Serger Fuzz & Maintenance

Today’s post is all about my serger fuzz.  Exciting right?!

So I know I should know better by now, but I’ve never cleaned out the fuzz in my serger… like ever.  (We’re talking like 2 years here peeps!)

When I first started using it, for some reason I thought it was a self-sustaining machine.  I thought this for far too long… and it’s quite silly that I did.  I never thought about oiling, never thought about changing the needles, never thought about cleaning it out.

Before you start cringing and chiding me, I have taken a dust air gun thingy to it and blew out some fuzz from time to time.  But I recently read that doing so is a big “No No” as it pushes fuzz further into the machine.

After I kinda realized that I should be doing regular maintenance on my serger, like any other sewing machine, I still didn’t.  I was worried about what lay inside the serger and consequently avoided it.


About a month ago the fabulous Lauren of LLadybird posted up a wonderful post about sewing machine maintenance.  After reading, I decided to take change of my serger and clean it out.

I started taking out screws (noting where they came from so I could reassemble my machine) and started brushing it.

It doesn’t look too bad…

But here’s another angle.

First I should say… I don’t remember the last time I’d even sewn with red fabric.  But see all of those red fabric bits?!  I have no idea what project they’re from!

Is this image blurry or is it just covered in that much fuzz?  I’ll leave it to you to decide.

While you may be saying that doesn’t look terrible…  It really was.

After sucking up fuzz and threads with my vacuum, I took one of those firm little brushes to the machine and got brushing.

This is then what I got out of the serger:

That big chunk of greenish fabric (lower left), that’s from this skirt… which I made last March.  Yikes!

I did many bouts of vacuuming, brushing, and air-dusting to the machine.  Once I was happy with the insides, I oiled it and put it all back together.  I even changed the needles on it.

So… while cleaning it was an adventure in what fuzz came from which project & how old does it date.  I now know better.  So being a good little seamstress, I went and dusted out my other regular sewing machine in hopes of building up some good karma.

All in all, I’m lucky my serger hasn’t broken or seized up from the abuse I’ve given it.  And really it’s a testament to how much I can throw at it without it breaking.  But that being said, I aim to clean out my serger a bit more regularly in the months to come since I’d hate to have it break on me as a result of silly neglect.

This begs the question… when’s the last time you guys have cleaned/oiled your own serger or sewing machine?

In: Miscellaneous Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (9)

  1. I am too afraid of my serger to even use it let alone cleaning it. She’s 7years old now and I’m waiting for it to die of neglect to get rid of it forever.

    Love your blog

  2. I do clean out the fuzz on my sewing machine regularly. I use an old makeup brush because I lost the one that came with my machine. Alas, I’ve never oiled mine…. :/

  3. Hanne March 14, 2013 — 10:22 AM

    I know it’s a bad habit, but I’m in the neglect-corner where you were! I should do it though… And bring it to the store for some maintenance as well…

  4. Andrea March 14, 2013 — 11:20 AM

    I’m so bad about maintaining my serger. Great reminder!

  5. i dust the parts within reach, but i haven’t unscrewed it yet and haven’t oiled it, but it’s still very new. where do you put the oil? guess i should look in the manual…

  6. […] course, maintaining your machines can help eliminate some problems. Zilredloh shows you how to clean out your serger fuzz. I need to do […]

  7. Hazel March 17, 2013 — 12:14 PM

    I’ve tried to be really good with my overlocker, but I always feel that no matter how much I clean it, it’s always full of fabric! Well done on fully tackling yours!

  8. Cynthia March 22, 2013 — 4:10 PM

    I think I had had my machine for over a year and a half when I first cleaned it… It was a “long term loan” (at this point, it starts to feel more and more like a gift =) ) from a family member who got it in the early eighties in a wedding-induced frenzy which led him and his wife to believe they’d save money by making their own curtains and whatnot. As far as I know, they did make a pair of curtains, but that was about it, and the machine sat unused for many years before I received it, without a manual which had been long lost by then. so I pretty much learned to use it as I went, and somehow managed to overlook the fact that sewing machines need to be cleaned and oiled, until one day, after much skipped stitches and increasingly worrying sounds, the machine stopped working altogether. in an effort to discover what was wrong i stumbled upon a tutorial on sewing machine maintenance and it magically “repaired” my machine…. So now I try to be good and clean it when I finish a project, or when it starts acting up!

  9. gMarie March 22, 2013 — 9:17 PM

    What a fun post! I brush my serger with each project and change the needles with every second one. For some reason I feel like they can go longer in the serger than the sewing machine. I clean my sewming machine with every project. I don’t oil either of my machines. g

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