How to care for your piano – The Essentials

Here are some essential tips in the care of your piano:

GrandFrame1Tip 1: Provide a stable climate for your piano

Changes in humidity have a major impact on the tuning stability and the performance of a piano. Too dry and wooden parts shrink, causing some parts to loosen and a drop in pitch. Too wet and corrosion can form on metal parts, and wooden parts will swell causing them to stick. Ideally a piano should be kept at 40-45% relative humidity. This can be difficult to maintain. Owners can use portable humidifiers in the winter months, and dehumidifiers during the summer. Built in humidifier/dehumidifier control systems are also available and are recommended for unstable environments, and to achieve tuning stability between tunings. For more details on Humidity, see our article Understanding Humidity.

Tip 2: Have your piano tuned regularly
Regular tunings are the best way to keep your piano healthy, preventing small issues from becoming bigger expensive ones. A piano should be tuned at least once/year. Some prefer tuning twice a year – in the late fall after the heat has come on in the home, and in the late spring after the heat has been turned off. Tuning stability increases when the piano is tuned regularly.

Tip 3: Placement of your piano at home
The placement of a piano will have an impact on sound acoustics within your home. Try to avoid having the piano in a small closed room. Place it somewhere that allows for sound to carry throughout your home. Keep the piano away from heat or cold (away from registers, radiators, or draft areas). You should also avoid direct sunlight, as it will heat the piano and cause damage to the finish and create dry conditions inside the piano.

Tip 4: Cleaning your piano
Piano finishes can be sensitive so it is best to avoid using any type of furniture cleaner. A damp microfiber cloth works best for the outer cabinet, and the surface of the keys. Cleaning of the inside should only be done by a piano technician. There are many sensitive parts inside that can be easily damaged.

Tip 5: Avoid placing objects on your piano
Many people treat a piano like a piece of furniture – sometimes covering the top with various decorations. Never place containers with water on top of your piano – spills can damage the finish or get inside and do extensive damage to the parts. Remember to keep any drinks away from your piano.

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