I clean the bobbin area of my machine every time I change the bobbin. It always needs a little oil around the race. I always use several brushes for removing lint but I use a q-tip initially because its like a fantastic magnet for lint. It's much better than any of my brushes. It shouldn't go anywhere that the cotton could get snared and pull of the stick, or it would be an expensive trip to the sewing machine mechanic! Just an initial swipe around the pieces and any large holes into parts and then I get the tight spots with a normal brush.