Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and Maintenance

The sewing machine is, well… a  machine, and like all machines with moving parts, it requires routine maintenance, so the question is; how do you clean it/ how do you oil it? 

This is one of the most common questions for any new sewist and it’s a valid question. However, Janome has manufactured machines to be super easy to use and maintain. 

It is more important to keep your machine, particularly the bobbin area, clean than it is to actually oil it since the main parts of your machine are factory sealed and lubricated. 

Let’s start with the primary Care of Your Machine. You will find this section in any Janome instruction manual. For this blog post, we will be referencing the manual of the Janome C30 sewing machine. This has a prevalent Top Loading Bobbin style, and the instructions for cleaning are located on page 45.

Janome C30 Instruction Manual

With your machine on, press the Needle/Up-down button, or manually turn your Handwheel until the needle is in the highest position. Then turn your machine off and unplug it for safety.  

Continue to follow the steps below, which include detailed photos.

With the Needle in the highest position, switch the power off for safety.
Remove the Presser Foot.
Gently remove the needle by turning the needle clamp screw just enough to allow the needle to drop down; no need to altogether remove the screw.
Remove the plastic hook cover plate by sliding the hook cover plate release button to the right.
Take out the bobbin.
Remove the set screws on the needle plate. They will be tight at first as they were sealed at the factory.
Place the screws safely to keep them from rolling off the table.
Gently Remove the Needle plate. Pro Tip: Lift and Hold the Presser foot lifter to the maximum height while removing the needle plate.
Temporarily store the Needle plate in a safe place.
Gently lift up and remove the bobbin holder.
Clean between the feed dogs and inside the hook race with the included lint brush which came with your machine.
Gently clean all around the hook race assembly to remove all dust and debris.
Use a clean, dry rag to clean anything the lint brush cannot remove.
You may also use a small vacuum cleaner to clean excess lint and dust. Pro Tip: cover the nozzle of the vacuum with cheesecloth, lace or mesh; even an old nylon stocking so nearby loose screws or pins don’t get sucked up by mistake!
Be very careful to only remove the dust and lint that does not belong there. You will notice a small felt pad located in the center of the hook race assembly. DO NOT REMOVE IT. 
Clean the inside of the bobbin holder.
Also, clean the bottom of the needle plate.
Here is what our machine looked like before this cleaning.
Here is how the machine looks after a good cleaning.

Once you have your machine thoroughly cleaned, go ahead and put it all back together. Follow the video below to see the process. Feel free to pause at anytime

We hope you have found this informative, but just for fun, here is a sped-up version of the process.

Here is a sped up version of the cleaning process.

A clean sewing machine is a happy one, so be sure to include this in your normal sewing routine, especially if you sew frequently.

In general, Janome recommends yearly servicing for all sewing machines, where the technician will lubricate any parts that need oiling. 

Like any equipment, if you do not use it for a long time, the equipment will clog or gum up. This will cause certain parts in the machine to be stiff since the oil is gone and the moving parts become dry.

If your machine has sat for an entire year without any use at all, we recommend that you bring it to your dealer before turning it on trying to use it, so they can determine what, if any, servicing may be needed.  As per our Service Manager, turning on a machine that has been stored for a year without proper lubrication may damage the motherboard, as it may be hard for mechanical parts to operate.

Should you feel the need to oil your machine; if the bobbin area sounds a little noisier than usual, 1 drop of oil directly in the center of the hook race assembly is sufficient (Remember that felt pad we said not to remove earlier? Yep, right there. It is a wick which draws the oil down into the moving parts below the hook race)

Check with your local dealer and use only good quality Sewing Machine oil. The Part Number for the oil most commonly sold by Janome is 741814003, but please check with your authorized dealer or stockist for pricing and part numbers as they may vary from dealer to dealer. 

Happy Sewing.

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8 Responses to Cleaning and Maintenance

  1. Julia Glass says:

    Why does sometimes the bobbin winder go slow when filling bobbin


    • janomeman says:

      Hi Julia. Be sure the bobbin is fully seated on the bobbin winder post and clicked into place before starting to wind. If you machine has a speed control slider, you can use that to adjust the speed of winding the bobbin. Keeping consistent foot pressure on the foot control also helps keeps consistent tension on the bobbin thread as it winds. Double check that the power cord is secured into the machine and into the wall outlet before you turn your machine on. Happy Sewing!


  2. Rochelle says:

    I removed about 1/2” of the wick by mistake. Can I replace it myself?


    • janomeman says:

      HI Rochelle. You’re best to take the machine into an authorized service technician to replace it, or to at least order the correct replacement part from a Janome dealer. I’ve heard of people using bits of cotton swaps, or scrap fabric as a substitute, but that’s not something I recommend.


  3. Betty says:

    This is not a cleaning question it is an operational question. I am paralyzed from waist down and have no leg/foot movement. I purchased the 4120 QDC primarily for the Start/Stop feature. My question to the Janome professional is will I damage my machine if I only use the Start/Stop button?


    • janomeman says:

      HI Betty! That’s a great question, and I’m happy to assure you that, NO, using the Start/Stop button exclusively will not damage your machine in any way. You’re good to go, or, I should say, you’re good to SEW! lol! Happy Sewing!


  4. Evelyn Denney says:

    What causes my Janome to just stop sewing and I have to roll by hand the machine while pressing the foot pedal to make it start again.?


    • janomeman says:

      HI Evelyn, Double check that the foot pedal and power cord are firmly plugged into the machine, and the power cord firmly plugged into the wall outlet. If the issue still persists, take it to your Janome Dealer to be looked at by an authorized service technician for a thorough diagnosis.


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