Updated at: 21-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Modern sewing machines, such as Singer sewing machines, are very similar in operation. They have a bobbin and an electrical cable, as well as moving parts. You should polish your computer on a regular basis to keep it looking its best. You’ll need to properly clean your old Singer machine before you can begin polishing it. Dirt can build up on a dirty machine over time, making it look unkempt and untidy even after it is cleaned.

1. Test the Finish on Your Antique Singer

To clean an old Singer sewing machine, you should use cleaning chemicals that match the model’s finish. The delicate decals on every Singer sewing machine are protected by a transparent lacquer. To make matters worse, there are numerous different ingredients that go into making transparent coat You can’t tell what kind of clear coat you have unless you check it out for yourself. The clear coat of your machine can dissolve if you use the wrong substance, so be careful what you choose. It is possible that the clear shellac on the very early Singers, such as the fiddle base machines, can cause damage. Here’s a step-by-step guide to checking your computer:

  1. An unobtrusive place to look for is at the lowest portion of your device.
  2. Swirl a small amount of ruby alcohol into a cotton ball.
  3. To use the rubbing alcohol, carefully dab it on the chosen spot. Shellac is most likely the finish if it goes fast and is crystal clear. Lacquer or varnish is most likely the culprit if it starts to feel a little slick over time.

2. Check the Condition of the Finish

Make sure to inspect the state of the finish of your old sewing machine, as well as the chemical utilized to coat it. This is essential for the decals to work properly. Is the finish scratched? Alternatively, are there any locations where the clear coat looks to have been removed or broken? If this is the case, you should avoid polishing and cleaning these areas to avoid damaging the Singer’s sensitive stickers. Instead, consider hiring a professional to repair the clear coat. The coating can be cleaned and polished if it is not damaged.

3. Gently Clean the Machine With Soap and Water

Using a moderate soap and water wash, thoroughly clean your sewing machine before polishing it. Soaps containing alcohol should be avoided, especially if your machine has a shellac finish or if you are unsure about its finish. A tiny amount of alcohol in most soft soaps, such as Dawn or Murphy’s Oil, can harm the finish. Always check the label to be sure the soap you choose does not contain any alcohol. Puracy Natural Dish Soap is a highly recommended alternative. You may clean your ancient Singer sewing machine this way.

  1. Warm water and a small amount of soap work best.
  2. Wash your hands well and squeeze the soapy water off a dry cotton cloth. Starting in a non-glaring position, use very gentle movements to wash the machine and avoid any glare. Keep an eye out for soap residue that could damage your machine’s finish.
  3. Squeeze off the excess water from a second cloth after it has been soaked in clean water. Use this cloth to rinse the soap thoroughly.
  4. Use a fresh, clean cloth to dry the area you just cleaned.
  5. Rinse the machine one section at a time in a new spot, then switch locations. Observe for any symptoms of harm while being gentle.

4. Polish Your Vintage Singer Sewing Machine With Machine Oil

Put a small amount of sewing machine oil on a dry, clean cloth after you’ve cleaned your machine. The machine should next be polished using gentle circular strokes. Using paintbrushes is an excellent way to get the oil into regions that are difficult to access. You can use the oil from your sewing machine to get rid of any residue left behind by stickers or tape by leaving it in place for a while. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not hurting the surface. The metal parts of a sewing machine can also be polished by using the machine’s own oil.

5. Apply a Wax Finish

Waxing your vintage Singer sewing machine can keep it looking new for years to come. Carnauba-based waxes can be used, although Zymol Carbon Wax is the finest alternative. The Featherweight Shop carries it. Apply a small amount of wax and remove it with circular motions. Polish in both directions, if possible.


Regular cleaning isn’t enough for some devices because of the buildup of dirt and grime on them. Let it soak in kerosene for up to one week before trying to remove the plates. If the machine appears to be stuck or inflexible, brute force (combined with a liquid wrench) cannot be used to free it. You’re winning if it can move an inch or less. If you can’t get things moving normally, keep going until you can.

Other Considerations for Polishing an Antique Singer

You can clean and sew the surface of any machine the same way, but there are some considerations to make if you’re working on a specific design. Keep the following in mind before making your decision:

  • Sewing machines that use a treadle. Use mild soap and water to clean the base of cast iron treadle sewing machines. To get into the nooks and crannies, use a delicate brush. Make sure to completely dry it after cleaning it with water to prevent rust from forming.
  • You can clean wood cabinets the same way you clean antiques. Take care not to get oil soap on the machine if you’re using it.
  • Vintage Singer sewing machines with chrome parts are available. Use a mild automotive chrome polish, such as Solvol Autosol, to bring back the lustre to these components.

How Do I Get Rust Off My Vintage Sewing Machine?

Before applying any lubricant or stain remover to the machine, check it in a non-detectable spot. Using too many products or soaking the machine for too long can result in discoloration of the equipment. Be cautious. Some of them are specifically developed for rusted and mechanical components, but are not suitable for paint-coated areas.

Oxyclean or boiling water or aluminum foil and vinegar were even sworn by by some as effective scrubbing methods. The finish on your machine may be damaged if you use alcohol or methyl hydrate. Emery cloth and sandpaper can be used to remove the rust from the metal.

Knowing How to Polish a Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Is Important

Singer, like other sewing machine manufacturers, has produced a wide range of types and styles over the years. Cleaning should be managed due to the differences in the materials used in their construction. Singer, your sewing machine, will continue to hold its value and charm for many years to come if you treat it with care.

How Do You Clean The Body Of A Vintage Singer Sewing Machine So It Shines?

  1. You can use a dry brush to clean your antique Singer sewing machine
  2. Gently massage the sewing machine with a small amount of sewing machine oil on your fingertips. You can then use a second cloth to remove any remaining residue.
  3. As soon as the decals on your vintage Singer sewing machine look more gold than silver, it’s time to wash it with sewing machine oil and let it dry naturally.
  4. If the decals on the sewing machine appear greenish, then it’s generally safe to scrub the decals further.
  5. If you can, try any lanolin-based product on the sewing machine’s finish before using it on a cotton ball.
  6. Continue to use just one portion until your cotton is clean and free of residues.
  7. Your ancient Singer sewing machine’s decals should be treated with care.
  8. To remove the filth and expose a sparkling Singer sewing machine, use a clean towel to rub the machine.

What Do You Clean An Old Sewing Machine With?

The ancient machine may be cleaned with a number of solutions and soft cloths. Using a microfiber cloth will help you get the job done faster and more thoroughly. Cotton swabs, toothbrushes, and paintbrushes can also be used to access hard-to-reach places on the sewing machine.

You can test the finish compatibility of the following goods with your old sewing machine:

  • Sewing machine oil is frequently used to remove sticky residues from the machine.
  • Metal parts are lubricated with synthetic sewing machine oil.
  • Dirt remover based on Lanolin for the hands.
  • Spot cleaning with kerosene is possible.
  • Paint polish for automobiles to eliminate splotches
  • To finish, use a resin polish.
  • Polish with Carnauba wax after cleaning
  • Prevents rusting while acting as a lubricant.


Identify the finish and clean the model before closing the work for an overview of how to polish an ancient Singer sewing machine. An undetected surface must be thoroughly examined to guarantee that no product will damage the sewing machine’s appearance or color.

This is how you can keep your sewing machine in good working condition and address any problems that may arise.