How To Clean Piano Keys

The keys of a piano quickly become the dirtiest part. Regular dusting can help prevent the build-up of dirt, but you touch the keys every time you sit down to play the piano. The oil from your fingers mixes with the dust and dirt, which can cause the keys to appear dirty or even yellow. Additionally, failing to clean your keys properly can cause them to stick.

Regularly cleaning the keys of your piano is not only important for its appearance, but it also significantly impacts its functionality. Once you’ve purchased a piano from a piano gallery, it will be necessary to take all of the possible steps to keep your piano in good repair. 

Materials You’ll Need

You don’t need extravagant materials to clean your piano’s keys. In fact, you can find most of the materials you need right in your own home:

  • A soft cloth
  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • And some gentle liquid soap

You don’t need to run out to buy the best microfiber cloth possible, an old t-shirt will suffice. Just ensure that you cut out any seams or embroidery that could potentially scratch the keys. 

Make sure that there are no harsh chemicals residing in the spray bottle. These can potentially damage your keys. Check that the liquid soap doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or solvents. In many cases, dish soap will work exceptionally well, because it is relatively gentle. Making a homemade cleaning solution is simple.

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the soap in the spray bottle
  2. Fill the rest with water

And that’s it! This solution works on ivory, wood, and keyboard keys, which makes it an easy and inexpensive way to keep your piano clean, no matter the material.

Clean The Tops of Keys

Don’t spray the soapy solution directly onto the keys. Spray the cloth until it is damp, not wet. You don’t want the cloth to drip the solution between the keys. Wipe the tops of the keys from the back to the front. Refrain from swiping across the keys, because this can push dirt and dust into the space between the keys, which can lead to a piano malady commonly known as “sticky keys.” 

Have separate cloths for the black and white keys. Black keys can potentially transfer the dark paint to the white keys, which will inevitably stain them. If your piano has ivory keys, ensure that the cloth you use is light-colored. Ivory is exceptionally porous, so some of the dye may transfer from the cloth to the keys. 

Clean The Fronts of Keys

Cleaning the fronts of the keys is very similar to cleaning the tops. You can use the same solution and material. However, instead of cleaning the keys from the back to the front, you will need to clean them from the bottom to the top. This will also help prevent dirt and dust from settling into the cracks between keys.

Ways To Preserve The Longevity Of Your Piano

The best solution to keeping your piano clean and running smoothly is to be proactive. Regularly clean your instrument before too much dust or grime can accumulate.

Tips For Dusting

When dusting, remember:

  • Wipe the cloth towards you and not towards the piano itself or from side to side. In that way, the particles are bound to fall between the keys.
  • If it makes you feel better, setting a thin piece of cardboard between keys is a great way to keep those dust particles of falling in the cracks.

Wash Your Hands Before You Play

Another great way to preserve your piano for the long haul is to wash your hands before you play. Your skin naturally produces oils which, while necessary for your health, can accumulate on piano keys. Washing your hands will keep that to a minimum and make for less work when the time comes to clean your keys.

Keep Away From Heat

Also, pianos that are made of wood or ivory are susceptible to sun and heat, which can cause them to warp or become discolored. Move your instrument out of natural light and away from heat-producers like furnaces or vents in order to keep them safe.

Find Your Piano With The Ogden Piano Gallery

Pianos are an investment that can last a lifetime if taken care of, so it is important to take the necessary steps to keep them clean and protected. It is also important to use the tools at your disposal to maintain your piano’s functionality. Get it tuned regularly and hire a professional whenever you move it.

Here at Ogden Piano Gallery, we understand the value of regular maintenance. Vigilantly maintaining your piano will help significantly extend its life. We offer both piano moving and piano tuning and maintenance services. To learn more about taking care of your piano, contact us today!

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