How to Care for Your Piano

Cleaning the keys – Use a white cloth for the white keys and a black cloth for the black ones (or an un-dyed cloth for both) to prevent any dye from the cloth leaching into the wood. Most often, plain water is all that is needed to get the keys clean, but a gentle soft soap can be added to the cloth (not directly to the keys) if necessary. Be sure to wring out as much of the water as possible before wiping down the keys and immediately follow with a dry soft cotton cloth.

Cleaning the cabinet – Since wiping a dry cloth on a dusty piano can create tiny scratches, one should only use a soft duster such as a feather duster. If a duster is not sufficient to get the piano clean, it is okay to use a slightly damp soft cotton cloth. As with cleaning the keys, be sure to wring out as much of the water as possible before wiping down the keys and immediately follow with a dry soft cotton cloth. For stubborn fingerprints or smudges, a small amount of Murphy’s Oil (or similar product) can be applied directly to the cloth (not to the piano).

Polishing the cabinet – Most piano manufacturers recommend against the use of polish; if you decide to polish the cabinet, it should be done very infrequently. The buildup of polish can damage your piano’s finish, so be sure to remove any excess with a soft dry cloth. Avoid any product with silicone as an ingredient. Environmentally-friendly piano furniture polishes are generally less likely to harm your piano, and piano-specific polishes can be purchased from online piano suppliers. Once you choose a polish, stick with it – switching from one polish to another could cause a reaction between the two.

Deciding on a location for your piano – The best location for your piano is away from vents and drafts, in a spot where you can provide it with the steadiest possible climate. The belief that a piano should never be placed on an outside wall is for the most part outdated; in a modern, well-insulated house, this is a non-issue. Avoid placing the piano in direct sunlight, which can eventually fade the piano’s finish.

A single piano key (grand piano key pictured above) has numerous
interacting parts. Regular maintenance by a trained technician helps
to keep this complex system running smoothly.