Just like sewing machines, sergers need regular maintenance too. Cleaning and oiling your serger is one of those things that can be easily overlooked (cough cough) but is really important to keeping your machine working well. In fact, it’s usually step 3 in my troubleshooting routine right behind changing the needle and re-threading. Now I’ve been known to let so much lint build up in my machines you could use it to felt something, but you’ll have less troubleshooting overall if you can just keep to a regular maintenance schedule. I’ve heard a few different recommendations on the frequency with which you should maintain your serger, but I think as long as you clean it when you start to notice any lint buildup you should be fine. I’ve made a video tutorial for those of you who prefer to watch. If you prefer to read just skip on down to the tut.
You only need a few tools to maintain your serger:
- A lint brush for cleaning
- A flat head screwdriver for removing the throat plate
- An Allen wrench for removing the needle
- Sewing machine oil
- Tweezers for hard-to-reach spots
- New sewing machine needles (just because it’s always nice to have new needles)
Before you start cleaning make sure the serger is unplugged. Then remove the thread, needle, foot, and throat plate. Once it’s all taken apart, use the brush to clean out all of the lint. If it’s really messy I like to use my vacuum cleaner to suck up as much lint as I can. You can use the tweezers to remove anything big that may be caught deeper inside than the brush can reach (like little fabric strips). The tweezers also come in handy for dropped screws. I always seem to drop a screw.
Once the insides are clean, it’s time to oil. For the Brother 1034D there are two spots to oil (see pic below). If you have a different serger give your manual a peek to see where you should oil. 1 – 2 drops of oil in each spot is all you need.
That’s it. Seriously. Just put that baby back together and run it a bit to work the oil into it and you’re good to go!