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Sewing Machine Oil Alternatives

Sewing Machine Oil Substitutes (Alternatives You Must Know!)

Just like most mechanical devices, a sewing machine also needs frequent lubrication. If you do not lubricate a sewing machine, you are bound to hamper its functionality over time.

What must you use for lubricating sewing machines? You can invest in any sewing machine oil found in the market.

What would you do if you did not get sewing machine oil in your locality? You can opt for the alternatives below.

What can you use in place of sewing machine oil?

What is sewing machine oil substitute? Before providing you with the answer to this frequently asked question, let me first describe what sewing machine oil actually is. Sewing machine oil is transparent and odorless. Owing to having light viscosity, it does not create deposits.

Sewing machine oil decreases the friction between the different mechanical parts. As the mechanical parts do not rub against one another, chances of them wearing down or overheating becomes quite less.

Make sure to go through the machine’s manual prior to using sewing machine oil. All sewing machines do not call for lubrication, specifically the ones with plastic or nylon parts. A few can lubricate themselves.

Five best sewing machine oil alternatives:

You must opt for the below light machine oil substitute in case you failed to purchase the standard sewing machine oil.

Tri-Flow Oil

Tri-flow oil is perfect for different types of domestic lubrication including machine lubrication. It is made up of petroleum and Teflon products. The presence of Teflon makes the oil slippery.

Tri-flow oil is generally a bit on the pricier side. But one benefit of Tri-flow is that it is resistant to heat. Even when the temperature is high and heat comes out constantly because of friction, Tri-flow oil continues functioning seamlessly.

light machine oil substitute
Tri flow & Clipper oil

Clipper Oil

Clipper oil is an excellent alternative to the traditional sewing machine oil. Clipper oil has low viscosity and is used specifically for lubricating hair trimmers. The blades last for a prolonged period.

Sewing machine oil and clipper oil can be utilized interchangeably – you can use clipper oil in the sewing machine and sewing machine oil in the clipper.

Clock Oil

Clock oil is an excellent alternative. Clock oil and sewing machine oil can be used interchangeably too – you can use the latter on clocks and the former on sewing machines. The only difference between them is fluidity.

Sewing machine oil spreads and flows seamlessly while clock oil stays in one place. You have to be careful how much clock oil you are using on the machine.

Clock, Marvel Mystery & White Mineral Oil

Marvel Mystery Oil

Marvel Mystery oil was manufactured several decades ago. The manufacturers did not tell the formula so it stays a mystery just like the oil’s name.

Marvel Mystery was used for preventing corrosion in the carburetors. It is still used in the automotive machines and for lubricating different engines. Marvel Mystery is not really thick and can be successfully used in small mechanical devices such as sewing machines.

White Mineral Oil

People search online for ‘mineral oil sewing machine’. They wish to know if they can use mineral oil to lubricate sewing machines.

White mineral oil, also called liquid petroleum, is transparent and inexpensive. It has light consistency and can be used in sewing machines.

Can you use these on my sewing machine instead of sewing machine oil?

Coconut oil

The experts providing a sewing machine grease substitute said you can utilize coconut oil on a sewing machine. Coconut oil is the safest and most effective lubricant.

Olive oil

You cannot use olive oil on its own for lubricating sewing machines. But you can prepare a mixture with coconut oil, olive oil, and silicone oil. This mixture can allow the mechanical parks to function without any hassle.

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil must not be used for lubricating the mechanical parts of the sewing machine. Vegetable oil leaves behind a deposit, which later accumulates on the parts you wish to lubricate.


When it comes to oiling and cleaning sewing machines, a product is capable of doing everything – WD40. WD40 ensures efficient and smooth functioning of mechanical parts.

Baby oil

Even though baby oil is thin enough to lubricate sewing machines, it may not be perfect. Baby oils have perfume and several additives that would be unfit for sewing machines.

Mineral oil

You can use mineral oil on sewing machines. It has amazing lubricating properties. Its operating temperatures are between minus 17 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius.

Clock oil

As stated in the above section, you can use clock oil on sewing machines, and you can use sewing machine oil on clocks.

Clipper oil

Clippers run at terrific speed. So, clipper oils can work well on powerful sewing machines.

Paper shredder oil

Paper shredder oil is light in weight and its consistency is the same as vegetable oil. You can use paper shredder oil on sewing machines as well as on printers.

3 in 1 oil

Never use 3 in 1 oil on sewing machines. These oils leave behind a tacky and sticky residue. They hamper the way your machine works.

Air tool oil

You should not use air tool oil on sewing machines. Air tool oil is used to create seals on cylinders, valves, and pistons.

Is sewing machine oil the same as these other oils?

Mineral Oil

Is sewing machine oil the same as mineral oil? They have some similarities. For instance, both are watery, clear, and odorless.

Clock Oil

Sewing machine oil can be used on clocks and clock oil can be used on sewing machines. However, there is a huge difference. Sewing machine oil can spread easily and clock oil stays put.

Clipper Oil

Clipper oil and sewing machine oil are the same in several ways but they have different thicknesses. Clipper oil can endure the heat and friction of machines as they run at extreme speed.

3 in 1 oil

Sewing machine oil and 3 in 1 oil are different. The former cannot clean metallic surfaces like the latter.

Paper Shredder Oil

Sewing machine oil can unfortunately destroy paper shredders. That said, both the oils are light in weight.

Now that you know all about sewing machine oil alternatives, you should also learn how to make sewing machine oil on your own.

To create sewing machine oil, please mix a tablespoon of silicon oil and ester oil with 1/3 cup of jojoba oil. Now remember, some sewing machines would not work well with this homemade solution.

People Also Ask…


When it comes to maintenance, oil is an important factor. The quality of oil is another important factor that affects the performance of your sewing machine. Because of this, selecting a high-quality oil can make all the difference.

In case you are not able to find any suitable oil in local shops or marketplaces yet, we have provided some popular substitutes in our article above. Always keep these substitutes in mind and make sure your sewing machine stays functioning perfectly! Thank you for reading:)

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