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What To Do If Your Sewing Machine Gets Wet

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First, DO NOT TURN THE SEWING MACHINE ON.

Our hearts go out to everyone battling rising flood waters. We know that family, pets and sewing machines rank, to many sewists, as something that we would grab first in case of an emergency.

We talk with Ryan from the Heirloom Creations sewing machine service center in Sioux Falls, SD about what to do if you find your sewing machine has received water damage.

But sometimes sewing machines get wet without us immediately knowing about the problem.

  • A slow leak from an upstairs bathroom…
  • A glass of water being spilled…
  • Water seeping up through the floor…

“The good news is that sewing machines can live to sew another day even after going through a tragic water related situation.”

Ryan Snuggerud, service technician at Heirloom Creations, Sioux Falls, SD

Here are the 3 things to do immediately if you find a wet sewing machine:

First, DO NOT TURN THE SEWING MACHINE ON!
Circuit boards and electrical parts never fair well when wet. The key is to not turn a sewing machine on until it has been properly inspected by a sewing machine service professional. Turning on a sewing machine that has been wet can cause power boards to blow and electrical items to short out. Please do not risk turning on the machine yourself before it has been giving a clean bill of health.

If an insurance adjuster asks you to turn the machine on before it has been inspected, DO NOT! We had this happen just the other day and it did not go well for the sewing machine.

2. Open up the bobbin case area.
Immediately, remove the stitch plate and bobbin case from the hook area. As Ryan says in the video above, a sewing machine often contains lint from previous sewing projects. If a sewing machine get wet, the lint will absorb the moister and start the rusting process immediately. Place a fan near the sewing machine and help get its parts dried out as quick as possible.

3. Take it to a sewing machine service center ASAP!
Have your local sewing machine service center do their magic. They have probably treated distressed sewing machines just like yours in the past. Let their expertise bring back your sewing friend from a possible frightful end.

I asked Ryan what the worst condition he has seen a sewing machine in…

He reminded me of a past Spring in Sioux Falls, SD that brought a river of mud through one of our customer’s homes. The sewing machine was buried under four feet of mud. The gal convinced a helping hand do quickly dig down right there (as she pointed to where she always sewed) and GET MY SEWING MACHINE!

It came to us in a plastic tub loaded inside and out in mud. It must have weighed 40 pounds! Over the next couple weeks, Ryan and Gary, carefully soaked off all the mud in distilled water, unscrewed every moving part from the sewing machine’s frame, and then let the machine fully dry out. They then began the careful process of assembling everything back together. They crossed their fingers, said a prayer and turned it on. It turned on just like normal! They gave it a full service, a healthy does of oil on all the moving parts and returned it to the customer good as new. We just got word yesterday from this customer that she is STILL sewing on that sewing machine to this day. WOW!

We hope you never have to deal with the unfortunate problem as a flood, but if you do, you are now prepared of what to do if your sewing machine gets wet.

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