Piano Care

How To Protect And Clean A Piano Keyboard

The right way to clean your piano keyboards, protect it from dust and other agents. Dust can affect performance or damage components in the long run. Spillage can cause immediate malfunction. Larger particles can affect the functioning of the keys and buttons. This post is about how to best protect your instrument from such damage and the easiest ways to keep it clean.

Cleaning your piano and your keyboard is one of the steps you can take to ensure its functionality for a long time. Dust buildup in a digital keyboard can very often leads to a short-circuit inside. It can also cause the various knobs and buttons to stop working properly. Either of these faults can cost you much expense in repairing.

Dust buildup in an acoustic piano is not critical but should be avoided anyway.

No food and drinks around the piano

You have all seen the scenes in the movies of the leading man playing the piano and serenading a crowd, or someone in the crowd. He always has that quintessential drink sitting on top the piano and if you are looking at the ‘oldies’, a cigarette and an ashtray as well. Well, if this was your piano and your party, both those things would be a complete no.

One of the cardinal rules that you can set about keeping your piano and keyboard dust free is to prohibit anyone from eating or drinking around your keyboard. A spilled drink on a keyboard be it an acoustic piano or a digital one, can cause serious damage.

Liquid spilt on a digital keyboard can short-circuit the entire electronic gadgetry inside which may leave you with no option but to replace the entire unit.

Eating food around a keyboard has two side effects. Food particles have a way of getting in between keys and you will quickly notice that there is something stuck in between when you are playing your keyboard. Sometimes the food particles also make a slight sound when you press the key.

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The second aspect of not eating around your keyboard is that you invariably tend to touch the piano keys with stained fingers. This leaves marks on the keyboard which you have inevitably be cleaned as well.

Use a dust cover on a regular basis. 

Buy a dust cover for your piano and a digital keyboard and keep it covered when you are not using it. Not just when you are not going to use it for a few days such as when stepping out for a vacation, but every time that you think that you are done playing on it for the day. Covering it up for the night is a good idea. 

Of course, different places have different about of dust and on a daily basis you might not see anything on the piano keyboard. However, you cannot see that is accumulating on the inside. Using a dust cover makes a huge different to how much dust and other particles collect on the inside of your piano keyword over time. 

Dust build up inside digital keyboards can lead to small niggles with the knobs are buttons malfunctions which are inconvenient nevertheless, or larger issues with the circuitry.

A dust cover can serve two purposes. If you choose a water proof material it can keep the levels of humidity inside the unit under control as well. Excessive humidity is one of the main reasons for component failure in a digital piano. Acoustic pianos are comfortable in 50% – 70% humidity and seem no worse for wear when it is higher or lower. But over the long run components do get affected. 

The soundboard might undergo slightly more stress as might other mechanisms like the hammers. They will all still last a long time but degrade faster than they ought to. 

Use a feather duster and a small paintbrush to clean the piano keyboard

The two simple cleaning instruments that you need to have to keep your keyboard and piano clear of dust are a feather duster and a small, medium bristle paintbrush.

Dust the piano regularly with a feather duster and use the paint brush to get into smaller devices and grooves and especially between the keys. Press down each key and clean both the sides before moving onto the next one.

The paint brush also comes in handy on cleaning digital keyboards because there are a lot of little buttons, knobs, sliders that require closer approach for cleaning. Always make sure you turn your keyboard off and clean it with a very dry, soft, lint free cloth when required. Do this at least once a month.

Avoid strong solvents

The wood finish of the grand piano can be ruined by using normal furniture polish. Ivory keys should be cleaned with a dry cloth or a cleaner made specially for this purpose. For most purposes, a cloth that is slightly damp with plain soap and water works well. However, always make it a point to ask the dealer what kind of cleaning products can be used with your piano.

Use an old T-shirt or a lint free fibre cloth, not paper tissues.

Paper towels can leave residual paper on your keyboard as the strands pull away from the tissue. Never spray cleaning liquid directly onto your instrument. This will just cause it to seep into the instrument and cause more damage than good. Spray on to the cloth and then wipe the instrument with it. Do not leave any access cleaning fluid on your keyboard or piano.

Make a home-made piano or a keyboard cleaning fluid.

First ask your dealer though. Several times, when you buy a special cleaning liquid for your piano, you will realize that you are just buying some soap and plain water. If this is the case with your keyboard, you can make some at home by taking an empty spray bottle, cleaning it out thoroughly, adding a few squirts of liquid hand soap and filling it with water. Shake this mixture well before spraying on your cleaning cloth and wiping down your instrument.