Sewing Machine Oil Alternatives

Have you ever been in a bind when you run out of oil for your sewing machine? Everyone knows the importance of keeping up with the maintenance of oiling the sewing machine due to the high-speed metal parts running against each other.

If you run out, there are sewing machine oil alternatives you can use that you may already have around the house until you can get to the store and buy some more. We will discuss these alternatives and some advice on what not to use if you are in this situation.

Substitutions for Sewing Machine Oil

When you run out of oil for your sewing machine, check around the house for these types of oil. It can save you time and an unexpected trip to the store. It can also save you a breakdown and keep your sewing machine from overheating. These are the top five oils we recommend:

Sewing Machine Oil Alternatives
  • Clipper Oil
  • Tri-Flow Oil
  • White Mineral Oil
  • Marvel Mystery Oil
  • Clock Oil

Clipper Oil

Hair clippers are a great comparison to the metal to metal speed of a sewing machine. The blades run ultra-fast and must be oiled to keep the components running smoothly. Clipper oil is a low-viscosity oil designed to lubricate electric razors and hair trimmers. It also helps keep the blades sharp and last longer.

Sewing machine oil and clipper oil are interchangeable, and both can be used for either item for lubrication. The texture and ingredients are almost the same to keep from wearing down the metal components.

Tri-Flow Oil

This oil is designed from petroleum and Teflon products. Teflon is the key source which makes Tri-Flow Oil an excellent substitute for sewing machine oil. The only downside is the high price, so that it may work great as a substitute, but it can become costly if you use your sewing machine often.

It is mainly used for chains on bicycles, but the idea of lubrication of metal to metal is perfect for keeping the sewing machine from overheating. The higher the heat friction, the better Tri-Flow oil works. At higher temperatures, the oil works better because it is heat resistant.

White Mineral Oil

Due to a lighter consistency, white mineral oil is a perfect sewing machine oil alternative. It is made transparent and known for being the best liquid petroleum. You can find this oil at any store, but you may even have some in your home because it is an all-purpose oil.

White mineral oil is cheap and is known as a byproduct in the petroleum distilling process. It can get you out of a bind, and you can use it longer without the fear of wasting money.

Marvel Mystery Oil

The funny thing about this oil is that it has never had a name, which is a mystery. It is considered an antique in the all-purpose section of oil. For over 80 years, Marvel mystery oil has been around.

When Marvel Mystery Oil was created, it was made to prevent corrosion in the Carburetors. It is still used for that purpose and many more. Since it is not thick, it is recommended as a substitute for sewing machine oil because it works perfectly on all the small mechanical parts.

Clock Oil

Among all the oils mentioned, clock oil is the most common in the household and is the number one choice for substituting sewing machine oil. There is only one difference between the two oils. If you drop clock oil on a table, it will stay in one spot, whereas sewing machine oil will run off the area.

We recommend not using too much clock oil in a sewing machine. Too much is not good in this situation because it can cause extensive damage. However, both are interchangeable and are used either-or.

Oils Not to be Used In Your Sewing Machine

Not every type of oil is all-purpose. Some can cause fires, while others are not thick enough to lubricate the fast-moving components. These are the ones we strongly discourage and beg our readers not to use under any circumstances.

  • Automotive Oil
  • Cooking Oil
  • Grease
  • Paraffin
  • Cooking spray
  • Butter
  • Three-in-One Oil
  • Lard
  • WD-40
  • Kerosene
  • Gasoline

The Parts Of a Sewing Machine That Need Oil and How Often

There are many parts the manual may suggest when oiling a sewing machine. Three primary parts demand it the most.

  1. The Cylinder
  2. Bobbin Area
  3. The Shuttle Hook

We recommend oiling according to the frequency of use. For example, if you use your sewing machine every day, then you can oil the machine every week to be on the safe side. If you use the sewing machine every 15 days, then oil it every month.

How about if you only use it five or fewer times within a month? Then you sew five times in a month or less, and then you can go up to four months.

Critical Moments for Adding Sewing Machine Oil

It is easy to forget maintenance at times. Your sewing machine will tell you when you went too far without adding oil. You will begin to notice these events happening:

  • Poorly aligned seam
  • Burnt Smell
  • Abnormal noises
  • Overheating to mechanical components
  • Slower sowing speed.

Steps on How To Oil a Sewing Machine

Here are some tips on oiling your sewing machine if you have a new one or an older model without the manual.

Step 1: Turn off the sewing machine and unplug it.

Step 2: Remove all parts that are in the way of oiling the machine.

Step 3: Use a brush to clean the machine and its components.

Step 4: Once the machine is clean and all lent is removed, start oiling the moving components by adding a few drops to each part at the friction areas. Check the Owner’s Manual to find all the locations to oil.

Step 5: Wipe off any excess oil that drips into unwanted areas. There should be no slippery areas when using a sewing machine oil alternatives. Serious injuries can occur.

About The Author

Scroll to Top