Whether you play an antique piano or perhaps have just bought a new piano a few months back, it is pivotal to keep your piano clean all year round. All types of piano contain thousands of individual working parts that allow the instrument to produce smooth and desired melodies. If any body parts catch dust, dirt, or rust, it becomes challenging to play correct notes or make desired melodies.

Hence, when cleaning the instrument, you should avoid using chemicals that can potentially harm your piano and create problems that are beyond repair.

Cleaning your piano is more than just maintaining the exterior appearance. From polishing the keys to maintaining the pedals, several factors are involved in the process. In this detailed guide, we will give the best tips on how to clean the piano keys and boost the lifespan of your instrument for several years.


Step By Step Guide To Clean Piano Keys  

Irrespective of the material used in making your piano, these simple and easy steps can keep your instrument clean and tidy all year round. 

Step 1: Know your piano keys  

Generally, piano keys are of two types- ivory and plastic keys. Plastic keys are more common in electric piano models known as keyboards. Ivory keys are made from black hardwood, most commonly seen in antique and old piano instruments. Ivory keys have a more off-white texture than plastic keys. It is more challenging to clean ivory keys compared to plastic ones because they tend to lose texture much more easily and get dirty over time. For better results, purchase a piano cleaner solution depending on the material of your piano keys.

Step 2: Cleansing solution

Compared to other chemical solutions, a liquid smooth piano solution such as hydrogen peroxide offers exceptional results. Many people believe they need strong chemical solutions to get rid of stains and rust on their piano keys and other instrument parts. Alcohol, bleach, and citrus-based chemical solutions can cause serious harm to your instrument and should be avoided at any cost. If possible, seek help from experts to avoid damaging your instrument beyond repair.

Step 3: Use a cotton pad or soft cloth

Avoid using harsh fiber or paper cloth that leaves residue after cleaning. Harsh cloth can leave marks or scratches on your keys that will affect the overall appearance of your instrument. A cotton pad or soft cloth is always the best option as it is easy to use and are lint free. Sometimes paint on black keys gets easily wiped off during the process. Always use different cloth or cotton pads to clean black keys as it might transfer the paint on the white keys.

Step 4: Dry your keys

One of the most crucial steps of the entire process is dusting. You should always get rid of dust and dirt accumulatedon your instrument before applying chemical solutions. Use a paintbrush or soft cloth to remove visible dust and dirt on your instruments. Once cleaned with a piano cleaner solution, dry your piano using a soft towel. Never leave any liquids on your piano keywords as moisture can give rise to rust-related problems.


How to Disinfecting piano keys?

Here are some beneficial tips for using disinfectants on your piano keys.

  • Avoid applying disinfectant directly on the surface of your instrument. Use a soft cloth or cotton pads to apply the disinfectants.
  • For strong disinfectants, dilute the solution with water or other light liquid.
  • Disinfectants can cause more harm to your ivory piano keys. Consider cleaning them with warm water and white vinegar solutions for better results.
  • Avoid cleaning your instruments with water as it can open moisture spots on your instrument.
  • Always cover your piano keys when not in use to avoid the accumulation of dust, dirt, debris, and other particles.


How to keep a piano clean? 

General guidelines

  • The process of cleaning the exterior of your piano is simple and easy. All you need to do is take a slightly damp cloth ( dipped in warm water) and wipe the exterior of the instrument.
  • It is always advisable to test the cleaning product or disinfectant before applying it all over the instrument. Take a small amount of the product and apply it to the unexposed area of your piano (for example, the inner portion of your piano covers) to know how good or bad the product is.
  • Avoid self-waxing or painting your instruments, especially if this is your first time. Get in touch with a professional to help you restore the aesthetics of your instrument.
  • Refrain from keeping heavy objects on the top of the piano such as picture frames, flower vases, pots, drinks, or anything else that can potentially harm your instrument.


What are piano keys made of?  

The making of piano keys requires a lot of time and effort. The process begins by arranging and shaping the wood material of the soundboard. Sitka spruce or Japanese spruce is one the popular wood materials used in making the soundboard for piano keys. Artificial ivory called acrylic is used to cover the top surface/texture of white piano keys. For black keys, dense dark wood such as ebony is the most preferred option.

Over the past few years, developers have begun experimenting with plastic keys for greater durability and a cheap alternative to ivory keys.


FAQs About Piano Keys And Cleaning Process

How to clean ivory piano keys? 

You can clean ivory piano keys by simply dumping a cotton pad or cloth in piano cleaner solutions such as hydrogen peroxide. If you want to avoid exposing your piano keys directly to the solution, consider diluting the solution with water for better consistency.  

How to clean old piano keys? 

Before cleaning your old piano keys, run a quick maintenance check to discover potential problems with your instrument. Old and worn-out piano models are more prone to sustain damages beyond repair. You can clean your old piano keys with liquid smooth piano solutions following the above-mentioned steps.  

How to clean piano keys safely?

Harmful chemicals such as bleach-based disinfectants can impact the look and ability of the instrument. The best way to safely clean your piano is to avoid using bleach and citrus-based chemical solutions on your instruments.

How to clean a piano keyboard? 

Follow the above-mentioned steps (in how to clean piano keys pointer) to clean your instrument safely and effectively. 

How to clean a piano? 

Use gentle wipes or soft cloth to clean your piano keyboards every day.  Avoid pouring water directly on your instrument as it can harm the texture and create moisture spots. Use a cloth damped in piano cleaner solutions for better results.

How to clean a greasy keyboard? 

Greasy stains are the toughest to clean. Consider using a strong piano cleaner solution to get rid of greasy stains. If you have tried every measure but are unable to clean the stain, seek help from experts.

What is the best type of piano?

Depending on your comfort and budget, you can select the type of piano that suits your needs the best. For beginners, it is advisable to invest in electric keyboards to learn the basic playing technique of a piano.

We hope this article helped you find solutions to all your ‘how to clean a piano?’ or ‘ how to clean piano keys ivory?’ concerns. To book your music lessons or learn more about our services, call us at (212) 665-9051 or send us an email at vera@anselmoacdemy.org