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How To Clean Janome Sewing Machine

How To Clean Janome Sewing Machine
Credit: Sewing Machine Gallery / Shanta Roy

Janome is one of the most popular sewing machine brands in the market because they make high-quality units that stand the test of time.

However, just like any other machine or piece of equipment, proper maintenance is required so as to make the unit more durable and usable throughout its entire lifespan.

This maintenance process begins with cleaning and though other users might give you some recommendations on the timelines to use, we recommend that you clean your machine thoroughly after every 8-10 hours of continuous active use, as you also change the sewing needle.

That said, here are the steps that you need to follow in order to clean your Janome sewing machine

What you need

Before getting down to work, there are a couple of tools that you need to have for the cleaning job. These include a lint brush, which most machines come with as an accessory, a liquid bobbin holder cleaner, a soft muslin cloth, and a replacement needle. If your machine did not come with a lint brush, you can buy one from the fabric store or improvise by using a makeup brush.

Find the user’s manual

Apart from these tools, you also need to get your machine’s user manual so that you can use it as a reference to this whole cleaning process. Remember, the goal is not to experiment with new procedures with your machine, but rather it’s to follow the manufacturer’s laid-out procedures so that you do not destroy parts of the unit or even void the warranty.

If you lost the manual booklet that came with your machine, simply go to Janome’s website and search for the specific model, then download a copy of the manual. Alternatively, your local dealer can help you with this but downloading is definitely the easier option.

Disassemble the machine

Time to get down to work. Begin this process by unplugging the Janome sewing machine from the power source to avoid any accidents.

Use the instructions laid out in the manual to remove the needle. Note the direction of the needle’s flat side because you will use this to install the new one.

In most cases, the flat side faces the rear side but with side-loading bobbins, it can be designed to face the right side.

Next, remove the presser foot, bobbin, needle plate, and bobbin case, all while using the instruction manual as a guide.

Brush off the dirty parts

The dirtiest part of most sewing machines, including Janome units, is usually the bobbin area because that is where lint and fluff accumulate as the needle punches fabric during the sewing process. This is because the needle deposits the tiny pieces that break off from the material above to this area.

Using your lint brush, sweep off the messy substance on the bobbin area, and if you have access to a small-scale vacuum attachment, then this can be further simplified since you only have to pull in this dirt. After this, use the cleaner liquid with the brush to give the parts a sparkling shine.

If the dirt extends down to the machine’s race area, you can opt to disassemble this part but since the section is very tricky, you need to know what you are doing. The user manual can help you with this but the best thing would be to reserve this area for your dealer to clean.

Lubricate the moving parts

After you have gotten rid of all the lint, it is time to lubricate these moving parts for efficient operations. In most instances, clear oil is recommended and after doing the lubrication, use a piece of dry fabric to absorb any excess liquid that is left behind. This will ensure you get no oily stains on the fabric that you stitch immediately after this cleaning procedure.

However, not all machines require lubrication, especially so for modern ones. Be sure to check your user manual so as to confirm whether your Janome unit requires oiling or not.

Reassemble the machine

Once the oiling (or non-oiling) is complete, put back the race area (if you had dismantled it), then reassemble the bobbin case, bobbin, needle plate, and presser foot. Finish this off by inserting a new needle, with the flat side facing either the back or right side, depending on the machine.

Clean other parts of the machine

Even though most of the dirt is usually found in the bobbin area, you should not stop cleaning at this point. Other parts of the machine such as the tensioning disks also need some TLC and this should be done by first raising the presser foot so as to disengage the disks.

Next, run dental floss or a thick cotton thread through this thread guide back and forth so as to clear the thread path. Alternatively, you can blow air through these disks so as to free them from any dirt.

Lastly, conclude the cleaning by wiping off the machine’s exterior using a soft muslin cloth.

Test the machine

After the cleaning process, you must test the machine to ensure that you have not left out any component when doing the reassembly, or to check whether you have damaged any part.

Plug in the power supply and try to run it for a few seconds. If everything is running smoothly, well and well. However, if this is not the case, then you need to troubleshoot the problem by disassembling the bobbin area parts one by one, then running the machine after removing each component.


Cleaning your Janome sewing machine is not a very difficult task and should be done very often so as to maintain optimal performance.

However, there are a few tips that you should consider for maintaining cleanliness, and these include:

  • Keep the machine covered in its case or carry bag when not used. This will reduce the amount of dirt, lint, and other debris that penetrates into the machine’s hidden parts. Additionally, this case will protect the machine from damage resulting from drops or collisions.
  • Avoid eating and sewing at the same time. Sauce, soup, and grease can create a big mess in the internal working mechanisms of your machine, and on the fabric as well.
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