Monday, December 2, 2013

Maintaining Your Piano's Appearance

Piano Cleaning

Green street sign with the words ,The Right Way, written on the sign
Piano Cleaning The Right Way

Modern Pianos are finished with numerous materials designed to protect the wood from dirt, spills and humidity from the time-honored lacquers to the more modern polyurethanes.

Polyester resins are available in black, white and clear finishes enhance the beauty of the woods finish.

Always Avoid Direct Sunlight

A piano finish is easily maintained by simply keeping it clean, avoid exposure to direct sunlight and limit temperature and humidity changes.

Modern finishes are designed to do their job without the additional aid of polishes or waxes.

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Never spray polish on the piano

In general, furniture polishes and lemon oils are not recommended except for specialized polishes intended for high-gloss finishes.

Polish's that contain silicone are  extremely dangerous because their tendency to spread within the piano, sometimes causing extensive damage.

Piano Keys

16 piano keys are shown.
Modern Piano Keys
Most modern piano keys...there are exceptions... are  made out of  spruce or basswood and covered with plastic.

 Old high end pianos whose keys were made from ivory popularized the term ..."Tickling The Ivory" which referred to an accomplished piano player but that all changed when ivory keys were no longer legally available starting in the 1950's.

Ebony and Ivory Keys

natural and sharps piano keys are shown
88 Keys On A Piano
There are 88 keys on a piano that need cleaning because of  dirt and  oil from players fingers.

There are 52..."natural"... white keys typically made of plastic or ivory and 36..."sharps"... made from plastic, hardwood, or ebony.

Cleaning the Keys

Clean natural keys with a back to front motion rather than side-to-side. Wiping side-to-side can allow needless  moisture to seep between keys and cause damage.

Cleaning materials
Cleaning Piano Keys
Use a soft cloth...never use paper towels..., dampened with filtered  water...minerals can alter the appearance of the finish...and a small amount of mild soap...dry immediately with a new clean soft cloth to prevent dirt and oils from seeping between the keys.

Ivory keys are porous and typically thinner, and excessive moisture can penetrate and loosen their glue joints... dry immediately.

To keep the ivory keys in great shape for years to come, take a clean, soft cloth and spread a thin layer of the plain yogurt over each key. Gently work the thin layer of plain yogurt into the key with the cloth and then wipe it off with another clean, soft cloth.

Clean sharps using the same direction as above..."without the yogurt"... but use a separate cloth for painted wooden sharps to avoid black stains on the white keys.

Disinfect your piano keys

Small baby shown playing a piano after the piano has been cleaned.
Disinfect Your Piano Keys
Never use popular sprays or disinfectants such as Lysol or similar disinfectants on your piano keys and avoid the use of rubbing alcohol or solvents that can damage the key surface.

 Always remember to use a separate cloth 
when cleaning the black keys.

Clean using a solution comprised of 3 parts filtered water to 1 part white vinegar.

A good habit to cultivate is never to play the piano with dirty hands. That way the keyboard will stay clean for a long time.

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