The Singer Corporation began manufacturing sewing machines in the mid 1800s and their products are now highly collectable. Vintage sewing machines were much different than modern ones are. The Singer machines came on a table or desk with a manual pedal underneath to power it. They were also beautifully crafted to be pleasing to the eye since they are large and usually placed someone visible. A typical vintage Singer sewing machine is black with fancy gold script on in. Many people collect these as decorative vintage items for their home, but unfortunately the old age of the machines usually means that they look a little rough. Luckily, shoppers have the option of learning how to restore a Singer sewing machine from home.
Before getting started, be sure to get all of the supplies ready. Items to have on hand include: Coke, WD40, car polish, metal polish, dust rags, wire wool, toothbrush, Bar Keepers Friend, screwdriver, and a camera. It is important to use actual Coke and not Pepsi or a different cola product.
The first step is to begin taking the machine apart and cleaning the pieces. During this process, it is imperative that owners take pictures of how the parts are assembled and label each part. Otherwise it is easy to forget how to put the machine back together. Keep everything in a safe place so that nothing gets lost.
Be careful not to get the inside of the machine wet when cleaning it. Remove the faceplate and the back plate and use a toothbrush and dry rag to dust and wipe everything down. Blowing compressed air into the compartment is a good idea as well. If the there is dirt and rust built up inside, use WD40 to remove the grime and wipe off any excess with a dry rag. The same principle goes for the underside of the machine. Do not use any water there either.
Chances are, there are some rusty parts on the machine since most Singer parts are metal. To remove rust, rub vigorously with wire wool. If the rust is difficult to remove, use a little WD40 to loosen it up and continue scrubbing with the wire wool.
To make the metal machine parts like new by removing all rust and grime, soak them in the Coke overnight. The soda drink loosens up the surface rust and dirt. The next day just take them out, apply Bar Keepers Friend and scrub them with the wire wool. Do not do this with any parts that still have paint or chrome on them.
Lastly, it is time to clean the body of the Singer sewing machine. Since the outside usually still has paint on it, do not scrub it with anything that could scratch it. A toothbrush and a damp rag should suffice. Bug remover for vehicles is also a great way to get off stubborn grime.
Once everything is cleaned, begin putting the sewing machine back together. However, it is important to oil the moving parts while doing this. Just use sewing machine oil and be sure to get the oil into all the crevices. Be sure to assemble everything correctly by looking at the saved photos. It helps to turn the wheel along the way to see if everything is working.
Next, do a final clean and polish on the exterior of the machine with T-cut. Not only does it help remove any left over dirt, but it also polishes the black surface and returns it to its former shine. It also hides scrapes and scratches.
On the SLI plate there is engraved lettering which most likely has lost its colour and is hard to read. Making it visible is easy with the use of a little gold paint. Use a wide brush and put a tiny bit of the gold paint onto it. Then brush it over the surface of the letters. Some will get onto the plate but that is okay. When done, quickly and gently wipe off the excess paint from the plate with a Q-tip. If done correctly, the only thing remaining is the gold paint inside the grooves.
Singer sewing machines are highly collectable due to their beauty and antique nature. Since the majority of the machines were put to good use, they are often very worn down and dirty when collectors purchase them. However, you can clean them up easily with a little hard work, planning, and some supplies. Order everything you need from eBay at one time to avoid the hassle of making multiple trips to the shop. Just type a product name into the eBay search bar and then add items of interest to your Watch List. You can also visit the eBay Deals page where there are daily sales on all kinds of products.