Piano Care
Piano Care - Bulletins, Brochures, and Technical Drawings

How Often Should My Piano Be Serviced?

The Special Care and Maintenance of the Teaching Piano

How Should I Take Care of My Piano?

Basic Rules of Piano Care

Tips on Buying a Piano "you generally get what you pay for". John Ruskin is quoted as saying "there is hardly anything someone cannot make a little cheaper, and sell for a little less money - and the person who considers price only is this man's lawful prey".

Piano Moving Basics

Piano Moving Warnings
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Key-Brite
Key-Brite
Cleans, brightens and preserves all plastic, ivory and wood keyboards . . . even electric.

Item #KB
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Mega Dusting Cloth
Mega Dusting Cloth
This special double weave cloth is a dust magnet.
Its super size (20 x 15") makes dusting easy.

Item #MD-1
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Cory Cleaning Cloth
Cory Cleaning Cloth
This soft, thick weave, non-treated fleece cloth is excellent for final shining of all polishes and cleaners.
Super-sized, (12x14") power buffers are machine washable and duraable for long lasting life.

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So, how DO you care for your piano? What kinds of things CAN you do, and what kinds of things should you leave for your technician to do?

Well, here are some quick pointers from my years of experience.

1) Keep your piano in good repair.
Parts wear and can break over time. They also can go out of adjustment as the felts compact and wear.
Have your technician inspect your piano for stray pencils, coins, etc. which can jam up the works and cause broken parts. If you have notes that don't work well, don't keep playing it, get it repaired. As with most repairs, the longer you wait, the more costly those repairs can become. Have your technician regulate your action every 10-15 yrs. or so to keep your action working like it should.

2) Keep your piano regularly tuned. It is recommended to have your piano technician tune your piano about 1-2 times/yr. Humidity swings cause the dimension of the wood and felt parts in the piano to change shape (expanding and contracting with seasonal changes) which cause the piano to go sharp or flat of standard pitch (A=440). Again, the longer you wait, the more the piano will go out of tune, and the more expensive and time consuming it is to bring the piano back to standard pitch.

3) Keep your piano in as stable of an environment as possible.
Humidity changes not only affect the tuning of the instrument from day to day, but it can also affect how many repairs you have to make on your instrument throughout its life. High humidity can cause sticky keys as wood swells.
Low humidity can cause wood to crack (pinblock, bridges, keys, flanges, etc.) as well as glue joints to dry out and fail. If you don't have a stable environment, consider having a Dampp-Chaser system
installed on your piano.

4) Keep your piano out of direct sunlight.
While it is not as important now days as it used to be to keep your piano on an inside wall due to better insulated walls than in the past, it is still a good idea to keep your piano out of direct sunlight. Sunlight will fade the finish of your piano, as well as cause excess heat on the piano which should be avoided if at all possible.

5) Keep food and drinks OFF the piano.
Cold drinks will sweat and create rings on your piano's finish, not to mention the mess and damage that can occur if it is spilled. If you wouldn't place a drink on your computer....well.....enough said.

6) Keep your piano clean, inside and out.
The inside of your piano can be cleaned out by your technician if you ask them. Every 10 yrs. or so it is a good idea to have piano thoroughly cleaned inside and out, including the keys being removed and vacuumed under them as they collect a multitude of dust, lint, coins, paper clips, and other small items.

UPRIGHTS:
     a) Pedal trap area - If you care to,
you may remove the bottom board
          on uprights (above the pedals) and vacuum the bottom of the piano
          out.
There are usually not much you can hurt there. Just be careful.
     b) Vacuum action area/above keys - If you feel adventurous,
you may
          lift the lid, remove the music rack portion and key cover, and
          vacuum the tops of the keys and the front of the action (parts you
          can easily reach).
Use EXTREME CAUTION if you decide to
          vacuum around the action. The wrong move could cause broken
          parts pretty quickly that would lead to expensive repairs.

     c) Back of piano -
You may also safely vacuum the back of an upright
          as well.

