Any machine with mechanical parts needs oiling for smooth and consistent performance, and that includes sewing machines as well. Sewing machines easily get rusted and rough after using it for an extended period of time. However, the oil will help you to keep your sewing machines running smoothly. The most effective way to use oil in your sewing machines is by applying it to those parts of the machine that go through the most friction.
We all know why we use oils in mechanical machinery. To keep them lubricated for running smoothly. Sewing machines are no different. Whether it is an industrial embroidery machine or your compact in-house sewing machine, oiling them is crucial to keep them running smoothly.
There are so many different parts in a sewing machine that goes through a lot of friction. Over time this friction will cause your machine to get jammed. After this, you’ll most probably have to buy a new sewing machine. However, oil prevents the roughness of the friction by lubricating every part of the machine. It helps to extend the life of your sewing machine, and it also helps in running it smoothly for a very long time.
Just like any other product, sewing machine oils also have variety in the market. Different types of oil have different properties that have other individual benefits. It’s beneficial for you to know more about these properties and their features. The more you know about these, the better you can select the oil that fits your bill and your needs.
The list contains a variety of options with different brands, different properties of oils, range of prices. In short, you will find what you are looking for on this list. The following are some of the most common and essential features that you need to know about to make your decision.
- The volume of oil is the common thing to look for in oils. Even though it may not seem that important, it’s still one of those features that people look for first. Different uses require different volumes.
- There are mainly two types of oil, petroleum-based oil and synthetic oil. Both have different characteristics, and both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the one that suits your machine type.
- One must also take note of the viscosity of an oil. Some sewing machine requires low viscosity oil for best results while others need high viscosity for best results.
- No one will say not to a multipurpose oil, which you can use on other machinery in your house or office. Well, some oils in the list are very versatile and can be used for other purposes as well.
- Apart from these factors, there are some extra features that every brand, every product it offers. That is why we have also listed other interesting features and offers of these sewing machine oils so you can make a better decision.
Keeping these features and factors in mind, here is the list of the 7 best sewing machine oils.
1. Lily White Sewing Machine Oil
Lily White Sewing Machine Oil is one of the best, if not the best oil, on this list. There are a lot of great features that make this oil one of the best. One of them is the volume you get for the money you pay. Lily White Sewing Machine Oil provides a one-gallon bottle, which is a lot considering the price. The size of the bottle and other features of this oil is suitable for both a small sewing machine in your home and large industrial embroidery machines for commercial use.
Lily White Sewing Machine Oil advertises themselves as highly refined, narrow cut, and non-detergent mineral oil. Mineral oil in its simplest form is just highly refined petroleum-based oil. However, they do have some significant differences. The oil is of low viscosity, which makes it a better choice for high-speed machines. Other than that, this oil won’t leave any stain or grease marks behind when it comes in contact with any fabric, which is a great relief.
It has a few health implications if contacted with skin, which is why experts always advise moving a small amount of oil into a smaller container first, instead of using it from that one-gallon bottle. Lily White Sewing Machine Oil does not mention anything specific about the versatility of this oil, so for the sake of this listing, we can just assume that this oil does not serve other purposes except for oiling your sewing machine.
Even though Lily White Sewing Machine Oil has a decent amount of positive reviews, one complaint that was very visible and frequent from different users is that in some cases, there is a fault in the packaging or shipping, which causes the container to leak.
- It is compatible with both commercial and individual use.
- It has good chemicals in it with a low viscosity.
- It does not stain or leave grease marks on fabrics.
- It comes with one gallon of oil, which is pretty good for its price.
- It has a lot of positive reviews.
- Difficult to use it from its large container.
- Customers frequently complain of a leak.
- No multipurpose use.
2. Juki Defrix Sewing Machine Oil
Juki Defrix is a well-known brand in the industry of sewing machines. The company manufactures all kinds of sewing machines, from compact in-house machines to huge industrial machines. They also provide this oil with their single needle machines. They take great pride in identifying themselves as the manufacturers of one of the finest sewing machine oils in the market.
