Cleaning! Zede’s favorite subject and Mallory’s biggest weak point!
Did you know there’s more to clean in your sewing room than just your sewing machine? Maybe you don’t clean your sewing machine- you should- but just in case you’re looking for more to clean, and there’s no shortage of options!
Rotary Cutters and Scissors
While cutting samples for her national tv debut on Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Mallory’s rotary cutter stopped working nicely. It might be your first instinct to simply change the blade when your rotary cutter isn’t working well, but the following experiment revealed that you can save a little money while keeping things clean.
After taking apart the rotary cutter, Mallory found a bunch of debris and gunk between the blade and the handle. After a good cleaning with some windex and a shop towel, the clean and re-assembled rotary cutter worked like a dream! No need to change the blade this time.
Facebook comment from Brint Fanizza of Famore Cutlery, in response to Mallory’s dirty rotary cutter picture:
“This is also why scissors need to be lubricated. NEVER try to adjust the screw, this and sharpening should be done by an expert. But just like your rotary cutter, fibers from fabric as well as dust particles get trapped and wrapped around your screw on scissors. A good rule of thumb, if you use your scissors daily, lubricate them weekly, if you use your scissors weekly clean them monthly! Always make sure to use a clean microfiber or cotton cloth to wipe the excess (sic) oil and gunk before cutting you fabrics! #StaySharp”
Zede says she likes to use cotton swabs and alcohol to clean her scissors and then oils them with lite sewing machine oil.
Then Zede revealed that she’d used the rotary cutter to cut carpet earlier in the week- that explains why the rotary cutter was so dirty.
If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned your cutters- do it now!
Sewing Machine and Serger
We couldn’t resist talking about them, you need to clean your sewing machine and serger- especially if you can’t remember the last time you did it!
Use a Mini Vacuum attachment kit to clean out your lint-filled machines!
Zede cleans her cutting mat after every cutting session with a large, soft brush from the hardware store. This removes lint and fibers from the surface and from the grooves left in mat from the rotary cutter.
“You do not have to cut to China” -Zede Donohue
While grooves in the cutting mat will happen, there’s no need to push down so hard that you literally cut through your cutting mat. If you cut through a cutting mat often- ease up on the pressure.
Zede also wipes off the cutting mat with a towel and some kind of cleaner to keep the area pristine.
We all have our favorite place to cut at the cutting table. Make sure to rotate your cutting mat or save a lightly used segment from your old cutting mat to save your favorite spot from too much wear and tear.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO TOU BY: THE FLORIANI EMROIDERY TOOL KIT
This scissor collection goes far beyond machine embroidery.
-4 inch straight scissors
-Offset smooth tweezers
-Mini duck-bill scissors (perfect for applique or for trimming coverstitch hems)
-2.5″ pointed curved embroidery snips
***Don’t forget your discount code!***
Irons and Ironing Board Covers
Keeping your iron clean is a must for all stitchers! Mallory and Zede love to use iron cleaner- whether a hot or cold iron cleaner, the solvent removes residue from starch, sizing from fabrics or stray glue from fusing interfacing or appliqué pieces. A dirty iron can be a nightmare, because the residue from one project will transfer to the next, sometimes ruining all of your hard work. Teflon pressing sheets or Teflon covers for your iron can protect it from some residue.
Keep an old towel next to your ironing board that you can use to wipe the hot iron on. Simply running steam through a hot iron and wiping it off will remove some residue.
Even though we want to keep our irons clean, make sure to preserve the finish of the sole plate of your iron. Don’t use salt or steel wool when cleaning it. Once again, iron cleaner and a towel are your friends.
Don’t forget that your ironing board cover is exposed to all of these substances as well. Clean your ironing board cover often, and use a piece of muslin or teflon pressing sheet to protect it from any super gooey projects (think applique or heat-set paints). You could even have a special iron and ironing board cover that’s older or cheaper for “crafty projects” that include glue or paint.
If you make your own ironing board cover, make it out of bleached or unbleached muslin. Don’t be tempted by attractive cotton prints- the dyes from the prints may one day transfer to your project- and that’s no fun!
Floors, Vents, and Fans
Zede and Mallory have a laminate floor in their studio. It’s easy to clean, but can get treacherously slick if it’s covered in dust or thin fabrics like tulle. Laminate floors require light sweeping and can be cleaned with windex or a dry mop.
If you have carpet, pre-clean before vacuuming. Threads and fibers will bind up the beater bar on your vacuum, and pins can cause damage too- plus they sound terrible when they get sucked up. Use some “child labor” or a lint roller to pick up pins, threads, and fibers before vacuuming.
The same goes for your rolling chairs- fibers and threads can get caught in the wheels and cause them to not roll freely.
Clean your fans and air-return vents when you dust. If your ceiling fan is covered in dust, it can throw the dust around your studio and get on projects or fabric that you’re storing.
Food/Drink in Your Studio
Be very careful when eating or drinking in your studio. Always use a cup or bottle with a seal on it, even when enjoying your #SewingWine or #SewingBeer
Spilled food or drink can ruin your projects, and if it’s not cleaned up thoroughly, it can attract mice or bugs who will start chomping and nesting in your fabric, once their other food source is gone.
Do you have any other suggestions for keeping your space clean?