Experienced seamstresses know that a sewing machine must be serviced and oiled regularly to maintain optimum performance. Sewing machine oil is a specially engineered, toxic substance designed specifically for use in sewing machines. Anyone looking for a substitute should do so with caution. It is risky to use anything but industrially manufactured sewing machine oil with your machine. With that said, If you wish to test a homemade mixture, try this recipe.
Sewing machine oil
Sewing machine oil is a mixture of petrochemicals that is designed to withstand high heat and stress. There are several substances that are thought to be heat resistant enough for operation in sewing machines. Jojoba oil is often cited. It is very heat resistant and an excellent lubricant. Silicone oil is a good quality, high-performance oil that may work with your machine. Also, ester oil is very heat resistant and stable which makes it suitable for engines and high-speed machine parts. So, with gloves on, try this recipe.
In a small bowl, mix 79 ml (1/3 cup) of jojoba oil, 1 tablespoon silicone oil and 1 tablespoon ester oil. Pour this mixture into a dropper bottle. Use this on one part of the machine and turn the machine on to test it. If you notice any disruption or the machine seems to be struggling, turn it off and discard your homemade oil.
Bike chain oil, used to lubricate bike chains and other parts, may also be used on sewing machines. Test on one part before using on the entire machine.
Be very careful when working with the chemicals you may be using to make a substitute sewing machine oil. Jojoba oil is nontoxic, but should still be handled carefully. Silicone and ester oil are also nontoxic, but may be less safe than jojoba and should not be allowed to contact the mouth, skin or eyes. As stated earlier, sewing machine oil is specially formulated for use in high-speed motors. It is toxic. Using substitutes can damage your machine, so you should only continue using them if your machine exhibits no signs of stress or damage.
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