Mastering the Maintenance: How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine

Every craftsperson knows that their tools are at the heart of their art. For sewists, the sewing machine is not just a tool; it’s an extension of their creativity and precision. But like any cherished item, it requires care and attention. If you’re a proud owner of a Janome sewing machine, understanding its maintenance is key to keeping it in top-notch condition.

Dive with us into the essentials of “How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine” and ensure that every project you undertake benefits from a machine that operates smoothly and efficiently, stitch after beautiful stitch.

Essential Tools for Maintenance

Before we get started on maintaining your Janome sewing machine, it’s imperative to have the right tools at hand. Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re fully prepared:

  1. Soft brushes or lint brushes: Ideal for gently removing lint and dust from the machine’s nooks and crannies without causing any damage.
  2. Precision screwdrivers: Necessary for opening certain parts of the machine, allowing for thorough cleaning and occasional minor repairs.
  3. Sewing machine-specific oil: It’s crucial to remember that not all oils are suitable for sewing machines. Ensure you have oil specifically designed for sewing machines to keep all moving parts lubricated and running smoothly.
  4. Lint-free cloth: Perfect for wiping down the machine’s exterior, as well as any internal parts, ensuring no residue is left behind.

Step by Step: How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine

The essence of every masterpiece lies not just in the creator’s skill but also in the tool’s efficacy. For avid sewists, a well-maintained sewing machine is the secret behind each flawless stitch. And if you’re the proud owner of a Janome sewing machine, you’ve already chosen quality.

Now, let’s delve into ensuring that this quality endures. This comprehensive guide will teach you “How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine” to keep it running at its optimal performance.

1. Cleaning the Exterior:

A machine’s outer appearance often mirrors its internal condition. It’s the first line of defense against dirt, grime, and potential damage.


  • Place your Janome on a flat, well-lit surface.
  • Take the lint-free cloth and dampen it slightly with water.
  • Gently wipe down the entire exterior, paying attention to seams, buttons, and knobs.
  • This removes superficial dust and ensures your workspace remains clean.

2. Bobbin Area Maintenance:

The heart of your machine, the bobbin area, is perpetually in action. Due to its consistent thread movement, lint accumulates quite frequently.


  • Turn off the machine and unplug it.
  • Open the bobbin compartment.
  • Carefully remove the bobbin and the bobbin case.
  • With the soft brush, gently clean out all visible lint and debris.
  • Remember, lint in this area can affect stitch quality, so frequent checks are crucial.

The needle and presser foot, constantly in contact with fabric and thread, are prone to collect lint.


  • Start by turning off your machine.
  • For safety and efficiency, remove the needle first.
  • Next, raise the presser foot to access the area beneath it.
  • Use the soft brush to clean around the needle bar and presser foot area, ensuring all lint and debris are cleared.

4. Feed Dogs and Stitch Plate:

Feed dogs, though small, play a pivotal role in ensuring the fabric moves uniformly.


  • If you’re comfortable, use the precision screwdriver to gently remove the stitch plate.
  • This exposes the feed dogs and the surrounding area.
  • Carefully brush away any trapped threads and lint.
  • Check the feed dogs’ motion by turning the handwheel and ensure they move freely without obstructions.

Shifting Gears: Oiling Your Janome

A sewing machine’s efficiency isn’t just about cleanliness; lubrication plays a quintessential role in its smooth operation.

5. Oiling the Bobbin Area:


  • With the bobbin area exposed, identify any metal-on-metal areas.
  • Apply one or two drops of sewing machine oil on the bobbin case’s edges.
  • It’s crucial to avoid over-oiling, as this can attract more dust and debris.

6. Oiling Other Moving Parts:

Every sewing machine has its unique blueprint. While many parts overlap, specific areas might need attention based on the model.


  • Consult your Janome manual. It’s the bible for your machine and provides insights on areas requiring lubrication.
  • As a general rule, any parts moving against one another during operation might need a touch of oil.

7. Post-Oiling Ritual:

Lubrication is great for the machine but not always for your fabrics. Excess oil can leave unwanted stains.


  • Before diving back into your sewing projects, always run a scrap piece of fabric through your machine.
  • This absorbs any excess oil and ensures your main fabrics remain pristine.

So, ensuring your Janome sewing machine remains in top-notch condition isn’t a herculean task. Regular checks, thorough cleaning, and appropriate oiling can significantly enhance its lifespan. After all, a well-maintained machine doesn’t just facilitate smoother projects; it becomes an enduring partner in your creative journey.

