Sewing Machine Oil Alternatives


Most new sewing machines come with a white mineral oil that is used to prevent wear and reduce the risk of rust. Choosing the wrong type of product to oil a sewing machine can cause rust and other damage to metal parts of the machine. Sewing machine oil is available for purchase at craft stores. However, if you are looking for an alternative to this pricey oil, there are several options available.

Three-in-One Oil

  • Three-in-one oil is made of pale spindle oil, corrosion inhibitor and citronella oil. Although originally intended for bicycles, this oil can be used broadly to lubricate, clean and protect metal surfaces. Substitute three-in-one oil for sewing machine oil to maintain the appliance.

Marvel Mystery Oil

  • Marvel Mystery Oil was developed in 1923 to fight carburetor corrosion and buildup. Company founders keep the oil formula a secret to this today, but it is effective in fixing a variety of engine problems. Although the oil type is a mystery, this oil is light enough to maintain small, motorized appliances--including a sewing machine.

White Mineral Oil

  • White mineral oil is a light oil which can be used as a substitute for sewing machine oil. Contrary to its name, white mineral oil is a clear liquid. Another name for it is liquid petroleum because it is a by-product of the petroleum distillation process. Mineral oil is cheap and available widely in most drug stores.

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  • Photo Credit Sewing Machine Needle image by C Agoncillo from
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