What is Sewing Machine Oil and What is It Used For?

Many people have a hobby of sewing clothes, cushions, sweaters, and all other stuff at the home, to decorate it. For this purpose, they need a sewing machine that can work well for them and assist them in their hobby. 

People do maintenance on the sewing machine, such as cleaning it regularly and changing the threads on daily basis. But one thing they forget is to change or apply the sewing machine oil. 

The sewing machine is a machine that works on metal parts to make them function smoothly. Usage of the sewing machine oil is mandatory, else it reduces the life of the sewing machine. 

If one doesn’t know, a sewing machine oil is an oil that is specially made to lubricate the metal parts of a sewing machine so that they can function smoothly. 

This oil is quite different from other oils as it isn’t odorless and doesn’t solidify when it gets settled in the racks of the parts. It is a mineral oil that makes the parts smoother so that they can move freely and won’t create any friction in between themselves. 

As one knows how the sewing machine works and the parts are continuously rubbing against each other. It causes friction between them, which in the long term reduces the life of the machine. 


what oil to use on a sewing machine?

Since one knows that one should also use a sewing machine oil on the sewing machine while performing maintenance over it. But now the question arises of what oil to use on a sewing machine

The answer to this question is quite simple, the sewing machine oil! It makes sense to use the sewing machine oil on a sewing machine. That is why it is manufactured in the first place. 

But other than the primary oil, there are many mineral oils that are available in the market that can do a proper job of reducing the friction between the parts and help them live longer. 

Sewing Machine Oil

There are also natural oils that can help one emergency cases when the sewing machine oil isn’t available. They might do the trick, but it is better to not use them much as they are not suited for this job. 

It is advisable to at least use oils that are made with petrochemicals and crude oil as they are lubricants in their very own nature and can help in situations where the sewing machine oil isn’t available. 

But the best option to go for the questions of what oil to use on a sewing machine? It is still the sewing machine oil as that’s its primary purpose. One can use the sewing machine oil applicator to apply the oil as it is available with the sewing machine oil

The sewing machine oil alternatives:

Sewing machine oil is commonly regarded as the ideal lubricant for sewing machines, but not everyone is interested in purchasing it. However, there are several alternatives available for those seeking substitutes for sewing machine oil.

It’s important to note that these alternatives are not guaranteed to provide the same level of effectiveness as sewing machine oil. Here are some options to consider:

Clock oil:

Clock oil can serve as an excellent alternative for sewing machine oil. Since clocks also have metal parts that require lubrication, similar principles apply to oiling both clocks and sewing machines. One can use the same sewing machine oil applicator to apply clock oil for optimal results.

Three-in-one oil:

Three-in-one oil is another viable alternative for lubricating sewing machines. Originally designed to prevent corrosion and reduce friction in bicycles, it can be used for sewing machines as well, given the similar purposes. This oil is composed of spindle oil, citronella oil, and a corrosion inhibitor, making it effective at reducing friction and promoting smooth operation of machine parts.

Marvel mystery oil:

Marvel mystery oil was developed nearly a century ago with the primary aim of lubricating and reducing friction in engine carburetors. It continues to be used today, with its exact formula kept secret by the manufacturers, hence the name “Marvel mystery oil.” As it serves the same lubricating purpose, it can also be used to lubricate sewing machines.

White mineral oil:

White mineral oil is widely recognized as a reliable alternative for sewing machine lubrication. It is petroleum-based and capable of lubricating all the metal parts of a sewing machine. Due to its affordability and accessibility, white mineral oil is a popular choice among users seeking an alternative lubricant.

While these alternatives can be effective, it’s important to remember that they may not offer the exact same results as sewing machine oil.


  1. What kind of oil to use on a sewing machine?

Oiling is necessary for the well-functioning of a sewing machine. The most probable question that occurs is what oil should one use in the maintenance of a sewing machine. 

The answer is simple: sewing machine oil. It is readily available in the market and helps to reduce the friction between the metal parts of the machine. 

  1. What kind of oil does a sewing machine use?

The sewing machines use the sewing machine oil. It is an oil specially manufactured for sewing machines. It works wonders when it is used for the exact purpose it is created. 

Final thoughts

This article was based on clearing doubts about the sewing machine oils and the things related to them. One key takeaway from this article is that the sewing machine oil is the best oil suited for sewing machines, and no alternative can take its place, but the alternative can work in emergencies.