Related: Best Sewing Machine Oil for Janome

Where do you put oil in a Janome?

For Janome sewing machine enthusiasts, ensuring the smooth operation of their treasured device is paramount. The process of oiling is crucial for reducing friction among moving parts and prolonging the machine’s lifespan. But where exactly should you apply the oil in a Janome?

Typically, the primary area requiring attention is the bobbin case. After removing the bobbin and its case, a drop or two of sewing machine-specific oil should be placed on the outer edge of the bobbin hook. Occasionally, the needle bar area and other moving parts under the machine might also benefit from a light touch of oil. Always remember, before diving in, it’s essential to consult the user manual for model-specific guidelines to ensure precision and prevent any potential damage.

Mastering the Maintenance: How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine
photo: amazon

Do’s and Don’ts: Oiling Your Janome Sewing Machine the Right Way

Oiling your Janome sewing machine is an essential aspect of maintenance that ensures smooth operation and extends the machine’s lifespan. However, proper technique and caution are crucial. Here’s a breakdown of the do’s and don’ts to guide you through the process:


  1. Consult Your Manual: Before doing anything, refer to your Janome sewing machine’s manual. Each model might have specific recommendations or requirements.
  2. Use Sewing Machine Oil: Only use oil specifically designed for sewing machines. This oil is light and refined to not leave residues.
  3. Clean Before Oiling: Ensure you’ve removed lint, dust, and thread bits from your machine, especially from the bobbin area, before you oil. A clean machine ensures the oil can do its job without getting muddied with debris.
  4. Apply Sparingly: A little goes a long way. In most cases, a drop or two in the required areas is sufficient.
  5. Run a Scrap Fabric: After oiling, run a piece of scrap fabric through your machine. This helps pick up any excess oil and ensures it doesn’t transfer onto your main projects.
  6. Regular Maintenance: Even if your machine doesn’t require frequent oiling, it’s a good habit to periodically check if it needs lubrication.


  1. Avoid Over-Oiling: Too much oil can attract lint and dirt, leading to a build-up that can be counterproductive.
  2. Don’t Use Substitutes: Household oils, WD-40, or other lubricants are not suitable for sewing machines. They can gum up the machine or degrade its parts.
  3. Avoid Random Oiling: Only oil the parts recommended in the manual. Not all moving parts require oil, and unnecessary application can cause issues.
  4. Neglect Regular Service: Even if you oil your machine regularly, don’t skip the professional service. Technicians might identify areas or issues you might miss.
  5. Ignore Sounds and Signs: If your machine starts making unusual noises or doesn’t operate smoothly even after oiling, it’s a sign to consult a technician.

So, Oiling your Janome sewing machine is more than just a routine; it’s an investment in your machine’s health. By following these do’s and don’ts, you ensure that every stitch you make is smooth, and your machine remains in peak condition for years to come. Proper maintenance and care translate to better performance, fewer repairs, and a more enjoyable sewing experience.

Regular Maintenance Schedule for Your Janome Sewing Machine

Your Janome sewing machine is more than just a tool; it’s an extension of your creativity, facilitating every sewing aspiration. Much like any prized possession, its care and maintenance dictate its longevity and performance. Now that you’re well-versed with “How to Clean and Oil Janome Sewing Machine,” it’s crucial to understand the frequency of this maintenance. Tailoring the care schedule to your usage patterns ensures optimal machine health without overburdening it.

For Daily Users:

Those who find themselves seated at their Janome almost every day, weaving creations one after the other.

  • Cleaning: Given the frequent usage, lint, thread bits, and occasional fabric fragments can accumulate quickly. To ensure consistent performance, it’s advisable to clean your machine once a week. This routine keeps your machine running smoothly and prevents minor issues from escalating.
  • Oiling: Regular motion means regular friction among the machine parts. To ensure there’s minimal wear and tear, oil your Janome once every two weeks. Regular lubrication keeps those parts moving seamlessly.

For Occasional Users:

For those who use their Janome for sporadic projects, perhaps a few times a month.

  • Cleaning: While your machine might not see daily action, dust and lint can still gather. A cleaning session once a month should suffice, ensuring your machine remains pristine and ready for your next project.
  • Oiling: Less frequent usage means less frequent oiling. However, lubrication remains vital. Aim to oil your machine every six weeks. This strikes a balance, ensuring moving parts remain fluid without over-oiling.

