5 tips for oiling your sewing machine

5 tips for oiling your sewing machine

How to oil your BERNINA

Here you can find out how often and where to oil your BERNINA and what oil to use. Oiling is carried out at different places, depending on the hook system – whether it is a BERNINA, CB or rotary hook.

How should I oil my sewing machine?

Before oiling, the machine must first be cleaned. See the post "Wellness for your sewing machine". First, remove the bobbin case and bobbin (on the 8 Series, only the bobbin). Both the BERNINA hook and the CB hook can be removed. On machines with the rotary hook and on the 8 Series, this can only be done by an authorized dealer, but that does not mean that you cannot clean and oil them.

For almost every model, there are videos showing how to clean and oil them. On some models, you can see how to oil them directly in the machine tutorial (for example, the B 790 Plus). To do this, go to "Setup", "Machine settings", "Maintenance/Update", "Lubricating the machine".

Note Videos on cleaning and oiling your machine can be found under "Video tutorials" on the page for your machine model

How often should I oil my sewing machine? 

This is a question for which there is no blanket answer. Various factors play a role: what you sew and for how long, if you embroider at high speeds.
It is important that you oil your machine regularly and not only when the machine prompts you to do so. If your machine sounds loud, it's time for some maintenance! You can do this either after a project or before starting a project or, if you work on a project for a very long time, also during the project.

Where should I oil my sewing machine? 

That depends on the hook in your sewing machine. If you are not sure which hook system your BERNINA has, compare the bobbin case and bobbin in your machine with the illustrations on this overview page 

  • BERNINA hook in 4, 5 and 7 Series machines: in this case, the hook can be removed. Although the holes underneath the stitch plate look tempting, please DO NOT put oil into these holes. One drop (no more and no less) should be put into the hook race and one drop each onto the felt of the removed hook. This video shows how to do this.

  • For machines with a rotary hook, oil the machine as shown in the image on the right.

  • BERNINA 8 Series: instructions on how to correctly oil your BERNINA 880 PLUS can be found in this video



What oil should I use to oil my machine?

Always use the original oil supplied by BERNINA. It is a high-quality, resin-free and acid-free oil with the right consistency. If you finish the oil supplied, you should buy a new one from your BERNINA dealer.

If you use cooking oil, you will do more harm than good to your sewing machine because the oil turns into a thick, sticky mass after application, meaning that the hook can no longer run smoothly and easily. We do not recommend any other machine oils from retailers or online stores. 


The consistency of the oil varies slightly depending on the hook, so the oil for the BERNINA hook should not be used for rotary hooks, for example. If you also have an overlocker, the oil for this is different from conventional sewing machine oil.


After you have oiled your sewing machine

It is best to sew on a spare piece of fabric after oiling. Sometimes a little too much oil can accidentally find its way into the machine, and sewing absorbs the excess oil. If you don't have any scraps of material on hand, you can also remove the needle and thread and then actuate the sewing function to distribute the oil. On some models, it may be necessary to switch off the thread indicator. 

Of course, it is necessary to replace the hook and the bobbin case with the bobbin. The last post about cleaning your machine showed an easy method for re-inserting the hook. You can see another method in the video here.

Important: The hole in the hook must be lined up with the gray marking on the hook race. It is easiest if this marking is at around the 6 o'clock position. If this is not the case, you can easily move it there by pressing the needle stop button twice (some models). Hold the hook on the inside with the right and left index fingers, with the hole in the hook facing down. Then tilt the hook slightly downwards and insert it into the hook race, where it attaches magnetically.

Fancy some more sewing tips?

Then sign up for the BERNINA blog newsletter and stay informed about our latest blog posts, freebies and much more!

Click here to subscribe