I admit that I don't know much about cleaning antique objects (as opposed to garments), but going off garment wet-cleaning I'd suggest just water at first, and seeing how much that will take off. Then maybe spot cleaning with a mild soap?
Try a spot on the back with machine oil. I know it sounds odd, but it's really the best thing. It should be fine over the decals. Just stay away from anything abrasive or chemical cleaners. They will fog up the surface and eat the lovely gold.
Cor. she's a beaut... Have a look on my blog, there's a WHOLE LOT of stuff about cleaning them up...
here you go, this should cover it: http://marmaladekiss.blogspot.com/search/label/vintage%20sewing%20machine
Wow,what a gorgeous machine! Good luck on the cleanup!
What a beautiful machine!If it's not too dirty, soap and water. The Yahoo Vintage Singers group is excellent, and has vast amounts of info in their Files.
Thanks for the suggestions!
Julia has some great ideas--I need to remember the Coke trick!I second the suggestion of the vintagesingers Yahoo group. There's also a forum with loads of info called Needlebar(they come off a little brusque--I think they've had a lot of info copied for ebay ads and such and are a bit fed up--but if you show genuine interest they're friendly enough)I've had good luck with Swarfega(no pumice) on my gunk encrusted treadle--I unearthed decals I thought were *gone*. Just don't leave it too long and rinse with water.