Serger Care & Maintenance: Cleaning, Oiling & More
The most important thing you can do to keep your serger running smoothly is your Serger Maintenance, including cleaning and oiling. Removing lint and bits of fabric after each use is essential to the long life of your serger. Lint builds up inside the serger as the lubricated areas act like magnets drawing that lint in. The lint then absorbs the oil, drying out those moving parts.
- A small screwdriver to fit needle screws
- Needle threader and/or dental floss threaders if you need help threading the needles
- Mini vacuum attachment
- Stiff bristled brush or brush that came with serger
- Paper towels
- Cotton swabs
- Glass cleaner such as Windex
- Sewing machine oil
Not every serger requires oiling, so check with your owner's manual or local dealer if you have one. The serger manual will tell you where to apply oil and how often. The standard rule indicates that machines that require oiling should be oiled after eight to ten hours of serging or whenever you hear any metallic scraping sounds. I like to oil my serger every time I clean it.
Changing the Needles
A bent, dull, or nicked needle will cause skipped stitches, thread to break, and much more. Bent needles can even cause the timing to go out on your serger. As with your sewing machine, you want to change the needle frequently. My dealer suggested I change mine every 8-10 hours of serging. I received that advice when I bought my Babylock Imagine about 15 years ago! I followed it, along with keeping my serger clean, and I've never had any issues with my machine.
Are you thinking about buying a new serger? Be sure to read our post on How To Choose a Serger.
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