Caring For Your Piano During COVID-19

Caring For Your Piano During COVID-19

Now that you’ve been staying in place for a few weeks, has cleaning taken on a whole new meaning? Do you find yourself scrubbing everything down daily, lugging out the bleach to ensure everything is clean? 

Before you take a rag to clean and disinfect your piano, let’s talk about safety. 

COVID-19 has made us more aware than ever that our fingers can be weapons. If you head to the grocery store, for example, and pick up germs, everything you touch in between can spread the bacteria. That’s why handwashing is so important. 

It’s also why it’s important to clean and disinfect the things you do touch regularly. Like your keys, your doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. 

While you can use a spray cleaner on a light switch or doorknob, don’t try that on your piano keys.

Caring for your piano takes a different strategy than other fixtures in your home. 

First, it’s important to know what your piano keys are made of. “Tickling the ivories” became a catch-phrase because piano keys were once made out of ivory. The practice of using ivory in piano production was banned decades ago, but that doesn’t mean ivory piano keys are completely gone. If you have a piano that’s been handed down from generation to generation, there’s a chance real ivory was used. 

Real ivory is porous, which means they can get dirty quickly. You’ll also find they give off a yellowish color as they age. Ivory is very distinct in how they look and feel; you’ll see horizontal lines flowing from the key’s head to tail. You’ll also see the distinct veneer covering the wooden key placement underneath.

Plastic keys may try and imitate this look, but you can tell the difference. Plastic keys are molded in entirety, making them more durable and affordable to manufacture. 

Black keys are made from plastic or ebony wood. They are polished to give a sheen. 

No matter what type of keys your piano has, remember liquid is an enemy, not a friend. Less is more when it comes to cleaning. Never spray any cleaner directly onto the keyboard. Liquid can seep in between, settle there, and do extensive damage. 

Instead, always use a damp cloth and ensure you work one key at a time, leaving no moisture behind. We recommend one part white vinegar to two parts water. Do not use bleach of any kind, as that will dull, strip, and damage the keys. 

You can also make it a rule that hand washing is necessary before anyone sits down to play. That will reduce the chance of any trace germs settling onto your keys. And eliminate the chance of germs settling in.  

Caring for your piano with the coronavirus on everyone’s mind doesn’t have to be a demanding chore. Use common sense to ensure your piano has a very long life. 

Caring For The Finish On Your Piano

Caring For The Finish On Your Piano

A piano brings a lifetime of enjoyment to any home. But if you are ready to purchase your first piano, as with any investment, taking care of it from the beginning will ensure you lifelong quality and workmanship.

Today’s pianos are finished with a variety of materials, from lacquer to modern polyurethanes and polyester resins. A piano’s finish is designed to protect the wood from dirt and spills, as well as reduce damage from every day circumstances, such as humidity changes within the room.Caring For The Finish On Your Piano

Piano finishes are designed to protect the piano without the need of polishes or waxes, and in fact are best protected with simple maintenance.

Avoid finish damage to your piano

Your piano’s cabinet is made out of wood, and like all wood, it is subject to expansion and contraction as humidity changes. With extreme variations, the wood will begin to develop tiny cracks and even begin separating in certain areas. Locate the piano in a stable area of your home, away from direct sunlight, and away from drafts, dampness or heat sources. Also avoid placing anything on the piano which can lead to scratches, or can spill liquid onto the finish, such as a plant or a drink.

Regular dusting

Rubbing dust across your piano can instantly cause scratches. Use a feather duster or a damp cloth to pick up dust without the impact of scratching. Choose a cloth made of soft cotton rather than a harsher material, such as a synthetic fabric. Also make sure you wipe any moisture immediately, as moisture can quickly get into the grains and start the damage process.

Cleaning the piano finish

Occasionally you may find smudges or fingerprints on the finish. If a damp cloth doesn’t remove it, you can dampen your cloth with a mild soap solution. Never use traditional furniture polishes or lemon oils claiming to protect wood finishes. They offer no protection from scratching and can actually soften the finish over time. They also contain silicone and oils that contaminate the wood, leaving it vulnerable to extensive damage.

Cleaning the piano keys

Piano keys often become soiled from oil and dirt on fingertips. To clean the keys, use a soft cloth dampened with water and a mild soap. Make sure the cloth is wrung out, and is damp, not wet. Wipe the keys from back to front rather than side to side to avoid moisture falling between the keys. Clean only a few keys at a time, drying them immediately with a dry cloth.

Have any more questions about cleaning your piano? Give us a call. We’d be happy to advise you on how to protect your investment for years to come.

The Basic Rules for Caring For Your Piano

The Basic Rules for Caring For Your Piano

A piano is a major investment, and it needs some tender loving care from time to time.

Without the proper maintenance and care, your piano will decrease in value. If you keep all of the parts working well and the piano itself maintained, you can enjoy your piano for many, many years, and perhaps pass it down as a family heirloom. However, this is only possible if you take care of your piano.

The Basic Rules for Caring For Your PianoHere are some basic rules for caring for your piano so that it will last will years:

Get your piano tuned. It is a worthwhile investment to keep your piano in tune. Tuning is not synonymous with use. Many people think the more it is used, the more tuning it will need. A piano is tuned to maintain its quality, whether its used every day or only once a year. Check with your dealer, but as a general guideline it is recommended that a piano technician tune the piano twice a year, three or four times a year if it is brand new. It will sound its absolute best when it is properly tuned.

The best times to have your piano tuned is in the fall and in the summer, when transitions are occurring in the weather and the environment.

Be mindful of where you put your piano. Generally, you don’t want to keep your piano in a place where the humidity and temperature constantly fluctuates. Outside walls, near large windows or sliding doors, or in drafty areas can compromise the quality of your piano. Also avoid sitting next to a heating/cooling duct, or in an area where it will get daily doses of sunlight.

Keep your piano clean. It’s a good idea to keep your piano covered when not in use to help keep it clean and free from dust accumulation. You can periodically clean the piano keys yourself by wiping them with a damp cloth and again with a dry cloth. You should never use chemicals of any kind on your piano keys.

Maintain the piano’s finish. You can maintain the finish of your piano by wiping it with a damp cotton cloth. You can also remove fingerprints with a reliable emulsion-type, water-based solution. You should avoid spray polishes that contain silicone.

Play your piano regularly. Idle pianos not only fail to get the proper maintenance they require, but they require tuning and much more after sitting with no activity. Plus, if you play regularly, you’ll get more practice!