Piano Care Do’s and Don’ts
Unlike most musical instruments, the piano also doubles as a piece of fine furniture. It can improve the look of any room if properly cared for. So in this article we are going to look at some of the do’s and don’ts of piano care to help preserve the finish and look of your piano.
Types of piano finishes
The piano exterior or cabinet is made of wood and covered with a variety of materials, such as lacquer, polyurethane and polyester resin. The finish may be high gloss, semi-gloss or satin(dull sheen). The piano may be black, wood tone or even white. Occasionally some piano have even had decorative painting.
Do – Place your piano in the best spot
The first item in proper piano care is making sure your piano is in the best location possible. Direct sunlight can cause fading and warping of the wood. Large changes in temperature and humidity can cause the finish to develop small cracks or bubbles so limit exposure to drafts, dampness or heat sources. The ideal temperature for most pianos is 68 degrees Fahrenheit with 42 percent relative humidity.
Don’t – Place anything directly on the piano
The piano finish can be scratched very easily so always protect it. Put a soft cloth under pictures, lamps, etc that you want to place on the piano. Keep plants, drinks or anything with liquid away. Moisture can leave rings or cause the finish to warp. If it gets into the interior it can cause severe damage.
Do – Dust the piano with feather duster or damp cloth
Fine dust particles can be very abrasive so it is important to avoid using a dry cloth to remove dust. Lightly dusting with a feather duster or similar product is the preferred method. You can also use a soft damp cloth to pick up the dust followed by a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture. Cotton works best. Avoid using synthetic fibers as they may cause scratches. Always dust in long straight strokes to prevent leaving swirl marks.
Don’t – Dust the interior of the piano
Many parts inside your piano are extremely fragile. Let a qualified technician do any cleaning of the interior.
Do – Clean the finish periodically
To remove smudge marks and fingerprints that build up over time first dust the piano as previously explained. Then lightly clean with a damp cloth and a mild cleaning solution such as Murphy’s Oil Soap or Cory Pre-Polish Finish Cleaner. Be sure to apply the cleaning product to the cloth and not directly onto the piano. If kept clean, your piano should maintain its natural beauty for many years.
Don’t – Over polish
Most finishes are designed to last for years without the addition of polish or wax. However, older piano may benefit from a light application of polish to help restore luster to a dull finish. If your piano needs polish it is best to use something specifically formulated for the particular finish of your piano. I recommend Cory Piano Care Products, which have been individually designed for every piano finish. Avoid using common household products such as lemon oil or furniture polish as these may contain harmful chemicals.
Be sure to dust and clean the piano before adding polish. If there is a large buildup of old polish it may be necessary to use a “wood cleaner and wax remover”. As with cleaning, be sure to add the polish to the cloth when applying. Use sparingly as a little goes a long way.
Do – Keep your piano keys clean
Over time the keys on your piano will become soiled from the oil and dirt from fingers. The keys may be cleaned with a soft damp cloth and mild soap. Make sure the cloth is not too wet. Clean the white and black keys separately. Paint from wooden sharps can create smudges on the white keys. Another excellent product to clean keys is Cory Key Brite.
Clean the keys from front to back, not side to side to avoid moisture seeping down the sides. Do a few keys at a time and then dry immediately after.
Don’t – Play the piano with dirty hands (remember what your mom always said)
A simple step to limit buildup on the keys is to wash your hands each time before playing. As any good mother knows, cleanliness is next to godliness.
Do – Take good care of your piano
Following the steps listed above can help to preserve the look and beauty of your piano for years to come. Be sure to consult with you Piano Technician if you have any questions.
If you are interested in obtaining any of the Cory Piano Care Products listed in this article please contact me. I usually have a fair stock on hand.