Are you a parent who is planning to buy a piano for your kids? Are you a skilled piano player who is not so familiar with the interior of the instrument? Whichever is your answer, there are some piano maintenance tips that you need to know if you own or planning to own a piano. Many piano owners tend to overlook the importance of piano maintenance and causing their piano to aged and damage earlier than it suppose to be. Hence, it is essential to understand how to take care of your piano even before you really own it! Here are 5 handy piano maintenance tips which may help you.
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1. Choosing an Ideal Location ~ How Does Humidity Affect the Piano?
Choosing a suitable location for your piano is important to maintain it’s quality because extreme hot, cold and humidity are among the factors that can cause damage to the piano. Big fluctuations of humidity may change the pitch of your piano and harm the soundboard. Therefore, an ideal location to place your piano should be in a room without direct sunlight and not too humid or damp. The optimal condition for a piano is at a temperature of 68 degrees F and 40-55% relative humidity (RH).
Humidifiers or dehumidifiers can be installed inside the piano according to the needs, weather, and the surrounding environment. If you are staying in countries with high humidity level like South East Asia, you are required to install a piano heater to maintain the quality and extend the life of your piano. Be sure to check your piano heater regularly to make sure that it is turned on and functioning well all the time.
2. Cleaning the Piano ~ How to Clean Piano Keys?
Piano keys are the part that will get dirty easily because it is constantly touched and got contact with the fingers. If you play the piano with sweaty or oily hands, the dirt can be easily stick on the piano keys and make them greasy. Therefore, always remember to keep your hands clean and dry before playing the piano.
To prevent the piano keys from turning greasy, I have a habit of wiping them with a piece of microfiber cloth every time before and after playing. You can also do regular dusting by using a dusting feather. Be careful and gentle so that the dust particles do not stuck between the piano keys. If the piano keys are really dirty, piano key cleaner can help you to solve the problem.
3. Cleaning the Piano ~ How to Keep the Piano Exterior Elegant?
Although the exterior of the piano is made from wood, you shouldn’t clean it like the way you clean your furniture. Cleaning the piano with regular detergent may cause damage to both the exterior and interior of the piano. Hence, choosing the right product and tool is essential.
To keep the piano exterior clean, regular dusting is important. You can do it by wiping the piano surface gently with a piece of microfiber cloth. If this is not sufficient to clean up all the dust and stains, damp the cloth slightly and wipe the wet surface with a piece of dry cloth immediately. Working with a small section at a time gently can prevent swirl mark and scratch on the piano.
If polishing is required to cover some minor scratches, it can be done by spraying some piano polish onto a microfiber cloth and wipe it gently in small sections. Make sure to use a polish specifically for piano and not the regular polish for woods. Remember to choose the piano polish according to the type of piano finish! High gloss polish is only suitable for polymer finish and if your piano has a lacquer finish, use the piano polish for satin or ebony finish instead.
This piano cleaning and polishing kit by Cory is highly recommended if you are looking for a suitable piano cleaning solution. It is able to accomplish your piano cleaning job in the blink of an eye. The kit contains a bottle of piano key cleaner and a bottle of piano polish for high gloss piano with two pieces of machine washable microfiber cloth. It works wonderfully to keep your piano looking shining and sparkling!
4. Things to Avoid ~ What Are the No-Nos?
Piano is an exquisite instrument which requires special handling and care when you use it. There are some rules to be set for all piano players, especially the kids. Firstly, and most importantly, no drinks or liquid should be put on or near the piano. If water is spilled on the piano, not only the exterior wood finish will be damaged, it will cause serious damage if water enters the interior too.
Likewise, no food is allowed while playing the piano because the crumbs of food may fall through the spaces between piano keys and cause damage. The cleanliness of the instrument can be affected too. Besides, if you wish to put any objects like books or metronome on the piano, it is recommended to put a piece of cloth as a protective layer to prevent scratches on the piano surface. It is advisable to close the lid when the piano is not in used to prevent accumulation of dust on the piano keys. Finally, if you have a pet at home, try not to let it get near the piano to avoid unnecessary scratching.
5. Piano Tuning ~ How Often Should I Do It?
How often should I tune my piano? Why do I need to tune my piano? These are the questions frequently asked by new piano owner. If you ask your piano tuner, you are recommended to tune your piano at least twice a year. The string of the piano tends to diverge off-pitch with playing and climate changes. The more frequent you play the piano, the faster tuning is required. Tuning the piano will return the string to the original state and keep them at the optimal string tension. Therefore, regular piano tuning is required to preserve the good health and prolong the life of your piano.
Last but not least, playing your piano regularly can help to maintain it in good shapes. You may detect any problem early when you feel that the piano sounds or feels different with touch. Besides, an unused piano that is idled for a long period of time tends to develop problems such as felt mites or other problems due to lack of servicing. So, what are you waiting for? Play your piano often to enjoy heartily while practicing effectively to improve your technique and skills in no time!
How do you take care of your piano? Let us know in the comment box below! Don’t forget to share this post with other piano players if you think that the tips are handy and useful!