Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of removing rust from your vintage sewing machine in order to clean and restore it. If there’s rust on it, you don’t want to risk having it spread to other parts of the sewing machine. Generally, most rust I’ve discovered is on the surface of the machine, rather than on internal parts, which were oiled/lubricated–this helped to prevent rust. Faceplates and other external metal parts seem especially prone to rust.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a percentage if you make a purchase using these links. This won’t cost anything extra to you. I only link to things I like and use, and the proceeds help me to run this blog. Thank you for supporting me!

Materials used:

A Note about Vinegar

I often see the advice to soak something in vinegar to remove rust. I have not found this to be especially helpful in removing rust. For some reason, people go nuts over vinegar as a cleaning solution, but I have never seen the near-miraculous results always promised. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything, but I’ve tried it multiple times now, and it also doesn’t seem very effective.

Using a Dremel to Remove Rust from a Vintage Sewing Machine

For this project, I used my dremel and my metal brush attachments. See my previous post on cleaning rust off of metal bobbins. I mostly used the brush wheel attachment (far left), but the other two  were helpful for getting a few stubborn spots that the brush wheel couldn’t.

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

The Rust Removal Process

This was what I started with. It’s an ornate floral faceplate from a Singer 66.

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

I used the sanding sponge initially to remove the top layer of rust.

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

Then I used my dremel and metal brush attachments to finish it up. You can still see a bit of pitting and discoloration, but the rust is gone and overall, I think it turned out well!

Cleaning and Removing Rust: Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

Other Bloggers’ Advice on Removing Rust from Vintage Sewing Machines

While the dremel has worked well for me, other bloggers have their own methods for cleaning up rust. I think it helps to try out different methods to see what works best for you. Here are some other posts on cleaning and removing rust from sewing machines:



Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a FREE ebook titled Free Sewing Tutorials: 9 Easy Projects for Beginners.

This contains some of my most popular projects in a convenient pdf!

Free Sewing Tutorials: 9 Easy Projects for Beginners

(Visited 2,555 times, 8 visits today)
#, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #

Leave a Reply