As my godson Henry would say, "oh my gosh, this is going to be gross." So, consider yourself warned. However, it's for your own good.
While working away on a pile of pieces this morning, I watched a squirrel systematically remove what I think were the outer coverings of all the buds on our downstairs neighbor's tree. Branch by branch he stripped the tree, and although I thought at first he was destroying the buds, I think he was just eating what would have fallen onto the ground as the buds opened up. Let's go with the second theory. Then, in a moment of "I can not sew a single second longer I must have a break and do something different," I decided to take my sewing machine apart. Have you done this before? It is satisfying in the way that picking a giant three inch scab off of your knee is satisfying, and it doesn't hurt or bleed. In fact, it's really good for your machine.
I learned this the hard way in graduate school when I took my machine in to get fixed and the repair man told me a week later that the ziplock bag he was holding was not even half of what he had extracted from my machine, and that the excessive lint had actually caused some of the metal parts to bend. Yowza. That was a wake up call. So, I slowly but surely figured out how to disassemble and assemble my machine part by part.
To clean it out I use a long pair of dental tweezers that I inherited from my Grandpa and a Japanese paintbrush (any smallish paintbrush will do). I used to use canned air, but stopped because 1.) it is not very environmentally friendly and 2.) it just jams dust further into the machine into spots that I can't reach with my remedial mechanical skills. Plus, the tweezers method is really satisfying (see paragraph two). The results aren't so shabby if I do say so myself. Give it a try!
Like the repair man, I must tell you that this is not even close to half of what I removed.