How to Make a Sewing Machine Quieter

Being able to use a sewing machine is still an awesome skill to have.  You can make different types of crafts, fix clothes, and perform many other projects. 

The main downside to using one is the amount of noise it makes.  My mother used to have a sewing machine when I was younger, and I would always remember the loud clattering noises that came with it. 

It was almost like someone was constantly slamming on a glass table with silverware.  My mother never really complained about how loud it was, but I clearly remember my brothers and me complaining about it when we were watching our favorite television shows. 

Learning how to make a sewing machine quieter can save you a lot of money if you don’t have the extra money to buy a more modern model.

A sewing machine is composed of many different components, which can all play a significant role in how loud it will be. 

Educating yourself in these areas is a good start.  Along with the components, it also matters where and what you are using the machine. 

Since I never used a sewing machine myself, I did a lot of research and compiled this information.  This is the best information I found when it comes to reducing the amount of noise a sewing machine will make.

Place Sound Dampening Material Underneath Your Sewing Machine

Placing a towel underneath a loud, vibrating object became very popular when it went viral about how well it muffled the noise of a blender

The same concept applies to a sewing machine.  One of the main sources of noise from it is impact noise.  It vibrates and echos heavily while in use on top of a table. 

By placing a thick towel underneath the machine, you can effectively reduce the amount of noise it gives off by about 30 percent.

This is because the towel acts as a form of shock absorption.  Most people sew on some sort of table, which can really intensify the noises made by your sewing machine due to it echoing and bouncing off the table. 

There are many other things that you can place underneath your machine besides a towel, but a towel is usually the most readily available in a household.

If you want a more permanent and professional method of reducing the noise from your sewing machine, then you could use something like this sound-deadening foam from amazon. 

This foam is specifically designed for soundproofing a car which makes it strong enough to be used for your sewing machine as well.

Many people use sound-deadening foam inside their cars to help muffle the impact noises from a loud car stereo.  The foam comes in a big roll that must be cut to a specific size. 

Measure the size of your table and simply cut out a piece.  Make sure it is big enough for your sewing machine to rest on. 

This material will effectively absorb the vibrations that will be produced.  This will also work much better than just a folded-up towel.

Last but not least, is to use a sewing machine vibration pad. This vibration pad is already sized to fit most machines and is specifically made to reduce vibration and machine movement.

Don’t Sew on Full Speed

There are mainly two types of ways to control the speed of a sewing machine.  There are foot pedals and speed control sliders. 

A foot pedal is exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a pedal that you press with your foot, similar to that of a car.  The harder you press the pedal, the faster it will go. 

The main problem with a foot pedal is that it can be very sensitive.  If you aren’t good at providing constant pressure on the pedal, then you may be forced to just press on it all the way at full speed.

A sewing machine on full speed will be a lot noisier than if you were to just have the pedal halfway pressed the whole time. 

As you can imagine, keeping your foot at exactly the midway point can sound kind of difficult and cumbersome.  Usually, older models will come standard with a foot pedal.

This is where using a machine with a variable speed slider comes into play.  Most newer sewing machines will come with a speed control slider where you simply set the setting you want based on your personal preference. 

This sewing machine is very popular on amazon and has variable speed control, so you can set exactly how fast you want your machine to go. 

If yours uses a pedal instead of a speed control slider, then I would recommend you upgrade.  Having a speed control slider on your machine will be a big factor in reducing the noise while sewing.

Check the Foot Pedal

If you have an older-style machine, then you will have a foot pedal.  The foot pedal is used to increase or reduce the speed of your sewing machine. 

Most machines also have a small switch that you can press.  This switch is used for beginners. 

Having this setting enabled will cause your sewing machine to make horrible noises by putting it into an automatic slow mode just for beginners.  Be sure that this mode is not enabled on your machine by accident.

If your machine does not have a foot pedal, then it most likely has a variable speed slider, and this tip will not apply to you.

Use a Thick Sewing Table Board

What you place your sewing machine on also plays a huge role in the amount of noise you will make throughout your house.  Imagine sewing on top of a thin table. 

There is not much density to help absorb all the vibrations and pounding that will be produced.  I’m sure that it would echo well throughout your entire house.

Now place that same machine on a thick sewing table on top of a soundproof mat.  The noise will be decreased tenfold. 

The thicker and more dense an object is, the more sound-absorbing qualities it will have.  If you use your sewing machine on top of a regular thin wooden or glass table, I would highly recommend changing that.

This thick sewing machine table will work perfectly.  It even has a place for storage which makes it very convenient. 

Couple this table with a nice soundproof mat, and you will have a nice quiet working station for your sewing machine.