It comes with a 600ml bottle that weighs about 20 ounces. Considering other sewing machine oils in this list, this one does seem to be a little more on the expensive side. But, then again, their brand has been around since the 1940s and is trusted by a lot of people. That could be a reason for its expensive price.
Juki Defrix Sewing Machine Oil is mineral oil, which means it has the same characteristics as the Lily White Sewing Machine Oil. The oil lubricates without any stain or stickiness. It’s easy to use and apply, which means it’s easy to store as well. Once again, Juki Defrix does not specify if this product is suitable for multiple purposes other than sewing machines. It is compatible with most Juki Defrix products and a few other brands as well.
The oil is made in Japan, and Juki Defrix has made sure to maintain the quality of this oil. However, this quality comes with a costly price, which is the only negative point of this sewing machine oil.
- It comes with a 600ml bottle and is easy to use and apply.
- It uses mineral oil, which has great characteristics, one of the being non-stickiness.
- It is compatible with most Juli Defrix machines, along with other brands as well.
- It is manufactured by a trusted and well-reputed brand
- No multipurpose use.
- Very expensive compared to other sewing machine oils.
3. Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil
Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil is one of its kind of oil which offers quite a few great features. If you only want to use high-quality oil that has some great added benefits apart from ordinary features that every other oil provides, then Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil might be your best choice.
Let’s talk about the negative first, which is the 2 ounces of the bottle this oil comes in. If you have a factory, or if you have large industrial textile machines, then these 2 ounces of oil will vanish before you know it. The price seems slightly high, considering the amount of oil you get for it, but fortunately, Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil makes up for this in the quality department of this oil.
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Unlike other sewing machines oil in our list so far, this is the first synthetic oil. For the majority of people, synthetic oil is the superior oil, not petroleum-based oils, and a few great features are backing this claim up. Firstly, unlike petroleum-based oil, it won’t attract dirt, nor will it become sticky. It will also protect your machine from rust and corrosion more effectively. Being a synthetic oil, it won’t damage any of your painted surfaces as it is plastic safe. Lastly, this oil is not odorless; however, the smell is very light and almost non-noticeable, unlike other oils that have a very overpowering unpleasant smell.
Once again, there is no mention of this oil being multipurpose, but it doesn’t mean it’s not. You can do a little research by yourself as to which chemicals are present in this oil, and if their presence will make the oil react differently when applied to any other kind of machinery.
The oil comes in an already handy and compact container with ½-inch, 1½-inch, and 3-inch twist on/off needles. The needle is made with pharmaceutical-grade stainless material. The needle also allows users to drop the oil precisely and accurately at the right spot. Its precision in applying the oil combined with the quality makes it helpful to work at even the slowest pace. Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil has so much confidence and faith in their product that they even have an anytime money-back guarantee, this further builds the trust of customers.
- High quality, prevents rust and corrosion.
- It doesn’t attract dirt or get sticky, plus it’s plastic safe.
- Three needles with ½-inch, 1½-inch, and 3-inch twist on/off available.
- It is very effective, and it offers an anytime money-back guarantee.
- The capacity of the bottle is too small and does not last long.
4. Singer Sewing Machine Oil
Singer Sewing Machine Oil is from a very well-known brand named, yeah, you guessed it, Singer. The singer has been in the business of manufacturing sewing machines since the 1850s. It means that they are one of the first and longest-running companies here on this list. So, considering their reputation and years of experience, we can expect their sewing machine oils to be as good as their other products.
The volume of Singer Sewing Machine Oil disappoints a lot of people by only offering a bottle of 2.7 ounces of oil in it. They also don’t reveal what type of oil Singer Sewing Machine Oil actually is. However, we do know that the type of oil is versatile enough to be used for multiple purposes, which no other sewing machine oils on this list have offered us so far.
You can apply this to your vacuum cleaner, typewriter, bicycle gear, or almost anything else. Some customers claim that they bought this oil specifically to apply it to appliances other than sewing machines. Speaking of customers, the reviews on this oil point out the quality of this oil as well, which seems to be pretty good. Some people said that it doesn’t gum up your machines as some other oils do. By this statement, we can assume that this oil could be a synthetic oil, but we can’t be sure.
