Diagnosing and Fixing Sticky Piano Keys

Diagnosing and Fixing Sticky Piano Keys

Have you ever been playing the piano when all of a sudden one of the keys you press sticks and doesn’t make any sound? You press down several times, and still no sound? 

You might have a sticky piano key. 

Several things can impact your piano keys and make them stick. 

There may be something between the keys. It could be as small as a particle of dust, or larger, such as a crumb of food. This can be quickly resolved by cleaning each individual key with a solution of water and vinegar. Do not get the keys damp. Instead, rub with a dampened cloth and gently rub the impacted keys. In the future, be sure to have clean hands every time you sit down to play the piano, and never eat over the piano. Diagnosing and Fixing Sticky Piano Keys

There could also be changes in humidity. Changes in moisture content can build up and trap moisture between the keys, which can also lead to creating cracks and warping issues. You can invest in humidifiers, digital hygrometers, and air conditioning systems to keep humidity at acceptable levels. It’s important that your piano is always located in a climate controlled environment, and is never stored in excessive heat, cold, or humid conditions. 

There may also be excessive moisture between the keys. If keys are warped and no longer fit side by side, it may be time for repair or restoration services. It’s more difficult to fix than simple cleaning between the keys. If this is the case, you should consider calling a professional piano technician to clean the keys and give your piano a tune up. 

Some things can be do-it-yourself projects. Proper cleaning and maintaining is something you should work at on a consistent basis. But when the job stretches beyond simple maintenance, choose a professional that will give your piano a proper check up and ensure it is in proper playing condition. 

If you have any questions about sticky piano keys or any other problems, we’re here to help. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172