The piano is a big, amazing piece of functional furniture in your home. It can seem indestructible, but if not taken care of properly it can become out of tune and no longer work properly. Taking steps to care for the piano before problems rise will lead to piano music, perfectly in tune, flowing throughout your home.
Here are 6 steps towards proper piano care:
1. Pianos should receive tuning a minimum of twice per year. If it is the first year the piano is in a new environment, it should be tuned at least four times a year. There are more than 200 strings in a standard piano. If the strings get out of line or are affected in any way, they will be off pitch. Tuning your piano will ensure a harmonious tune.
2. Periodically open the key lid on your piano. Dust, air and other particles make its way into the keys building up gunk in between the keys. Think of your computer keyboard. Dust finds its way in making it dirty and full of gunk. It’s the same thing with your piano. If you leave the lid closed for too long, it could get worse than dirt. You could have mold growing in your keys. Air circulation will keep mold away from your piano. You can easily fight dust by brushing it away each week. Mold is a lot harder to rid of than dust.
3. Use a humidifier or air conditioner to regulate humidity and temperature. Any change in the air can change the tune of your piano. High humidity levels can cause the wood to swell and warp, making tension in the strings and even making them rust. Low humidity levels might cause cracking and make the sound flat. You can easily regulate your indoor humidity levels with a humidifier keeping it around 40% humidity. Place the piano away from heater vents and direct sunlight. Keep windows closed in the room the piano is in to prevent condensation from entering the piano.
4. Clean the wood finish. Think of a piano like any other wooden surface in your home. It gets dusty and dirty over time. It is easy to clean a new piano quickly by swiping it with a damp cotton cloth. Older pianos may need polishing with furniture polish to bring out the shine.
5. Don’t drink or eat at your piano. If you drink at your piano, you are at risk of having that drink slowly sink into the piano keys. This liquid can cause damage to the interior. Don’t ever set a drink on top of the piano either due to rings behind left in the wood. Eating at the piano also can get crumbs in the keypad and interior causing extra damage.
6. Voice your piano. The felt hammers inside your piano harden over time leading to a harsh sound. The hammers often wear unevenly making voicing hard at times. If the piano is played a lot and played forcefully, you will need to fix its settings on a regular basis. Once the felt on the hammers can no longer be filed down to shape, they will need to be replaced.
With proper piano care your piano can last for many years. The sound and quality of the strings and other interior parts will remain strong if you take care of them on a regular basis. Enjoy your piano and play that beautiful music!