Position the Sewing Machine Over a Table Leg

When you are sewing on a table, try to position the machine to have most of its weight bared over a table leg.  In doing this, you will make sure that the table has the most stability while the machine is in use. 

This will help prevent excessive rocking, vibrating, and noise.  Not all tables make it easy and convenient for you to do this. 

For example, if you have a table where the legs are either on the far left or far right, it doesn’t make much sense to have your sewing machine hang halfway over the table just to be on the table leg. 

If your table is similarly designed to the one that I have mentioned above, then it will be much easier to do this.

Inspect and Change the Needle If Needed

As a good rule of thumb, most sewing machine needles need to be changed and cleaned either every 8 hours or when you start to hear your machine become louder while puncturing the fabric. 

How can changing out your needle possibly quiet down your machine?  Well, a blunt needle is a loud needle. 

A blunt needle will have a harder time piercing through the fabric that you are working on instead of simply gliding through it.

If you don’t know how to change the needle in your machine, then you can check out this helpful article that shows you how.

Lubricate Your Sewing Machine

If your machine just seems a little noisier than usual, then it may be time to lubricate it.  Oiling your sewing machine is a very important part of maintaining proper maintenance to help it have a long life. 

The oil keeps all the moving parts free from friction which can cause premature wear otherwise.  Not only will oiling your machine keep it running properly, but it will also help reduce all the internal noises. 

If that’s not a good enough reason to keep your machine well-lubricated, then I don’t know what is.

The best advice when it comes to lubricating your machine is to make sure you use the correct oil.  This sewing machine oil is highly recommended and is the one I advocate you to use. 

Do not use WD-40.  This lubricant will lubricate your machine for a very short amount of time and then will quickly dry out and possibly ruin your machine altogether.  Also, stay away from using car oils and other household oils.

Use an oil that is specifically designed for the parts inside of your sewing machine for the best results.  Using the correct oil will also increase the life of your machine. 

Don’t skimp out when it comes to properly oil your machine because having to replace it entirely due to negligence will be a lot more costly than purchasing a cheap oil.

Don’t Over Lubricate

Be careful not to over-lubricate.  You do not need to flood your machine with oil.  Using a few drops should be more than enough as long as you are doing it regularly. 

Over oiling your machine may cause oil to start to leak out of your machine and cause a big mess.  Be sure to check your manual for the best practices when it comes to oiling your specific machine.

Thoroughly Clean Your Sewing Machine

Keep your machine clean!  Dirt, dust, and lint will build up pretty quickly if you aren’t regularly cleaning your machine. 

Not only will this affect the performance, but it will also cause your machine to make more noise. 

If your machine did not come with a cleaning brush, then you can use this brush that was specifically designed for a sewing machine.  You don’t need anything high-tech or fancy to clean up your machine.

Even using some type of duster or microfiber cloth is better than using nothing at all.  Don’t forget to remove the bobbin and clean it under the needle plate as well. 

Dust and dirt can get stuck in this hard-to-reach area.  Always refer to your machine manual for instructions if you don’t know how to take apart your machine for proper cleaning.

Purchase a Newer Generation Sewing Machine

If you’re still living in the past, then it may be time to purchase a new sewing machine altogether.  Older machines are running on older parts and technology which will make them louder in general. 

Another thing with older machines is that they have foot pedals.  As I mentioned earlier, it is hard to constantly control the speed of your machine with a foot pedal. 

A foot pedal can be very sensitive, which can constantly cause your sewing machine to run at different speeds.

This causes most people to just fully press down on the pedal, which causes the machine to make the most noise possible. 

Purchasing a newer generation sewing machine like this one eliminates the use of a foot pedal altogether.  Instead, it is replaced with a variable speed slider. 

You simply moves the slider left or right to pick the speed of your machine.  This makes sure that your machine is always running at a constant speed without variation. 

Not only does this make sewing a lot easier, but it also helps reduce the amount of noise generated since you get to pick how loud it is.

Final Thoughts

Sewing machines are just generally loud.  Although there are small fixes and tricks to help reduce the noise, the best thing to do is to make sure you have a modern sewing machine. 

Once you have a modern machine, make sure you have a proper table to sew on.  Place some form of sound deadening on top of this desk to place your machine on. 

This can be a folded-up towel or some type of sound-deadening mat.  It’s really up to you.

These three things are, in my opinion, the essentials.  Once you have the essentials, all that’s left to do is to properly maintain your machine. 

Oil and clean the machine regularly.  Don’t forget to change and clean the needle as well.  Implement all these things into your sewing routine, and you will see a major difference.