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Is Sewing Machine Oil Toxic? Let’s Find Out!

What Is Sewing Machine Oil?

Sewing machine oil lubricates and protects your sewing machine’s mechanisms from wear and tear that occurs when the machine is used for a long time.

Oiling your machine at regular intervals ensures it is in optimal condition.

A traditional sewing machine oil can apply to metal-stitch sewing machines, while a high-performance oil is recommended for sergers.

The oil that is usually used for sewing machines is much thicker than the oil that is used for machinery.

It is a good practice to oil your sewing machine regularly, or after every two or three hours of sewing.

So how do you choose the right oils for sewing machine? Is Sewing machine oil toxic? Read on to find out more!

Is Sewing machine oil contain toxic materials?

Sewing machine oil is an essential part of maintaining your sewing machine. It keeps your machine running smoothly and prevents it from breaking down.

The most important thing to know about substitutions for sewing machine oil, however, is that some brands are toxic if ingested by a child or pet.

Others can cause cancer in animals and humans. Some even contain lead and other heavy metals.

If you are not sure whether an oil contains harmful chemicals, then don’t worry because there is no such thing as “toxic” oils.

All kinds of oils have their own unique properties. Some may cause skin irritation, others might clog up the threads or create friction between them.

It all depends on what type of material they were made with. When choosing a suitable sewing machine oil, make sure that it has been tested by third party laboratories for safety.

You must also check its expiration date before using it. Many oils will expire within six months of being opened; this means that they should be replaced once per year.

Factors to consider: When selecting sewing machine oil,

When selecting a sewing machine oil, you need to consider these factors:

1. The amount of usage – This refers to the number of stitches you plan to sew each day. If you’re going to use your machine only twice daily, then you don’t really need any special oil.

2. Your machine brand – Different manufacturers produce different stitching devices. You’ll want to pick one that matches your machine best. For example, if you have a Brother MFC-9000i, then you’d better go for the same type of oil that was originally designed for your model.

3. Expiration date – Most oils come in small bottles. They typically last around 6 months. Make sure that the bottle hasn’t expired yet so that you won’t waste money buying new ones later.

4. Safety features – There are many varieties of sewing machine oil available on the market today. However, you still need to read labels carefully to ensure that they meet certain requirements.

5. Type of fabric – Certain fabrics require specific types of mineral oils. Cotton requires lightweight mineral based oils, whereas silk needs synthetic based oils.

6. Needle threader – A needle threader helps prevent frayed threads from forming during sewing. Choose an oil that is compatible with your particular thread.

7. Stitching speed – Fast stitching machines usually run at higher speeds than slower models. This makes sense, since faster stitching allows you to finish projects sooner. Therefore, you need to select an oil that works well with high-speed machines.

8. Thread lubrication – Oils help keep the needles sharp and protect against wear & tear. In addition, they reduce the chance of breakage when used correctly.

What Is Sewing Machine Oil Made Of?

Universal sewing machine oil is a bike lubricant used to keep your sewing machine running smoothly. It keeps threads moving freely and prevents friction between the needle and fabric.

This oil contains various elements. These components work together to create a liquid which protects your machine from damage because of friction.

The most important thing about these substances is that none of them should contain harmful chemicals.

You want nothing toxic in your sewing machine. So always check for safety before purchasing one.

Here are some common ingredients found in natural sewing machine oils:

  • Paraffin Wax
  • Silicone Compounds
  • Glycerine
  • Light Petroleum Distillate
  • Beeswax
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene
  • White mineral oil (non toxic sewing machine oil)

Other additives like antioxidants, metal deactivators, colorants, perfumes, preservatives, moisturizers, emollients, thickeners, surfactants, stabilizers, wetting agents, solvents, anti-foaming agents, UV absorbers, flame retard

Keep your machine oil clean

There are several ways to maintain the quality of your sewing machine oil.

Here are a few tips that could save you time and energy:

1. Change your oil regularly–It’s recommended that you change your sewing machine oil every three months. If you do this frequently enough, then you won’t end up having to replace it too often.

2. Clean out your machine thoroughly–Before changing the oil, start cleaning out your machine first. Remove excess lint or dust particles from inside the device.

Then wipe down the outside surface as well. Finally, give both areas a good vacuuming session. This way, you can avoid getting any dirt into the oil itself.

3. Use fresh oil–Always buy a new container of sewing machine oil whenever you purchase another sewing machine.

Never reuse old containers because there might already be some contaminants present.

If you see any signs of leakage or discoloration, throw away the old oil immediately. Otherwise, just leave it alone until it dries completely. Then take care of the rest by following the above steps.

4. Follow manufacturer instructions–Some brands recommend using their own products while others prefer other options. If your manual says otherwise, follow what they say.

5. Store properly–Don’t store your sewing machine oil in direct sunlight. Also, make sure that it doesn’t get exposed to extreme temperatures either. Ideally, place it in a cool area where no heat will reach it.

Benefits of having sewing machine oil

Your sewing machine needs adequate components of lubricants so that it runs without problems.

When you use regular motor oils on your sewing machines, you only improve its performance but not necessarily its lifespan.

However, when you use sewing machine oil, you increase the life span of your machine. It also helps prevent wear and tear on the parts. In addition, it makes your machine run more efficiently.

Here are the benefits associated with using sewing machine oil:

  • Prevents friction between moving parts
  • Eliminates squeaks and rattles
  • Improves overall efficiency
  • Protects against rust formation
  • Maintains smooth operation
  • Increases durability
  • Saves money over time


Sewing machine oil is flammable, so it needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. The oil should not be stored near a heat source, such as a furnace, radiator, water heater, range or wood-burning stove.

It should not be stored in a basement, which is often hot and damp.

For this reason, sewing machine oil is not toxic. It is planned to be used in sewing machines, so it is not hazardous to you or your family.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts