cleaning a singer feather weight 221

derftMarch 14, 2012

I just returned home with a 1949 singer featherweight 221 sewing machine, used but in great working condition. My question is how does one get 60+ years of grime off the sewing machine body and table. Looks like smoke and grime. I tried some mild rubbing compound but it doesn't return the luster of the original paint. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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I used carburator cleaner. It's really just kerosene from the smell. So, try a little kerosene on a cotton ball and see if that helps. Test first in a place underneath to make sure your paint can withstand it. Products like Goof Off also might do it. Mine was so bad I took it apart and soaked parts of it. I don't think I ever got it all out of the presser foot shaft. it still sticks. But, it sews fine.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Since my machine came to me restored and cleaned, I can't speak from experience. But, I do know not to use any type of rubbing compound or cleaner with abrasive particles in them. Check at the automotive supply stores for the Tuff-Stuff listed on one site. Ask them about other NON-ABRASIVE cleaners that won't remove the paint or decals.

I did a google search for you. Gailee's blog has good information and I know that she has been in business for many years cleaning, restoring and selling FWs. Check out Graham Forsdyke's web site at as he has a great deal of knowledge and experience restoring the machines.

The important thing is to clean gently, do not submerse the machine in anything, and do not use abrasive cleaners. Once your machine is cleaned, you can buff lightly with a soft cloth and a small amount of baby oil to restore the shine.


Here is a link that might be useful: Google search

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:56PM
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