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This post is only for cleaning the feed dogs. Paul has written a blog post explaining how feed dogs work that might be beneficial if you aren't sure how they work. We are working under the assumption that your machine is in working order except for the feed dogs. If you have other issues you might want to check out our other sewing machine posts.
Supplies For Cleaning Feed DogsSewing Machine Oil
Wire Detailing Brush
In order to keep your feed dogs from looking like the picture below clean them out regularly. Lint piles into the feed dog area just like it does your bobbin area. When you brush out your bobbin area brush out the feed dogs. The paint brush and cotton swabs are certainly the easiest portion of the supply list. Keep your machine where that's the only part of the supply list that you need. Otherwise, you'll need the rest of this post and it will take you a lot longer. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way.
So let's get to cleaning these feed dogs. Not only are you going to need what I listed above you are also going to need elbow grease. It's going to take a lot of elbow grease too. It took a long time to get this bad it's going to take a long time to get it clean again. It's also time to put on your glasses. But when you are done it'll look like new.
Cleaning dirty feed dogs is actually fairly easy even though it can be very time-consuming. We start by putting oil onto the feed dogs. The oil will start to soften the dirt and junk. You want to let this sit for a little bit so it can do its thing. Use your tweezers to pull off any big chunks. If you don't get any chunks add some more oil and wait a little longer. Patience is key here and really anytime you are working to get a machine back in tip top shape. Once you've got the junk loosened up it's time to do some arm workout. With the wire brush start scrubbing adding oil as needed. DO NOT GET THE BRUSH ON THE PAINT. The wire brush will scratch the paint on your machine. We don't want to make a repaint job go to the top of the list. Continue adding oil, pulling off big chunks, and scrubbing with your wire brush.
How To Clean The Feed Dogs
I told you that you could get them looking new again. Even if you are taking your machines into a professional to be serviced take a few minutes every so often to clean out the feed dog area. DO NOT USE CANNED AIR! Stick with the paint brushes and cotton swabs I recommended. They won't pack the junk into your machine.
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