Knitting machine Cleaning supplies for Canadians

Knitting machines run smoothly when they have regular maintenance.
Keeping them clean, lubricated, lint and dust free, results in trouble free knitting.

CLEANING SUPPLIES.
In most areas of Canada, we can buy the 99% isopropyl ALCOHOL from the DRUG store. It is behind the counter so you have ask for it. The clerk will want to know your intended use.
Tell them it is for cleaning electronics etc. Use it straight out of the bottle on some sort of applicator ( i.e. Q tip) for cleaning sensors and magnets on the electronics. There is also a product sold in the COMPUTER stores, specifically for cleaning electronic connections. i.e. The Source store.

You could also use PAINT THINNER/SOLVENT from the HARDWARE store for cleaning needles, rails etc. It will cut the grease for cleaning the needle latches, but DON’T use it for the electronic sensors. If, I am cleaning needles, I wash in soapy water first, Palmolive dish soap, rinse, then do the alcohol treatment. Alcohol dries/evaporates quickly so that the latches etc don’t rust. Some people put few drops of oil in the alcohol mix for a bit of lubrication. The needles can be put in a tall jar, or lay flat in a tray with the solution.

LUBRICATION, Hoppes gun oil, the one in the plastic bottle. Do not use the spray gun oils, they have additives that are not good for the knitting machines and deteriorate the plastic components on the plastic hobby machines. Wax can also be used on the plastic rails etc for lubrication.

There was a law outlawing shipping of Lori Lyn type aerosol products into Canada, so we would have to purchase it when in the USA, and could bring into the country by car. It is a good product.

FOAM RETAINER BAR inspection.
The foam may need to be replaced as it deteriorates first. I have replaced some foam with a NEOPRENE weather strip. It is working out quite well. It is available in the Canadian Tire store with the other weather strip materials. It has a self adhesive backing for easy installation.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE is prudent.

I dust the bed, needles and under the carriage with a stiff PAINT BRUSH as a quick clean after EVERY project and cover the machine. I change the needles with twisted/ bent latches immediately. I rarely need to deep clean it. I knit alot. I have been knitting a garment/project a week for over 30 years.

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Knitting Machine Housekeeping

How often to clean?

IĀ  do a quick clean after EVERY project. That is, I use a stiff brush and remove the lint from between the needles and the bottom of the carriages.

These brushes are available from your local hardware store and are often called “parts cleaning brushes”. They are very economical usually about $2.00 or so.

The lubrication is “gun oil”, a very fine thin oil. It is recommended that one does NOT purchase the spray version as it has silicon that ruins the plastic parts of the knitting machine. Clean the rails, lubricate the rail, and the moving parts of the undercarriage.

After removing lint, it is worthwhile to inspect the “brushes” that they do not have yarn wound around them and not turn easily. If they are not turning easily, removeĀ  of the screw and release the wound yarn. Lint also tends to build up around them. DO NOT LOSE THE SCREW. If it is lost, you will need to contact a knitting machine dealer for replacement. It is not a generally available screw from the hardware store.

The NEEDLE RETAINER BAR needs to be replace periodically. Some brands of machines sooner than others.

For a DIY project, this is the size of foam that fits the Studio Standard gauge knitting machine. Other knitting machines may use a different sizes. It is found in the weatherstrip area of the Hardware store. This particular brand is self adhesive.

Lastly, cover your machine if you are not continuing to use it immediately. A towel or bedsheet works well. Knitting machines don’t care for house dust.