Does Sewing Machine Oil Expire? | What you Should Know

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If you own a sewing machine, you must have a question most do; does sewing machine oil expire? The answer to that is simple; yes, sewing machine oil expires. Mineral oil lasts around 5 years. However, if you store oil properly, you will be able to extend its lifespan by years. In this article, we will talk about all the interesting and necessary information you should know about sewing machine oil and all the aspects of it.

Why Your Sewing Machine Needs Oil

The lubrication from the oil can prevent rust as well as friction between parts of the sewing machine, which increases the life of a machine since it reduces the amount of wear and tear.

There are three types of machine oil: Natural, mineral, and synthetic. Natural oil is considered the least effective out of three. It is typically made from natural ingredients like silicone, ester oils, and jojoba. However, in case you are looking for an environment-friendly alternative, then natural sewing machine oil can be the most suitable option for you.

Mineral oil is odorless, transparent, and colorless. This type of oil is considered the least pricey and the most common one. Mineral oil is made from petrochemicals that are derived from petroleum. Also, it’s non-toxic, which can be considered another advantage of mineral oil.

As for synthetic oil, it is the artificial alternative to mineral oil and is typically a more expensive type. While mineral oil lubricates the metal parts of the sewing machine, synthetic oil can even lubricate plastic parts. If you accidentally over-oil the machine, synthetic oil causes the least amount of harm or damage to the garment.

Common Signs Of Expired Oil

Signs include:

  • A cloudy appearance
  • The eerie odor
  • Change of color (murky, dark color)
  • The formation of sludge
  • Significant sedimentation
  • The change in consistency
  • Extreme noise from a sewing machine

Although oils can take quite a long time to expire (which we will be elaborating on later), you don’t purchase sewing machine oil very frequently, so it is important to know how you can determine whether an oil has expired or not. Sewing machines are not cheap at all, so in that sense, they are yet another investment. Using the wrong type of oil or expired oil may cause a problem. The oil will certainly gum up, attract dirt as well as dust and reduce the sewing machine’s performance. So make sure to avoid this kind of scenario at all costs.

The Lifespan Of Sewing Machine Oil

Generally, sewing machine oil lasts up to five years. However, if a person is careless with their storage, then they could seriously reduce the lifespan of sewing machine oil. For example, you should avoid storing oil in extreme cold or direct sunlight. This may affect the amount of air that is moving in and out of a container, which will most likely speed up its degeneration. Preserve oil from condensation as well as from any contact with water since water may encourage bacterial growth in oil. Additionally, ensure that you store oil in a non-damaged container and don’t mix different types of oils. Also, make sure that the container that you use is transparent. The reason for that is simple; it will help you in deciding whether or not oil inside is still good enough to use on the sewing machine. So if oil changes its color and you notice it from a transparent container immediately, you will know it went bad and avoid using it on the machine.

To be more specific, synthetic oil usually has a long lifespan, but its poor storage may drastically reduce it. Mineral oil has a long lifespan as well, typically it can last up to five years. As for natural oil, a lot of brands claim that this type of oil doesn’t expire, but this isn’t entirely true. Natural oil can oxidize, so it evaporates. Also, a damaged container may speed up an evaporation process as more oxygen enters the container.

Bottom Line

As you can see, just like most things, sewing machine oil can also expire. In order to prolong its lifespan, make sure to keep it in the best possible condition, which can consequently protect your sewing machine from any damage related to expired oil.

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