The container of this oil is also pretty good, as it comes with a nozzle that lets you pinpoint a specific spot on your sewing machine and apply the oil in only that spot. After use, you can remove the nozzle and put its cap back on until you need it again.
- The manufacturers of
- this are very well known and well-reputed.
- It allows multipurpose use, which means you can use this on any of your mechanical machinery.
- It comes with a nozzle tip, which allows for easy and precise use of the oil.
- The small volume of oil limits its use only to home and personal use of sewing machines. People with large textile factories or shops will not benefit from this, as it will not last much longer.
5. Liberty Oil For Sewing Machines
Liberty Oil has almost the same properties as the previous two oil brands, yet there are some major differences in Liberty Oil and other oils. Some of these distinctions are positives, and some are negatives. Both the positive and negative aspects of Liberty Oil has its own influence that will make you think hard before considering to buy it.
The oil comes in a 1-ounce bottle, but at a price in which you could buy a 2 ounce Singer Sewing Machine Oil. Right off the bat, we know that this oil is not an ideal choice for large scale use. Its best for people who work individually from their shop or their home. Even then, a 1-ounce bottle of sewing machine oil very less than what an average customer can expect at this price range.
Liberty Oil is purely synthetic oil that means it won’t make your machine sticky or gummy by attracting dirt and dust to it, which a lot of petroleum-based oil is guilty of. The oil is high-viscosity as well, which means you can use this oil on light-speed machines. Your plastic and painted surfaces are also safe from Liberty Oil as the oil does not damage these surfaces at all. It can also be useful to use it in other small power tools like scissors, hair clippers, household appliances, etc.
They also provide a 1½” long 18 gauge stainless steel applicator of pharmaceutical grade with a patented Luer lock cap. What this 1½” needle allows you to do is to apply the oil precisely at the exact spot in your machine where you want to, without creating any mess. The bottle is made from high-quality soft plastic known as LDPE, which makes it very easy to squeeze.
Lastly, Liberty Oil also offers a 60-day no questions asked return policy, which very few other brands are offering. However, one common complaint they get from a lot of customers is that the picture shows clear greenish oil, but what they get is an oil that is dark brown and opaque. We don’t know if that’s how Liberty Oil really looks or if its a case of tampering. Whatever it is, Liberty should respond to these complaints to clear out the matter.
- It is a synthetic oil with high viscosity.
- It is safe for plastic and painted surfaces as well.
- The oil is very versatile as you can use the oil on different tools as well.
- The quality container comes with a 1½” stainless needle that allows for precise and easy use of this oil.
- It also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- 1-ounce of oil is really not much, and will not last nearly as long as some of the other sewing machine oils in this will do.
- The price is a little expensive considering the quantity you get for it.
- Frequent complaints of receiving oil that looks different in color from the picture shown.
6. HELMAR Colonial 29 Super Lube Machine Oil
HELMAR Colonial 29 Super Lube Machine Oil is not a sewing machine oil. It’s more like a multipurpose oil, which is ideal to use it for sewing machines. It’s a great choice for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on oil and are willing to compromise with the quality. In simple words, it’s a nice choice for people who are not using sewing machines all day long.
The oil comes in a 4.23 ounces bottle, which is more than what other oil brands are offering at a higher price. It means that you are not only getting more volume than other oils, but you are getting it at a much more affordable price.
HELMAR Colonial 29 Super Lube Machine Oil is a white oil, which is highly refined mineral oil. The oil is also non-toxic, which means there is no risk involved if it comes in contact with your skin or fabrics.
Along with being non-toxic, it’s colorless and odorless as well. White oil is originally used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. So, one thing is clear that HELMAR Colonial 29 Super Lube Machine Oil definitely passes the safety aspect. As mentioned before, the oil is a multipurpose oil, which means you can use it on your locks, bicycle gear, small tools, handguns, home appliances, etc.
The container is small and compact, and it comes with a pointed tip that allows the oil to pass through it. However, many customers have complained that the tip-like nozzle of the container either makes it really hard to squeeze the oil from it, or it lets excess oil flow, which then creates a lot of mess. It means that it’s hard to use this oil in small spaces and spots in your machine.
- It is affordable and provides more quantity than other brands of oil at higher prices.
