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

Is Sewing Machine Oil Toxic

Is Sewing Machine Oil Harmful? – Our Guide

Sewing machine oil is important for maintaining and lubricating the parts of a sewing machine, but is sewing machine oil toxic? Can it be harmful? 

Sewing machine oil is not known to be toxic, especially if it is mineral or synthetic sewing oil, still, however, we do not recommend ingesting any lubricant like this or inhaling it for long periods since it can be harmful to your health.

We’ve made a small guide below which will take you through what sewing machine oil is made of, the different kinds, how to use it and some other general maintenance tips.

Is Sewing Machine Oil Harmful

What Is Sewing Machine Oil Made Of?

Sewing machine oil typically comes from types of mineral oils or synthetic oils which are derived from petroleum. These white mineral oil types tend to be clear and odourless. 

Most of the time your sewing machine model manual will recommend types of oils you can be using to lubricate your machine parts and keep them working properly.

Sewing machine oil is not considered toxic but avoid contact with skin and sewing machine oil ingestion. If sewing machine oil ingestion occurs we suggest going straight to the emergency department. 

These oils do contain a type of hydrocarbon which is dangerous when ingested.

What Are The Different Types Of Sewing Oil? 

When choosing a sewing oil, you get to choose from three different types of oils for a sewing machine. 

We’ve listed the three kinds of traditional sewing machine oil below. 

  • Natural sewing machine oil.
  • Synthetic sewing machine oil – These are a combination of different oils and are man-made, they work well for oiling any type of sewing machine but are often more expensive. 
  • Mineral sewing machine oil – This is a non-renewable oil and is made from crude oil, they are cheaper, but easier to leak out of the machine, they also are not heat resistant, they are mostly used as a universal sewing machine oil.
How Do I Use Sewing Machine Oil On A Machine

How Do I Use Sewing Machine Oil On A Machine? 

After some hours of sewing, you need to make sure you are cleaning your machine well and oiling its parts to keep the machine working well. 

There is no set way to lubricate a sewing machine since the different machine has varying parts, most of the time, you can get enough instructions from the manual of your sewing machine, if you don’t have the manual then search for it online. 

Learn more here about What To Use To Clean An Old Sewing Machine?

We’ve listed some general rules to follow when oiling your sewing machine below.

  • Make sure your sewing machine is turned off before oiling.
  • Avoid contact with oil on your face, skin or eyes.
  • Do not oil the plastic parts of your machine.
  • Keep oil away from children and animals.
  • Use high-quality oil in your machine as the manual requires.

How Often Should I Be Oiling My Sewing Machine?

As we mentioned above, there is no set way to be oiling your sewing machine since it differs according to the type you choose and how often you are sewing items with the machine. 

Some people suggest you should be oiling your sewing machine after every three hours of use, however, we suggest following these tips below which indicate your machine might need to be lubricated. 

  • The machine is running slowly and heavily. 
  • It’s been sitting in storage for a long time. 
  • Squeaks and noises are coming from the machine. 

Our Step By Step To Oiling Your Sewing Machine

Now we know some more about sewing machine lubricant oil if it’s toxic and the type you should be using, let’s move on to a general guide on how to oil your sewing machine. 

  1. First of all, before we begin oiling your machine we suggest cleaning it well first to remove any dust or lint, adding oil to a dirty sewing machine cause blockages. 
  2. Next use a small amount of suitable sewing machine oil for your machine on the bobbin case housing, shuttle hook and the outer ring of the bobbin. 
  3. Make sure to wipe away any excess oil on the machine since this could interfere with the thread and sewing function of the machine if you are not careful. 
  4. Add oil into any spots your sewing machine manual suggests, always use a sparingly amount.
Our Step By Step To Oiling Your Sewing Machine

Read more about this article we made for you about How To Remove Lint From A Sewing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions About Sewing Machine Oil Being Toxic

Can I use WD 40 oil in my sewing machine? 

Do not use WD 40 on your sewing machine, it will likely damage the mechanics of a sewing machine.

Is motor oil okay to put in my sewing machine? 

Motor oil can be used in a variety of temperatures, so will likely work okay in a sewing machine, we do not suggest using this kind of oil, however.

Can I add cooking oil to my sewing machine?

Some people wonder if they can use cooking oil like olive oil to lubricate their sewing machine, we would not suggest doing so, cooking oils can cause blockages in your sewing machine or attract bugs.

Final Words

To conclude, sewing machine oil is not considered toxic, the two main types synthetic and mineral oils however might cause skin irritation, you should also avoid inhaling them or ingesting them. 

Make sure you are using the right varieties of sewing machine oil for your specific model and avoid using any substitutions for sewing machines since they could potentially harm your machine, check what oil you can use for your machine here.



Heya! I'm Debbie (Deborah), my pride and joy is It is a resource I created to serve the community around sewing, stitching, crocheting and like crafts. I have always been into all kinds of arts and crafts and somehow gravitate towards sewing... hence my site SewingThis.comView Author posts