Diagnosing and Fixing Sticky Piano Keys

Diagnosing and Fixing Sticky Piano Keys

If you’ve played piano long enough, it’s probably happened to you.

You run your fingers over the keys. Your fingers press the keys up and down. But one of them won’t pop back into position. You press down, and it doesn’t make a sound.

So you stop and focus in on that note. You press the key. You press it again. It sticks. And no matter how you press it, it won’t produce the sound you’re looking for.

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. Vinegar and water solutions can be used to quickly clean between the keys and loosen the sticky piano key.  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  be trapped and build up between the keys, which can also lead to creating cracks and warping issues. Investing in  a humidifier is a good start, air conditioning systems, and digital hygrometers can be used 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. A professional piano technician can clean the keys and tune up the piano and provide new life to a wonderful instrument.

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.