6 tips to take care of your piano

A little care for the case and the keys — it doesn't take much to keep the ivories tinkling for your cherished piano.

6 tips to take care of your piano

1. Never treat a piano like a table

  • Your piano is a beautiful piece of furniture, but it should never be mistaken for a table or bookcase.
  • Don't even consider placing a live plant on top.
  • If the weight doesn't damage the wood or the finish, the water that eventually spills on it will — not to mention what it can do to the strings and metal parts if it seeps inside.
  • Likewise, banish all candles, drinks and other objects.

2. Polish your piano

  • Always use a compatible polish to keep up your piano's finish.
  • It's best to seek out recommendations from the piano's manufacturer or a piano specialist in your area, though you can usually get by with pure lemon oil or a high-quality furniture polish.
  • Typically, you should polish a piano twice a month to keep it clean and free of dust, but never, ever polish the keys or the bench top.
  • Polishing the keys will make them sticky and dull-looking, while polish on a bench top will eventually combine with the varnish on the wood and body perspiration to form an adhesive-like substance that will stick to players' seats and ultimately destroy the wood.

3. Practice safety in the sun

  • It's a good idea to keep your piano out of direct sunlight.
  • The light can bleach the wood and leave an uneven finish.
  • Sunlight will also darken plastic key tops. Ivory keys, however, require periodic exposure to sunlight in order to maintain their whiteness.

4. Clean your piano keys

  • Use a damp cloth with a little nonabrasive cleaner added to wipe down your piano keys after each session to avoid stickiness and dulling.
  • Don't forget to dry them off afterward.

5. Homemade piano-key brighteners

Even if your old piano still sounds great, those ugly, yellowed keys can hit a sour note. Try some of these tried-and-true methods to put the white back in your ivory or plastic keys:

• Mix up a solution of 50 grams (1/4 cup) of baking soda in one litre (one quart) of warm water. Apply to each key with a dampened cloth. (You may want to wedge some pieces of cardboard or paper towels between the keys to avoid drips.) Then wipe with a cloth dampened with plain water and use a clean cloth to buff-dry.

• Try cleaning them with a bit of toothpaste and a toothbrush; then wipe them down with a damp cloth and buff-dry.

• Cut a lemon in half, dip it in a bit of salt, and rub it over the surface of the keys. Once they have dried, polish the keys with a damp cloth and buff-dry.

• Use some plain yogurt. Just put a small dab on a clean, soft cloth, rub it on the keys and then wipe it off.

6. Support the lyre on a grand piano

  • One of the most fragile parts of any grand piano is the lyre, the contraption that hangs down below the piano and contains the pedals.
  • To prevent the lyre from breaking from excessive foot pressure, slide a phone book or a like-sized catalog between the pedal box and the floor.
  • Make sure the fit is tight so that when you push on the pedals, the weight isn't on the lyre.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu