Skip to Content

Is Sewing Machine Oil Safe for Plastic? (Explained!)

Sewing machines need oil or lubricants to prevent friction and rust. These oils and lubricants save the sewing machine from wear and increase machines’ lives. Various types of sewing machine oils are available in the market nowadays.

Sewing machine oils are different types according to their origins and functions. The safety of sewing machine oil depends on what kind of oil you are using.

Because each type of oil has different characteristics. This article will tell you about whether sewing machine oil is safe for plastic or not.

Is sewing machine oil safe for plastic?

Most sewing machine oils are safe for plastic. Petrochemicals are used to make most sewing machine oils. Among the sewing machine oils, synthetic oil is safer for plastic. This special oil is an artificial alternative to mineral oil which only lubricates the plastic parts of the machine.

Sewing machine oils are of three kinds; mineral, synthetic, and natural. Mineral oil is the most common and cheaper sewing machine oil. It lubricates the metal parts of the sewing machine. Contrarily, synthetic oil lubricates the plastic components of the sewing machine.

Natural oil is environment-friendly but not very effective. All these oils are safe for plastic. But synthetic oil is the best for plastic. That’s why synthetic oil is comparatively expensive.

What lubricant can be used on plastic?

Plastics are sensitive materials. All lubricants are not suitable for plastic. Generally, lubricants based on silicone or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) go well on the plastic surface. Besides, synthetic hydrocarbons and mineral oils are also good on plastics.

Generally, the lubricants that resist water are suitable for plastics. That means slippery lubricants, hydrophobic lubricants, PFAE (perfluorinated), etc., can be used on plastic. But the effectiveness of lubricants depends on what type of plastic you are using.

Is Vaseline a good lubricant for plastic?

Vaseline is a good lubricant for plastic if any additive is not mixed. Generally, Vaseline is one of the petroleum jellies. Pure petroleum jelly is safe for plastic. But if any additive is present in the petroleum jelly, it can cause a chemical reaction.

So, if you want to use Vaseline as a lubricant for plastic, you should not do it. Generally, if an additive is mixed with petroleum jelly, for example, moisturizer, it can degrade the plastic. Moreover, Vaseline’s is a heavy-weight material that can glue up plastic.

So, either you can use pure petroleum jelly, or you should avoid Vaseline with other additives.

Is silicone grease safe for plastic?

Silicone is one of the safest materials for plastic. Lubricant with silicone in it works well on the plastic surface. Silicone grease is also made of silicone. It works as a hydrophobic element.

Hydrophobic repels water. That means, if any water molecule is present, hydrophobic resist the water. It prevents the machine from wear and tear. This is the reason why lubricants are used in machine parts.

Moreover, silicone-based lubricants make the plastic surface slippery. A slippery surface protects plastic and prevents abrasion. So, silicone-based lubricants or silicone grease are safe for plastic.

What is the best lubricant for plastic?

Lubricants that prevent friction and wear are the best. But all lubricants are not suitable for plastic for plastic’s different properties. Silicone or silicone-based lubricants work well with a  plastic surface. Various types of silicone-based lubricants are available in the market.

Lubricants with silicone or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) show the best result on plastic. Polymeric materials, such as plastics, rubber, etc., are compatible with silicone-based lubricants. That’s why silicone grease can be the best lubricant for plastic.

Moreover, barium-based lubricants, dry Teflon paste, etc., work well with plastic. Knowing which lubricant is the best, you have to ensure which lubricant is hydrophobic and best for plastics.

Is sewing machine oil the same as mineral oil?

Mineral oil is one of the common and cost-effective sewing machine oils. It is produced from petrochemicals. Generally, sewing machine oils are of three types; mineral oil, synthetic oil, and natural oil. Among these, mineral oil is the most used sewing machine oil.

Mineral oil is a light and transparent liquid. Mineral oil is a by-product of the petroleum distillation process. So, people also call it liquid petroleum. We know petroleum is suitable for sewing machine oil. Similarly, mineral oil also works as sewing machine oil.

Among the other sewing machine oil, mineral oil is comparatively cheaper. So, people use it the most. Mainly, people use mineral oil in the moving parts of the sewing machine.   

What can I use to oil my sewing machine?

For the best result, you can use silicone-based lubricants or oils in your sewing machine. For example, silicone grease can be a suitable choice. Silicone grease or oil might be thicker. So, if you want a thinner oil, you can use PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) products.

You can also use barium-based oil or mineral oil in your sewing machine. Mineral oil is the most available and cost-effective oil you can use on your sewing machine. Mineral oil works well on the sewing machine. But be careful to use the oil on rubber parts.

Petroleum jelly-based oil is another good oil for your machine. It works well on plastic and rubber parts also.

How often should I oil my sewing machine?

If you use your sewing machine regularly, you should oil it once a week. The moving parts are prone to friction and wear. So, the sewing machine needs oil or lubricants to prevent friction and move smoothly.

If you don’t use your sewing machine regularly, you don’t need to oil it every week. You can oil it once a month and check whether the parts are moving smoothly or not.

If you put the machine idly, sometimes, the moving parts develop rust without oil or lubrication. So, try to oil it once a month. Moreover, it would help if you took the sewing machine to do servicing once a year to check the parts.

A sewing machine is one of the convenient and necessary equipment. A sewing machine consists of a lot of parts made with metal, plastic, rubber, etc.

So, you have to give concern to the parts differently. The machine needs to oil regularly to prevent friction and wear. So, you have to choose the oil carefully so that it doesn’t degrade the machine’s plastic parts.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Sewing Machines Loud?

Sewing Machine Oil Substitutes

How Tight Should a Sewing Machine Belt Be?

Is Sewing Machine Oil Toxic?

Does Sewing Machine Oil Freeze?