Cleaning in Your Crafting World


Last week we asked you about cleaning. For some it was a sore subject, others, something that must be done…and then there were those that couldn’t wait to dive in!

The most popular items to get at least a once over annually were…

#1 Machines

#2 Iron

#3 Rotary Cutter


How often do those studios get a deep cleaning?

Survey says…with an overwhelming 55%…AS NEEDED!

The distant runner ups were:

  • A little bit every day
  • monthly


What rewards your cleaning efforts?

  • Ice cream with friends
  • A job well done
  • New quilting books
  • Fabric! More Fabric!
  • A trip to the quilt shop
  • …lots of mention of chocolate!


Here are 25 favorite tips from fellow quilters about how they keep their crafting world clean!

  • Just do it!
  • Don’t put it down, put it away
  • Deep clean after every project
  • Don’t wait until something goes wrong to clean your machine
  • Pipe cleaners, fine paint brushes, and cotton swabs are all great options for cleaning lint out of hard-to-reach places
  • Long tweezers can grab threads brushes can’t pick up
  • Run a magnet across the floor to collect stray pins
  • Use a dryer sheet to clean the bottom of the iron
  • Lint rollers are great for cleaning just about every flat surface in the sewing area!
  • Use an ear syringe to blow dust away
  • Batting scraps make great dusters!
  • Keep a small hand vacuum in the studio so it’s immediately handy
  • Replace and sharpen dull cutting equipment as part of cleaning up
  • Worried about forgetting where all the little screws and attachments go when cleaning your machine? Take a picture beforehand as a guide!
  • Store like things together to avoid wasting time searching for a tool or supplies.
  • Cover machines when not in use to keep dust out in the first place
  • Keep duplicate cleaning supplies in your sewing area for convenience
  • Remove it all from the space it’s in, sort and clean, return only what is still desired
  • Use baskets to sort, order and organize while you clean
  • Clean under everything… that’s where the dust bunnies live!
  • Take sewing machines for yearly servicing
  • Organize leftover fabric from projects and neaten your stash to keep track of what you have on hand
  • Put on some music, an audiobook, or a radio program for entertainment!
  • Clean a bit at a time, not in one massive effort
  • Keep used items like needles and rotary blades organized and labeled so they don’t get mixed in with fresh notions


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Carolyn Sullivan

If sewing machines do not need oiling what is it that they do when they are taken in to the shop for a yearly cleaning?

Thanks for the tips. I would like to know how to clean my cutting mats. Especially, the self healing kind.