- It is white oil, which is odorless, colorless, and non-toxic.
- The oil is very versatile and can be used on almost any other tool or machine.
- Great quality considering the price and quantity you get for it.
- Not better than other brands of oil in terms of quality.
- Hard to use and apply the oil without creating a mess.
7. Zoom Spout Sewing Machine Oiler
Zoom Spout Sewing Machine Oiler is a different kind of sewing machine oil with different kinds of features. It is the oil on our list, which offers the best value for money, and the amazing numbers of positive reviews on this product are backing this claim up.
The oil comes in a 4-ounces bottle, yet the price is ridiculously low compared to what other oil brands are offering at a much higher price.
It’s mineral oil, which means it’s a petroleum-based oil. However, being a petroleum-based oil, it still claims to be non-gumming, which is the most common factor lacking in petroleum-based oil. The non-gumming property of this oil prevents your machine from getting rusted and corroded due to oxidation. Even though it says that it’s a sewing machine oil, it can be used in almost any other tool or appliance. The oil is colorless, so you don’t have to stress about stains or marks on your table or clothes, in case you spill some.
However, the best part of this oil is yet to come. The oil comes in a decent size container along with an eight-inch telescoping spout. Yes, an eight-inch spout. It allows for easy application even in some of the hard-to-reach areas and spots on your machine. The spout is what makes all the difference in this product. Without it, it’s just ordinary cheap sewing machine oil. The flow of the oil is also very smooth, which makes it even easier to use it.
Lastly, some customers have complained about leaking, but fortunately, the leaking was not severe, plus this complaint is just 5% of the total reviews, which tells us that this does not happen often.
- They provide much more volume of oil at a ridiculously low price compared to other brand oils.
- The oil is colorless and stainless.
- The oil has non-gumming properties, even though it’s mineral oil, which is rare.
- It also prevents rust and oxidation.
- The oil container comes with a telescopic spout that makes all the difference.
Sewing Oil Buying Guide
We have already discussed the importance of sewing machine oil and why you should invest in a quality product to keep your sewing machine running smoothly for a very long time. However, apart from some basic needs and requirements, different people have different reasons for buying a sewing machine oil. To know which oil fits your budget and your needs, you must know about some essential factors and features.
Factors to consider to choose the best oil for your sewing machine
There are countless different features and factors that these oil brands offer with their product, but the following is a list of the most important factors that you should know about and consider before buying a sewing machine oil.
Type of Oils
There are basically two types of oil, petroleum-based oil and synthetic oil. Just like anything else, both types of oil have their own pros and cons.
Let’s start with petroleum-based oil first. Petroleum-based, like the Lily White Sewing Machine Oil, is mostly very versatile because you can use it on modern machines as well as the old and vintage machines. These types of petroleum-based oil help keep your sewing machines running smoothly, and it helps them from getting rusted and corroded. However, talking about the cons of petroleum-based oil, these kinds of oil are more vulnerable to attracting dirt. Then the dirt, dust, and oil mix up and get gummy, which is both disgusting and annoying.
Synthetic oils, on the other hand, do not get gummy sticky because synthetic does not attract dirt and dust in the first place. Although you can use synthetic oil on any kind of sewing machine, they are most effective in factories where heavy machinery belongs. This type of oil is also a good choice for the long run, as it can prevent your sewing machines from getting oxidation for an extended period of time. An example of synthetic oil would be Liquid Bearings Sewing Machine Oil.
There are a lot of sewing machines oils on this list that are mineral oil, but as mentioned before, mineral oils are just a highly refined form of petroleum-based oil. They are mostly the same except for some slight differences.
Volume & Price
When it comes to volume and price, there are a lot of options, but most of the sewing machine oil on this list is between 1-10 ounces except for a couple of other oils, which comes in large 1-gallon bottles. Now, how do you know which one to choose? Easy, firstly ask yourself the use of the oil.
If you have multiple sewing machines or heavy embroidery machinery, then buying a large bottle of sewing machine oil may seem reasonable to you. If you only have one sewing machine, and you will use the oil for yourself, then buying a smaller quantity is the right choice for you. Not all, but most synthetic oils come in small 1-10 ounces bottles, so you may also consider this when choosing the right volume to buy.
