How to Properly Maintain your Piano

Posted by Hans Heuer on

Whether you’ve purchased a new piano or inherited one from a relative, it is important to properly maintain your piano. Most people know that pianos are supposed to be tuned regularly, but there are many other things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to effectively caring for your piano. Proper maintenance will both keep your piano sounding good and extend its overall lifetime.

Regular Tuning

Most experts recommend that you have your piano tuned by a professional twice a year. This should be done either in summer and winter or in spring and fall. The reason for this is that the changes in weather have a significant impact on the inner mechanisms of your piano. By having the piano tuned during these changes, you can help to keep it in good condition, as well as sounding great year-round.

It is important to keep in mind that twice a year is the standard for pianos that are at least two years old. In the first year after a piano has been made, it should be tuned four times, once every season, to help the strings adjust effectively and prolong their lifetime. Also consider that the use of the piano will often dictate how frequently you have it tuned. For example, concert pianists generally have their piano tuned before every performance to ensure the best possible sound. There are other components of piano maintenance that require the care of a professional, so ensure that you have your piano serviced on a regular basis.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your piano clean is a vital component of keeping it in good condition. This includes both the finish of the piano, as well as the keys. Brush dust off the finish of the piano with the use of a feather duster. Try to avoid chemical cleaners as much as possible and never use aerosol cleaners when cleaning your piano. Ensure that nothing is ever placed or stored on the piano, especially drinks or plants that can result in spills. Never allow food or drink around the piano.

When you clean the keyboard, you should take a soft, white cloth and wipe gently over the surface. If the keys are dirty, you can take a damp cloth, followed immediately by a dry cloth to clean any grime off the surface of the keys. The best way to keep the keys of your piano clean is to thoroughly wash and dry your hands prior to playing.

Choose Placement Carefully

Pianos require moderates to remain in good condition. This means that they need moderate temperatures, as well as moderate humidity levels. This is vital to keep in mind while you follow the steps to maintain your piano. It is important to ensure that you take care when you choose a permanent location for your piano. Try to keep the piano from being exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day, as this can lead to damage from UV rays. Keep a piano on an interior wall, unless your house is very well insulated. To avoid excessive drying out during the winter months, don’t place your piano near heating vents, fireplaces, stoves, radiators, drafty windows, or space heaters.

Control Humidity

The wood of a piano is naturally absorbent. This can make it difficult to maintain a moderate humidity level within your piano. However, too far on either side can damage the piano. Changes in humidity cause the piano to swell and shrink, which can lead to excessive wear. Too much humidity can cause rusty steel strings, loosened tuning pins, and swelling in the keys and action parts, which results in sticking keys. Too little humidity creates a harsh, dry environment that can result in cracking or other damage.

Many experts recommend installing a humidity control system for your piano. This system contains both a humidifier and dehumidifier that work in tandem to keep the humidity level constant within the piano. This can provide many benefits, due to the many changes in humidity level within your home. Even if your home is well-insulated, it will still experience fluctuations in humidity levels.

Store Properly

A piano that is allowed to stay open can be vulnerable to sustaining damage. When the piano isn’t in use, it should remain covered. Many pianos come equipped with covers, but you can also have a cover made for your piano, if necessary. Ensure that you periodically uncover the piano to promote air circulation and prevent the growth of mold. Whenever you need to have the piano actually stored, you need to ensure that it is kept in a climate-controlled environment to prevent the possibility of damage.

Play Regularly

Play your piano regularly. If there are long periods between times when you play your piano, you won’t be as attuned to the sound of the piano, as well as the feel of the keys, which can make it difficult to effectively maintain your piano. Regularly playing your piano will allow you to detect problems in the early stages, when they will likely be much easier to repair.

Don’t Move it Yourself!

Both for your safety and the safety of your piano, you should always obtain the services of a professional piano mover whenever you intend to move your piano to a new location. They will be able to move it without sustaining damage, which will go a long way toward protecting both your home, as well as the piano itself.

With the proper care, a piano can be a lifetime investment. Pianos are unique in that they serve both as a beautiful piece of furniture, as well as a musical instrument. This dual purpose is just further reason to ensure that you are taking the steps to properly maintain your piano. Here at Heuer Pianos, we have many professionals that are able to help you care effectively for your piano. These steps can ensure that your piano remains in good condition, sounds great, and looks beautiful for years to come! To learn more about properly caring for your piano, whether it is a new or older piano, contact our experts at Heuer Pianos today!


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