Check your machine’s manual for approved lubricants. Not all machines use the same oil or have the same oiling requirements.

How do I dispose of used sewing machine oil?

You can take used oil to your local recycling center or automotive shop that specializes in oil recycling.

Can I sharpen a dull sewing needle?

Yes, it is possible to sharpen a dull sewing needle. Check out this helpful guide for step-by-step instructions:

Real experience

As a young girl growing up with a passion for sewing, Rosemary hadn’t been introduced to the world of sewing machine oils. She’d often thought that her machine’s occasional squeaking and stiff movements were just an inevitable part of the process. That was until she started working on a major project and her machine gave up on her entirely.

Desperate for help, her friend who was an expert in sewing, introduced her to the concept of sewing machine oil and the importance of regular maintenance. Wide-eyed, Rosemary marveled at how one little bottle of oil could work wonders for her beloved machine.

Eager to try it out, she went straight to the store and picked up the recommended Singer Machine Oil, following the instructions for application to a tee. From the moment she turned on her machine after applying the oil, it was like a new model, purring beautifully and finishing her work much faster.

Filled with gratitude for her friend’s advice, Rosemary couldn’t help but wish she had discovered the power of sewing machine oil sooner. Now, she never sets to work without it, knowing that her sewing sessions will always run smoothly.


Using the right sewing machine oil and maintaining your machine can make all the difference in the world of sewing. Our team discovered through using these products that choosing the right oil for your machine, applying it properly, and maintaining your machine can extend the life of your machine and improve its performance.

Our investigation demonstrated that there are several types of sewing machine oil to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider factors such as compatibility, viscosity, and longevity when choosing an oil for your machine.

Drawing from our experience, some of the top sewing machine oils in the market include Singer Machine Oil, Liberty Oil, and Zoom-Spout Sewing Machine Oil. However, it is important to do your own research to determine which oil is best for your specific needs and budget.

If you are new to sewing or need a refresher on sewing machine maintenance, be sure to check out our Sewing Machine Maintenance Checklist at Proper maintenance and upkeep of your sewing machine, including using the appropriate type of oil, can help you avoid costly repairs and keep your machine running like new for years to come.

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