How to unfreeze a sewing machine in 4 simple steps? Guide by experts

How to unfreeze a sewing machine

Having a sewing machine means spending a lot of money, but sometimes your sewing machine will start losing its power and have different problems with time. 

Meanwhile, one of these problems is the freezing of the sewing machine. It is not a bigger issue, but this issue may prevail if not fixed. But, you may think, how to unfreeze a sewing machine? 

You do not need to take tension because I am an expert and have dealt with sewing machine-related issues.

First, know what the freezing of a sewing machine is

Freezing a sewing machine means the blockage of its inner mechanisms due to the accumulation of dirt, dust, minor objects, frozen oil, broken needles, and much more. 

This is where your sewing machine will not operate, so you need to fix it. 

How To Unfreeze A Sewing Machine within 4 Simple Steps

Step 1: What supplies You May Need?

You don’t need dozens of tools to fix the freezing issue; rather, require a few of them, such as 

How to unfreeze a sewing machine
Important Tools
  • Lint brush: to remove all the dirt, dust, smaller objects, etc., from the sewing machine’s internal parts or other crevices. 
  • Screwdrivers: To access all the internal parts, you may need screwdrivers to open the screws. 
  • Air Compressor: it is required when dust from extremely inner parts is to be removed. 
  • Sewing Machine Oil: lubricate moving parts so that they are free.

Step 2: Starting Practical Work

The practical work comes: I remove parts like a bobbin, bobbin case, and needles from a sewing machine. 

For better understanding, I explained each step separately. 

  • Remove the needle: bent or broken needles can also cause sewing machine freezing issues. That is why you should change those clumsy needles with the newer ones and insert them correctly. 
  • Remove the Bobbin: First, remove the Bobbin from your sewing machine’s bobbin compartment, then remove all the old thread. After that, clean it completely; if the Bobbin is bent or broken, consider changing it immediately with a newer one depending upon the type of sewing machine
  • Remove the bobbin case: also check the bobbin case that holds the Bobbin and keeps the thread tension appropriate for making proper stitches. Clean it thoroughly from dirt, dust, etc., then inspect it. If a new one is required, consider fixing it.

After installing all the parts mentioned above, if your sewing machine still needs to be fixed, then, in this case, follow the below steps. 

Step 3: Clean and Oil a sewing machine

In this step, you should easily remove all the covers to access the internal parts. 

  • Remove all the dust and dirt from the inner parts, such as the shaft, feed dog, and other internal mechanisms, with the help of a brush. 
  • Use an air compressor to remove all the dust from cracks, etc. 
  • Remove all the tough intertwined threads with the help of your fingers. 
  • Try to repeat this process a few times to know that the sewing machine is clean. 
  • Now apply appropriate sewing machine oil to all the moving parts gently. 
  • Then rotate the handwheel slowly and check if your sewing machine starts working smoothly and the issue has been resolved. 

If the issue is not resolved, proceed to the next steps. 

Step 4: Examine Rust and Other Parts

Rust can be bad for your sewing machine, and in most cases, it will freeze your sewing machine. 

  • In this case, remove all the covers, and check if the parts are rusty. 
  • Check the shafts, cranks, holders, belts, etc. If they are rusty, consider cleaning them. 
  • In addition, check the drive mechanisms, tensioners, and pulley assemblies. Sewing machines require these parts to maintain tension to function properly. To clean the elements, you may need to use solvents or heat, as some parts are not reachable by a brush. 
  • To thoroughly clean parts, you may need to soak them in solvent for a few hours.

NOW! I am sure by applying all the above steps, as I explained, you will unfreeze the sewing machine. 

Can I fix the Sewing Machine freezing issue at home? 

Following what I explained, you can easily unfreeze your best sewing machine at home. Check for all the possible reasons for the freezing issue; if you find anyone, consider fixing it the same way I explained. 

Don’t know what is bobbin? Click here to learn about the purpose of bobbin in details.

How to save from the sewing machine freezing issue in the future?

You must clean your sewing machine frequently, if possible, ONCE A MONTH. You must remove your sewing machine parts to clean all the components gently. Make sure you check the bobbin and bobbin case and ensure whether there is thread scrapped. Also, check the needle and try to change it after every 8 HOURS of operation. 

However, if you are taking a break from sewing, you should properly store a sewing machine, so it is free from damage. 

What Brands of Sewing Machine Freeze?

There are no specific brands of sewing machines that freeze. You cannot say, in simple terms, that my Juki sewing machine has frozen, so this brand is terrible, and I must move to Singer, Janome, etc. No, this is not the problem. 

Sewing machines of any brand, whether old, new, handheld, heavy-duty, or whatever, may suffer from this problem. 

Please understand that the manufacturers do not cause this issue. It is caused by you who do not clean your sewing machine regularly.


After telling you everything about the issue, how do you unfreeze a sewing machine? I hope you now clearly understand the matter and can fix it at home. If you have a sewing machine, you will encounter this issue once, but don’t worry; I explained how to fix it within 4 simple steps. 

So take some time and unfreeze your sewing machine at home simply free of cost. 


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can sewing machine oil freeze the sewing machine?

Basically, sewing machine oil is used to lubricate the moving parts so that machines sew smoothly and generate less noise. It is important to note that lousy oil will freeze according to the temperature, thus freezing the sewing machine. It is, therefore, essential that you use top-of-the-line oil when stitching babies.

2. What causes the sewing machine to freeze?

When dirt, dust, lint, thread fibers, fabric pieces, or frozen oil are trapped in the internal parts of a sewing machine, it will freeze, and then you will be unable to rotate the handwheel, thus no sewing.

3. What makes my sewing machine’s handwheel not turn?

There are several factors that may cause this problem, including debris, dirt, lint, and thread tension, which also prevents the wheel from rotating freely. If your thread is tight, consider re-threading it, which will resolve the problem.

4. Is it possible to sew on a frozen sewing machine?

You cannot sew if your sewing machine’s handwheel is frozen, resulting in the presser foot not operating.

5. Who is responsible for the sewing machine freezing issue? 

I did plenty of research but concluded that sewers are responsible for this issue because this is the issue caused by not cleaning your sewing machine frequently or when storing your sewing machine when not in use. 

So you should clear your sewing machine well if you don’t want this issue to occur again.