The Sewing Place

Cleaning machines

Lyn-J

Cleaning machines
« on: June 05, 2017, 15:10:33 PM »
How do you clean a machine?
The outside is filthy.
The knobs with all those little grooves are euugh!
and I havn't even got to the insides yet!
Lynne

Lilian

Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 16:08:52 PM »
How do you clean a machine?
The outside is filthy.
The knobs with all those little grooves are euugh!
and I havn't even got to the insides yet!

Hi Lyn-J, Roger has put an excellent tutorial for vintage machine including cleaning.  Here http://thesewingplace.org.uk/index.php/topic,303.msg2617.html#msg2617
Willing but not always able :)


Surest1tch

Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 16:20:20 PM »
I use rubbing alcohol, a lot of rags and cotton buds and then really oil the :vintage: well.
If you are going to use rubbing alcohol, use it in a well ventilated space or you'll end up high as a kite  :S

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Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 17:06:36 PM »
If it's a plastic encased model, microfiber cloths and window / mirror type spray cleaner works well, the all purpose versions work too. They are ideal for hard plastic (don't use anything heavy duty). Soak an area on the cloth with it and go to work, don't give up until grime and dirt are lifted from grooves and surface in general. Be a bit careful with logos, names and numbers. To shine and protect there are kits for cleaning dash board and plastic parts for cars, they might be worth trying. Cotton buds and tooth picks can help a lot to get into,corners, edges of buttons and joints in the casing.

If it's yellowed or stained with age, there are ways to bleach hard plastic (water, peroxide /oxygen based stain remover, and thickening agent). I suspect it's stubborn grime causing this, because if this type of plastic can be soaked in laudry powder, or a turn in the dish washer it will have much the same effect. With a sewing machine there has to be a different aproach than the dishwasher of course.

If it's an all metal machine, the paint might need a gentle approach. Microfiber cloths and soapy water isn't wrong, traces  of sewing machine oil have often stained the machine, but it usually comes off with out too much problem. Window / surface cleaners should in theory be fine for hard paint, but don't rub too hard on models like Bernina, Elna (green, greenish and ivory or sort of colors), the paint is only a thin delicate layer and not as hard as some enamel paints. Those concrete gray Pfaffs have this type of paint too. A recin based car polish (liquid type that dries quickly and easily buffs off) can further lift up dirt and protect the machine a bit from wear and grime in the future. It works well for shining up the delicate paints, but be careful with names and logos on the machine.

If you have and old machine with shellac and gold decals, don't start out with anything harsh. With very grimey machines I start with cloths well wringed up and soapy water. The gentlest fore these are sewing machine oil and cotton wool, and often it will get you very far. From there it's soapy water, gradually stronger degreasers on stubborn grime, but usually it's not needed. Don't leave the surface damp, and the same resin based car polish as already mentioned will help further shine an clean up shellac too.


« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 23:13:22 PM by arrow »

Lyn-J

Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 20:16:49 PM »
Thanks all,
I'm are with baby wipes, surgical spirit, cotton buds etc.
It seems to be coming up a treat :)
Lynne

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Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 20:26:59 PM »
... baby wipes, surgical spirit, cotton buds etc.
It seems to be coming up a treat :)

Baby wipes are full of glycerin and mild cleaning agents, and are an easy and clever way about it. Be careful with surgical spirit and anything with alcohol on the old black cast iron machines. The finish on these is shellac and it will disolve, in the worst case come off, in the least get sticky and loose it's shine. I just had to mention it in case you ever should end up cleaning one. What's safe on plastic isn't necessarily so on paint or shellac.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 16:41:42 PM by arrow »

Lyn-J

Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 09:03:44 AM »
I'm testin everything on a small patch too  :D
Lynne

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Re: Cleaning machines
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 16:42:54 PM »
I'm sure the machines are in the best of hand with you lyn :- )