Can I Use Sewing Machine Oil on My Gun?

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Sewing grease is not your typical household item. If you’re looking this up, you are probably considering this oil as an alternative to your expensive gun oil. In this article, I’ll tell you if you can use your sewing machine oil on your gun and whether it’s a good or bad idea.

Can I Use Sewing Machine Oil on My Gun?

You can only use sewing machine oil on your gun if you’re out of options. Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend using this sewing oil for your gun regularly. There are far better alternatives like motor oil and WD-40 to consider.

This sewing oil is designed for sewing engines, not guns. Although sewing oil has similar properties to gun grease, it does not work as effectively as gun grease with guns. You would still want to use gun oil for guns like AR-15s.

Two brown bottles with black bottle caps on top of a white surface

I recommend you use sewing oil if it’s the only option you have and you need to use your gun and don’t have your reliable CLP or gun lube available. Other than that, sewing lubricant should never be used on guns.

What Is Sewing Machine/Engine Oil?

Sewing oil is used to lubricate sewing machines. It has a colorless appearance and is also odorless. It has a light viscosity and keeps sewing engines running in good condition.

It helps reduce friction and protect the metallic parts of the sewing device against rust. Sewing oil is considered light engine oil. Hence, people often use them on guns since mineral-based lubricants can work.

However, it only works in the short run. You have to clean it after every use to avoid any damage to it, unlike gun oil which is not a necessity more often. People often use it as a corrosion inhibitor for storage and nothing else.

Pros of Using Sewing Grease

Cons of Using Sewing Grease

  • It can dissolve easily in high temperatures
  • It´s only great as a preservative and not as a lubricant
A black handgun near golden bullets on top of a brown wooden table

Difference Between Sewing Machine Oil and Gun Oil

Gun oil and sewing lubricant are both mineral oil. However, they aren’t interchangeable. You can’t use gun oil on a sewing set because it might compromise its plastic parts.

Gun oil contains additives that are specifically made for rifles and pistols. It is generally made with ingredients like:

  • Isopropanol
  • Petroleum distillate (heptane)
  • Viscosity modifiers
  • Antioxidants
  • Reducing agents

On the other hand, machine oil is made to protect metal surfaces and lubricate moving parts of a sewing machine. Most machine oil use ingredients that mix petrochemicals extracted from petroleum oil. Sometimes it’s made with low-viscosity hydro-treated paraffinic oil.


While sewing engine oil can be used on guns, it’s not recommended by most people. There are far better alternatives, like motor oil and WD-40, which provide better results. Consider using sewing lubricant when it’s the only option.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.