GRANDS: On a grand, there are a couple things you can safely do 
     a) Tuning pin area -
you may vacuum around the tuning pin area.
          Using a very slightly damp (not wet) toothbrush may help loosen the
          dirt around the tuning pins and strings.
Do not use cleaning
          products, solvents, or lubricants of any kind around the tuning pins
          unless you plan to throw your piano away!
     b) Damper Heads - You can wipe the wood damper heads with a
          soft, slightly damp cloth (if necessary) using
VERY CAREFUL
         
front to back strokes and very little downward pressure. Use no
          side to side motion on them at all.
One word of caution here...if the
          dampers are bumped, even slightly, there is a possibility that that
          note may not dampen correctly, so if you choose to clean dusty
          damper heads, do so with extreme caution.
     c) Soundboard - If you would like to dust the soundboard on a grand,
          your technician may have a tool to do that, or
you can
         
purchase a soundboard cleaner and do that yourself.

UPRIGHTS and GRANDS:
     a ) Keytops -
You may use a soft damp cloth to clean your keytop
          (whites and blacks). A little warm water with a very small amount of
           mild dish soap can be used if water alone won't clean them.
Be
          careful not to use too much water as to drip down between the
          keys. Also, be careful not to scrub too hard on some types of black
          sharps as you may rub the black finish off and it will look uneven.
          This is not an issue with plastic sharps. You might also consider
          purchasing KeyBrite. It is a Cory product that has been specifically
          designed for cleaning piano keytops.  You will be able to do an
          adequate job with the keys left in the piano if they aren't too  
          grundgy, however, if they are pretty dirty your technician can
          remove the keys to allow the keys to be more easily and
          thoroughly cleaned.
     b) Action -
I would never recommend that a customer remove a piano
          action unless they have been properly trained to do so.
It can be
          done, and you may get lucky, but the chances to break something
          in the process is pretty high. Even a technician who has been
          removing and replacing actions for many years still has to be
          super careful and winds up snagging a damper or breaking a
          hammer shank off on a grand once in a great while. Your
          technician can, however, remove the action for a thorough
          cleaning. This usually involves carefully blowing the action out with
          compressed air (outdoors, of course). Your technician can inspect
          the action, make any necessary repairs, or take it to the shop for
          action reconditioning if needed.

7) Keep the case cleaned and/or polished.
There is much debate about the proper way to care for the various finishes on pianos. There are many products on the market and things to consider, so I will not attempt to describe in detail here how to maintain your finish, for there are those who know much more than I do in this area. The PTG website has put together some good, detailed information on how to care for your piano's finish.

A couple basic things to keep in mind is that dust scratches...so be careful what type of cloth you use to remove the dust...microfiber cloths are best. Also, feather dusters, although good, can easily scratch high gloss finishes, so be cautious with their use. Most pianos rarely need to be polished, so use them sparingly to avoid build up and avoid spray polishes altogether as they can contain oils that get airborne and can find their way into the pinblock of the piano.

According to the PTG website, "new piano finishes generally require only occasional cleaning with either a dry or damp cotton cloth. Older piano finishes may benefit from an occasional polishing with a good quality polish, but frequent polishing is not recommended. The PTG technical bulletin on piano finish care discusses this subject in detail".
 


Other sites with helpful piano information:
Piano Soundboard Cleaner / Duster
Piano Soundboard Cleaner / Duster
Piano Soundboard Cleaner / Duster

Item #J-SBC
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Piano Care Products
Piano Care Products
Protect your piano finish wih these piano care products.
Ultimate Care Kit
Ultimate Care Kit
This kit provides the complete care maintenance system for any instrument.

Item #UK-1
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
All-Brite
All-Brite
All-Brite is a non-greasy treatment designed to polish and preserve all fine lacquered instrumnet surfaces.

Item #AB-8
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Super Hi-Gloss Polish
Super Hi-Gloss Polish
Specially fornulated to clean and protect high gloss polyester, polyurethane and lacquer finishes in one easy step.

Item #SHG
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Richard W. Bushey - Piano Tuner/Technician
1694 N. State Hwy 125, Strafford, Mo. 65757

(417) 831-0749  or  (573) 528-9847 cell