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How To Unfreeze A Sewing Machine

While using a sewing machine, you are bound to face a lot of problems. One such problem that is commonly faced by sewers is the freezing of the sewing machine.

Dirt and dust, as well as lint inside the machine, leads to freezing. Sometimes issues with bobbin and hook assembly can also cause freezing of the sewing machine.

Once the machine is frozen, you will not be able to move the handwheel and continue with the sewing.

In this article, we will provide you with tips for unfreezing a sewing machine so that you can complete the sewing projects on time.

How to Unfreeze a Sewing Machine?

To unfreeze a sewing machine, you should first find out where the problem is. You can start with the bobbin by removing and checking it.

If the bobbin is clear, it must be dust or dirt in any other parts of the machine that is causing the machine to freeze. You should remove the machine top and side covers and thoroughly check it. You should also consider lubricating the machine thoroughly so that all parts move smoothly.

lubricating the machine

Let us have a detailed look at the various steps to follow to unfreeze a sewing machine.

A sewing machine requires proper maintenance to work correctly. When a sewing machine is not used for a long time, the oil and grease in the machine gets mixed with dust and dirt and becomes dry and gummy.

This eventually leads to the freezing of the machine. To avoid freezing, you should service your machine and use it frequently.

service your machine

When you try to turn the wheel of the machine, and if it does not turn, then you can infer that the machine has frozen. Do not force the wheel to turn. Instead, you should then try to find out where exactly the problem is and try to fix it.

For unfreezing a sewing machine, you can follow the below steps:

Step 1. Remove the bobbin

The bobbin is the cylindrical part of the machine that holds the thread. You should first remove the bobbin by pulling it out and then clean it with a brush.

Now remove the needle plate cover and pull out the bobbin case. The bobbin case is a small part of the machine that supports the bobbin in sewing. The bobbin case should be adequately cleanedwith a brush or a vacuum cleaner.

remove the needle plate cover and pull out the bobbin case.

Sometimes, if the bobbin case is out of place, then also the handwheel may not turn properly. Thus, you should ensure that the bobbin case is fixed back properly after cleaning.

Similarly, if a needle has broken or fallen in the shuttle area, then also you may find it difficult to turn the handwheel. If such a thing has happened, then you should remove the broken needle.

Once the bobbin case is cleaned and put back in place, try turning the wheel. If the wheel is moving freely, then it is the debris in the bobbin case that caused the machine to freeze.

If it is not moving, then you need to do further investigation to find the cause. For this, check out step 2.

Step 2. Remove the cover from the machine

If the machine is still stuck after removing the bobbin, then you need to remove the cover and do further investigation. You should remove the top, bottom, and side covers of the machine.

The sewing machine covers are easy to remove as they are all screwed to the machine. All you have to do is find out the screws and then unscrew them using a screwdriver.

sewing machine covers are easy to remove

Some machines come with a top handle, which makes it easy to remove the top cover. If you have any doubt, you can refer to the instruction manual for removing the covers.

Once all the covers are removed, you should blow the machine with an air compressor. This will blow out the thread or dust stuck inside the machine.

If you find any thread entangled in any of the parts, you can remove it by hand. You should thoroughly inspect all parts to make sure that it is dust-free.

Now, check the instruction manual and oil the areas that require lubrication. While lubricating, special attention should be provided to areas where two metals are joined. Remember to clean the area thoroughly off all dirt before lubricating.

Check the wheel once again and see whether it is turning smoothly. If it is turning smoothly, then your problem is solved. If not, move to step 3.

Step 3. Check the other parts

If the machine is still frozen, it is now time to check the pulley assemblies, tensioner, and drive mechanisms. These are machine parts that are used to maintain the right tension in the sewing machine so that it functions properly. Clean it thoroughly and see whether you can turn the wheel smoothly.

maintain the right tension in the sewing machine

If the lubricant residue in these parts is too stubborn, then you might have to use some solvent and even heat to clean the parts. Sometimes you need to soak the parts in solvent for a few hours before you can clean it thoroughly.

If none of the above is working, then you need to seek the help of a technician or replace the sewing machine. Depending on the brand of the sewing machine, you can contact the nearest customer service center for help.

Unfreezing a sewing machine can take just a few hours up to a day, depending on the type of problem. Make sure that you have enough time in hand before you start work.

What Causes a Sewing Machine to Lock Up?

A sewing machine should be lubricated and maintained at regular intervals to ensure that it functions properly.

If the machine is exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors or if it is not used for a long time, then the sewing machine fails to work and might get locked up.

not used for a long time,

When the machine is not used for a long time, the lubricants that are already present in the machine gets mixed up with lint, dust, and dirt.This affects its viscosity.

Slowly the lubricant starts drying and becomes sticky. Eventually, it crystallizes and gets stuck inside the sewing machine. When this happens, the machine is completely locked up, and you are not able to move the handwheel.

Sometimes, the handwheels might be jammed and not locked up. This is mainly caused by the tangling of the thread. In such a case, removing the bobbin and untangling the thread will solve the problem.

tangling of the thread.

Sewing Machine Motor Runs But Nothing Moves?

It can happen that the sewing machine motor is running, but the needle does not move. This can be because of a disengaged clutch, broken drive belt, or internal drive gear failure.

disengaged clutch

You can do the following to make the machine move:

If the clutch is disengaged for bobbin winding, then engage it back. If the machine starts moving, then the disengagement of the clutch was the cause.

Even after engaging the clutch, the machine is not moving, then you should check the drive belt. The drive belt transfers the motion of the motor to the handwheel and the upper shaft. If the drive belt is not working, then the handwheel will not move. If it is broken, then you should replace it.

If the driven belt is ok and still the machine is not working, then the reason could be the failure of the internal drive gear.



Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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