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How To Clean The Race On An Embroidery Or Sewing Machine

Do you have bobbin thread showing on the top of your project?
Is your bobbin case making weird sounds?
Or have you just used your machine for a few hours (or days..) on end and it’s time to give it a clean?
There could be many more reasons why you need to clean your embroidery machine, but no matter what the reason is you will need to clean under the bobbin case at some point! Are you new to embroidery?
Are you new to sewing? Your sewing and embroidery projects will suffer if there is lint and dust in the bobbin case. This is why you must clean it often. Prevent having the struggle, clean your machine!

Wait, but what is the race?

The race of the embroidery and sewing machine

Here are the 10 super easy steps to cleaning the race for your machine: 

1. Raise the needle on your machine.

2. Turn off and unplug your embroidery and/or sewing machine.

3. Raise the presser foot and remove the needle, the presser foot and the presser foot holder.

4. If applicable, remove the flatbed attachment or the embroidery unit.

5. Remove the bobbin cover.

6. Remove the needle plate cover.

7. Pull out the bobbin case.

8. Use the cleaning brush and remove the lint and dust that are in the race, the bobbin thread sensor and the surrounding area. Don't apply oil to the bobbin case.

This is the cleaning brush

9. Insert the bobbin case and slide the needle plate back on.
10. Get back to your sewing or embroidery!!

the needle plate, sewing foot, the tool to tighten the foot on the machine, bobbin, bobbin case, sewing needle
This photo includes the needle plate, sewing foot, the tool to tighten/loosen the foot/needle on the machine, bobbin, bobbin case, sewing needle. The photo excludes the cleaning brush.

Here's a special trick that I used the other day to get my bobbin thread to stop showing on the top for embroidery!

Take a business card and use it to get the lint out from where the bobbin thread goes. You don’t want to use anything that with scratch your bobbin case. 

Here’s a picture to show you how:

Don't know how to know when to clean the race? A good way to know when to clean the race is when your bobbin thread runs out! Of course, if you're having problems with your machine you should do it sooner, but this is a good rule of thumb!

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