By Jill Montgomery from Fairfield, Ohio, a member of QM’s 2012 Scrap Squad
I picked up this tip shortly after I started quilting and it has been a lifesaver for keeping my machines running smoothly! Use a clean mascara wand to clean the lint out of your machine.
I picked up a pack of 25 wands from a seller on eBay. There are usually always a few listings and I think I got this pack for less then $5 including shipping.
This handy little tool came with my machine in the box with my extra feet, needles and other small tools.
Using this triangle screwdriver, I removed both screws that hold the foot plate over the bobbin area of my machine. Not all machines have screws in the throat plate, but if yours does, put the screws in a safe place so you don’t lose them. As I was taking pictures, I actually dropped one of the screws into the bobbin area because it wasn’t in a safe place.
I removed my presser foot and the needle so that I could clean the bobbin area thoroughly with them out of the way.
Here is my linty bobbin area with the bobbin removed.
Using the wand, you’ll want to sweep the bobbin area to remove all lint. The bristles on the wand really grasp at the lint to pull out everything that moves.
The bristles also fit really well into any grooves such as the feed dogs…
… and the empty spaces around and behind and under where the bobbin actually sits. Be sure to work the wand into all the nooks and crannies in the entire bobbin area.
Use the wand to clean the bobbin as well. Top and bottom, inside and out.
Once the bobbin area is clean, add machine oil to your machine’s specifications and you are ready to reassemble the machine and get back to sewing!
As I clean out the machine, I keep a pile of the lint on a napkin, tissue or scrap of fabric. What a mess! This always reminds me that I need to clean my machine more often! The mascara wand can be cleaned up and reused many times. It’s a necessity for me and it’s kept right next to my seam ripper.