How to oil a bernina sewing machine

Updated February 21, 2017

The Bernina sewing machine is a magnificent wonder in the hands of a competent operator. Its ability to perform intricate tasks is based on the precision with which the machines are assembled. As with any machine with close tolerances, the Bernina requires periodic maintenance and lubrication. Failure to take care of your machine can result in poor performance, jammed mechanisms and the potential to damage it beyond repair. The manufacturer recommends frequent light oiling to maintain top performance.

Make sure the machine is at room temperature. If it has been stored in a cold area, allow the machine to warm for about an hour before oiling it.

Open the top cover and lightly oil all points marked in red. Refer to the owner's manual to ensure you have checked and oiled all the points.

Open the side door and oil all points marked in red. Refer to the owner's manual to ensure you have oiled all the points.

Remove the stitch plate and brush or blow out the fluff that has accumulated there and around the shuttle and the feed dog each time you oil the machine.


Always oil before sewing, never after. Use only high-quality oil free of resin and acid. If you don't have a manual, visit the manufacturer's website for a free download. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for other maintenance checks each time you oil your machine.


Always wear safety glasses when using compressed air. Remove all needles before cleaning and oiling your machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual
  • Sewing machine oil
  • Medium bristle brush
  • Can of compressed air
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About the Author

After attending Pasadena City College as a business major, Ron Sardisco spent 35 years studying small business and organizational behavior. More than 20 years as a banker, 10 years as a small business owner and five years as a business adviser fuel his passion for writing and mentoring others. An award-winning photographer, he was also a contributing columnist to the "Antelope Valley Press."