The price will help you choose between similar volumes of oil. Some sewing machine oils are very cheap, considering the quantity they are offering, and some are really expensive even though they are only offering 1-ounce bottles of oil. For example, the Zoom Spout Sewing Machine Oiler is a budget-friendly sewing machine oil and offers a 4-ounces bottle of oil.
You may also consider the oils with less volume because the small container they provide the oil in are very helpful in applying the oil in the right spots. Some prove one and a half-inch needles, while others like Zoom Spout Sewing Machine Oiler provide a telescopic spout of eight-inch.
High or Low Viscosity
Viscosity may seem like an over-complicated word from the dictionary, but what it actually means is the density, or call it the thickness of the oil. High viscosity oil refers to oil that is thick and moves very slow, while on the hand, low viscosity oil refers to the oil that is thin and moves very fast. We all already know what viscosity means and what it looks like; for example, water has a really low viscosity, and we can say that because we know how fast water moves. On the other hand, something like cough syrup or maple syrup is very dense and thick, and we can identify by seeing how slow it moves.
To know which one is a better option, you should consider asking your sewing machine manufacturer to know what type of oil they would recommend. Apart from a few exceptions, sewing machine oils are typically low viscosity.
Versatility can mean a lot of things, but in this context, we will be addressing the multipurpose ability of some sewing machine oils. As we all know, not every oil is meant for every kind of machine and tools. That is why it is really important to find out if it’s okay to use your sewing machine oil on other machinery like a vacuum cleaner or other tools like a handgun, lock, etc.
Some sewing machine oils like the Lily White Sewing Machine Oil is not a multipurpose oil, which means they are safe to use only on sewing machines. On the other hand, some sewing machine oils like the Singer Sewing Machine Oil allows you to use it on other machinery items like a typewriter, bicycle gear, etc.
If you think a multipurpose sewing machine oil may prove to be useful for yourself now or in the future, then you should buy accordingly.
Other features include every other feature that we did not mention above. For example, investing in a stainless, odorless, and colorless sewing machine is very helpful if you get all three of these features in one. Otherwise, you would have to compare and see what features may be useful to you. Extra features also include the needles or spout that comes with the container, which we talked about earlier. It also includes the money-back guarantees or warranties.
How to apply oil to your sewing machine
There is no “right” way of applying oil to your sewing machine. Firstly there are a lot of parts in which you can apply the oil, then the question arises, how much? It also depends on which part you are applying to, what kind of oil you have, etc. So as you may start to realize that there is no universal rule of applying oil to your sewing machine, but there are some solutions to this.
Firstly you can read the user’s manual of both the sewing machine and the oil itself. They will surely tell you where to, and how much to apply. If you are still not sure, you can search YouTube for tutorials. You will find hundreds of videos teaching you how to oil your sewing machine.
Sewing Oil FAQ
Q. Does sewing machine oils ever expire?
Most sewing machine oils do not have an expiry date, but it’s always a good idea to buy a new bottle of sewing machine oil every five years if it lasts that long. That is why they do not have any expiry date because, in most cases, the oil does not last that long. Some signs that you need to buy a new oil are if there is a change in color or consistency, if it smells foul, if it has cloud-like sediments.
Q. How much oil is too much, and how much is too little?
To know this, you should read the user manual. It will surely have a specified quantity for use. However, one good rule of thumb is to apply a little less than what you think it needs.
Q. Does sewing machine oils stain or leave marks on fabric?
It depends on the type of oil. Most synthetic oils are colorless, odorless, and stainless, which is very important to keep your fabrics safe. Then, there are some oils that have an overpowering smell and permanent color that will leave a stain on your fabrics. That is why you should always do your research before buying anything.
Our final verdict is that you should choose a sewing machine oil that won’t stain your fabrics at the very least, and it should last for a long time considering its price. There are other features that you may find helpful or even important for yourself, but always keep your needs and expectation clear so that you don’t end up buying something useless for you. However, as always, we will tell you our favorite pick from this list of 7 best sewing machine oils, and it is Lily White Sewing Machine Oil.