Care Of Your Piano
Pianos are sensitive objects which when looked after can give many years of enjoyment but need a few simple things to keep them happy.
- Keep out of direct sunlight. (This fades the polish and causes heat extremes)
- Being near a window is OK as long as it's not full a height, South facing window.
- Keep away from direct sources of heat such as: Agas, Radiators, Open fires
- Keep away from strong draughts and sources of extreme damp.
Ideal conditions for a piano:
- An ambient temperature of not more than 20 degrees C (68 Fahrenheit)
- Humidity should be between 40% to 75%
- Humidity Below 40% may cause your piano to dry out - glue joints break and bits fall off !
- Humidity above 80% can cause action parts to seize up - you will get sticking notes. It can cause metal parts to rust and mildew may form on some parts of the piano.
For wood finishes: use a silicone free furniture polish. One with beeswax is best. Just use a soft cloth and rub over gently.
Modern polyester finishes really only need a soft cloth to polish off any finger marks and dust. DO NOT use cleaning products as they may harm the finish. Beeswax will merely become smeary.
Use a damp cloth with some non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid using one with ammonia as this may harm the casework or dissolve the blackness of the sharps. Don't allow any moisture to get down between the keys, otherwise they may swell up and stick.
Once ivory becomes yellowed it is very difficult to bring it up to white again, as the discolouration goes through the grain.
The art of cleaning and polishing brasswork on a piano lies not so much in getting the brass itself looking sparkling as avoiding damaging the wood finish around the brasswork. If you do get brass polish where it shouldn't be, on older pianos brass cleaner stains can be removed with a soft cloth with beeswax on it.
Tuning and maintenance
- You piano should be tuned regularly about every six months to keep it sounding at its best. Read the article on tuning frequency (no pun intended).
- New pianos should be 'prepped' (Regulated, checked over, tuned to A440) before they leave the show room. If you are not happy with a new piano after delivery, let it settle down for a while and bring up any issues with the tuner when he comes to do the first tuning (usually within a few weeks of delivery).
- As with anything mechanical, a piano will wear out, go out of adjustment over the months and years and will need remedial work once in a while. For a domestic piano this may be as little as minor regulation and toning every few years, in fact some good tuners do this work each time they come to tune your piano.