For Rare Users:

If your Janome is more of a cherished possession used for those special projects now and then.

  • Cleaning: Extended periods of inactivity can lead to dust settling in various parts of your machine. It’s best to clean it once every three months. This ensures that when you do decide to sew, your machine is in top shape.
  • Oiling: For rare users, simultaneous cleaning and oiling is a practical approach. Every time you clean, give your machine a light oiling. This way, even if used infrequently, your Janome remains at its best.

However, every artist knows that the key to a masterpiece lies as much in the maintenance of their tools as in their skill. By adhering to a regular maintenance schedule tailored to your usage patterns, you not only ensure the longevity of your Janome but also guarantee that every stitch, every project, is a reflection of perfection.

Does my Janome need to be oiled?

Whether or not a Janome sewing machine needs to be oiled depends on the specific model you have. Janome, like many modern sewing machine brands, produces machines with some models that are self-lubricating or have sealed bearings, meaning they don’t require frequent oiling by the user. However, other models might benefit from occasional lubrication.

Here are general guidelines to consider:

  1. Consult Your Manual: Always refer to your machine’s user manual. The manual will provide specific maintenance instructions tailored for your particular model, including whether or not it requires oiling.
  2. Dealer or Technician Advice: If you’re unsure or if you’ve misplaced your manual, consult with a Janome dealer or a sewing machine technician. They will be knowledgeable about the maintenance needs of various models.
  3. Signs Your Machine Needs Oiling: If your machine becomes noisy or if you feel some parts are not moving as smoothly as they should, it might be an indicator that it needs oiling. However, before applying any oil, make sure it’s indeed recommended for your specific model.
  4. Use the Right Oil: If your machine does require oiling, always use sewing machine-specific oil. It’s clear and free from impurities that can harm the machine. Avoid household oils or other alternatives, as they might not be suitable and can cause damage.
  5. Frequency: If your Janome model requires oiling, the frequency will depend on your usage. As outlined in the previous sections, those who use their machine daily might need to oil it more often than those who use it occasionally.

In summary, while some Janome models might not need regular oiling, it’s always essential to refer to the user manual or consult with a professional to ensure the best care and maintenance for your sewing machine.

How do you know if your Janome sewing machine needs oiling?

Knowing when your Janome sewing machine needs oiling is essential for ensuring smooth operation and preventing wear and tear. Here’s how you can identify if your machine requires lubrication:
  1. Check the Manual: Always refer to your Janome sewing machine’s user manual first. Some newer Janome models are designed to be self-lubricating, meaning they might not require regular oiling, or they may have specific maintenance schedules.
  2. Listen for Sounds: Unusual noises, like squeaking or grinding, can indicate that parts of your machine are experiencing friction and need oiling.
  3. Performance Changes: If your machine begins to lag, produces uneven stitches, or skips stitches, lack of lubrication might be a factor.
  4. Visual Inspection: Over time, you might observe old oil turning gummy or collecting lint, especially around the bobbin area. If there’s a noticeable buildup, it’s time to clean and re-oil.
  5. Touch Test: After safely accessing the bobbin case, feel the hook area. If it feels dry or has too much friction when it turns, it could benefit from oiling.
  6. Routine Checks: Even if you don’t notice any immediate issues, periodic checks are a good practice. If it’s been a long while since your last oiling, consider giving it a light lubrication, especially if you use your machine frequently.
  7. Seek Expert Advice: If you’re ever in doubt, consulting a sewing machine technician or specialist can provide clarity. They can assess your machine and offer advice on its lubrication needs.

Lastly, always use sewing machine-specific oil for lubrication, and avoid over-oiling. Properly oiling your Janome will ensure consistent performance, reduce potential repairs, and extend its lifespan.

Conclusion: Your Janome Deserves the Best Care

Maintaining your Janome sewing machine isn’t just a chore; it’s a commitment to quality, longevity, and unimpeded creativity. By being proactive and attentive, you can ensure that your machine runs smoothly, project after project.
Now that you know “How to Clean and Oil Janome Sewing Machine,” you’re well-equipped to identify signs that your machine needs oiling and take the necessary steps to maintain its peak performance. A well-oiled Janome is more than just a piece of machinery; it’s your partner in all your crafting adventures. Remember, the key to flawless stitching starts with a well-maintained machine.