How to Clean a Piano

Learn Good Habits for Cleaning Your Piano, and Keep It Looking Its Best

Spring Cleaning
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When it comes to pianos, cleaning and polishing are two different actions. Polishing should be kept to a bare minimum. Dust is ideally removed by a feather duster, and dusting with a dry cloth should be avoided at all costs; a dry cloth will allow the dust to scratch the finish.

  1. If dusting with a cloth, always use a soft fabric such as flannel, chamois, or even pieces of older bed sheets with a high thread-count. Never use terrycloth rags or paper towels.
  2. Cloths should be only slightly damp, and the use of filtered water is preferred; minerals can alter the appearance of the finish.
  3. Always use a gentle touch, and dry immediately with a separate cloth.
  4. Resist the temptation to dust any exposed areas of the piano’s interior. These parts are fragile, and should only be cleaned by a professional.

Piano Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid placing objects on your piano. If you use a piano lamp, make sure it has a cloth or felt base, or place it on top of a soft piece of fabric.
  • Never spray products directly onto the piano. Spray the polish onto your cloth, and stand at least three feet away from the piano to prevent the particles from landing on your keys, strings, or other delicate areas.
  • Keep an air purifier in the same room as the piano to reduce dust.**

Polishing Your Piano

Before you polish your piano, you need to find out whether it has a polymer or lacquer finish; these two finishes must be polished differently to avoid possibly irreversible damage. Learn more:

**You might want to consider a dehumidifier in your piano room in order to maintain a healthy environment for your instrument.

Related Articles on Cleaning Your Piano

Compared to other pieces of furniture, the piano comes across as an indestructible beast. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Cleaning your piano like you clean your kitchen table – no matter how precious the wood – can lead to exterior and interior damage, and an annoying dent in your wallet. Learn the right way to polish your lacquer piano.