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Does Sewing Machine Oil Go Bad

Does Sewing Machine Oil Get Old or Go Bad?

No matter if you have just started sewing or doing it for years, there are a couple of things that are still shrouded in mystery. For instance, many people do not know what sewing machine oil is.

Well, an integral part of sewing machine maintenance, sewing machine oil is designed for lubricating the bobbin, bush bearings, feed cams, and other parts. It aims to prevent friction and rust damage.

The next thing that a larger segment of the population might not be aware of is if sewing machine oil goes bad or old. The following write-up will clear this doubt and provide lots of other interesting information. Please check it out now.

Does sewing machine oil get old or go bad?

Does oil get old? Or more specifically, does sewing machine oil get old or bad? Yes, sewing machine oils expire, According to the latest research, they have a shelf life of five years.

Using bad or old oil adversely impacts the overall condition of your machine. It holds onto the dust, dirt, and debris. Always remember, you have spent a lot of money to purchase your sewing machine, and it is not worth the cost of a container of sewing machine oil.

Reasons why sewing machine oil goes bad

how to store a sewing machine

Why has your sewing machine oil gone bad so fast? It is probably something you have done.

Storing in direct sunlight:

Storing sewing machine oil in direct sunlight is a bad idea. Sunlight elevates the deterioration and evaporation rate.

Storing in cold temperatures:

You must always store sewing machine oil at room temperature. The excessive cold will force the oil to freeze, hampering its performance to a great extent.

Bad or damaged container:

Damaged containers also make the oil go bad. If air gets inside the container, it will speed up evaporation.

Mixing with another type of oil:

Mixing sewing machine oil with other oils is a big no-no. Different oils have different consistencies and textures, so storing them separately is mandatory.

Any contact with water or other liquid:

Make sure the oil does not come into contact with water or any other liquid. Water encourages bacterial growth and bacteria ruin the oil.

What are the signs Of Spoilage?

If you want to know where to buy oil for sewing machine, go to any of the hardware stores in your locality. You can also check out the various online platforms since they ensure plenty of discounts.

If you want to know the signs of sewing machine oil spoilage, go through the next section.

Changes in color (cloudy or dark color):

The sewing machine oil must be fully white or transparent. If it has acquired a dark or cloudy color, please opt for a replacement right away.

 A cloudy or milky appearance:

The texture of the sewing machine oil is smooth. So, if you notice it turning milky, you have to make a new purchase.

A bad odor:

Almost all things smell when they spoil. So, bad odor is the foremost sign you must look out for when finding out if your sewing machine oil is good.

Sedimentation in the container or the formation of sludge:

If you see sedimentation or sludge at the bottom of the container, you must not use that sewing machine oil at all. Sedimentation forces the oil to hold dirt, dust, and debris.

A change in consistency:

Maintaining consistency is crucial. Sewing machines are immensely sensitive and any consistency change can cause issues. The oil should be thin and not gooey.

Odd and unexpected noise coming from the sewing machine:

Unexpected and odd noise comes from the machine when the damage is done already. Bad oil decreases the machine’s speed and misaligns all the components.

Residue near the bottle’s opening, outside the bottle, or around the label:

Finally, if there is residue near your sewing machine oil bottle’s opening, you cannot use that oil.

How long does sewing machine oil last?

Standard sewing machine oils last for five years. After this particular period, it will start going bad. It can go bad sooner if you fail to store the oil properly.

Does sewing machine oil expire?

As stated at the beginning of the write-up and the previous section, sewing machine oil expires. It will go bad after five years.

How can you keep your sewing machine oil good for as long as possible?

How to store a sewing machine oil properly? That’s what you are surely wondering by now. Make sure to not introduce unnecessary oxygen, foreign liquid, and condensation. Studies have shown that oxygen and water promote bacterial growth, thus, forcing the oil to go bad fast.

It is also necessary to keep sewing machine oil in a transparent bottle. In that way, you can easily notice the color changes and sedimentation. Also, keep the bottle in a dark room with moderate temperature.

What is the best oil for sewing machines?

Oils marketed as sewing machine oil are best for sewing machines. They are widely available nowadays for a reasonable price and almost all are the similar to each other excluding the branding part. Furthermore, you can get a refill packets of the oil from various manufacturing companies.

If you have got the best oil, you must now find out when to oil sewing machine. The more frequently you use the sewing machine, the more frequently it requires oiling. You must also get the machine professionally serviced each year so that it runs without any hassle.

What kind of oil is the sewing machine oil?

Sewing machine oil could be defined as white mineral oil. In other words, it is colorless and odorless. It also has light viscosity, which means it will not accumulate on your machine’s parts.

Is there a substitute for sewing machine oil?

Yes, there are various substitutes for sewing machine oil.

  • Three-in-one oil is made of corrosion inhibitors, spindle oil, and citronella oil. Even though originally made for cycles, three-in-one oil can be used for cleaning, lubricating, and protecting sewing machines.
  • Marvel Mystery Oil was manufactured in the year 1923 to prevent buildup and carburetor corrosion. This lightweight oil is capable enough to maintain motorized appliances like sewing machines.


I hope the above discussion helped you understand sewing machine oil expiration. Please refer to it whenever you are in doubt about this lubricant.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries regarding this topic please feel free to contact us we will be more than happy to help you.

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