How to Fix a Squeaky Piano Key


Finding and removing squeaks from a piano is a difficult task that requires a significant level of care and expertise. Often, a squeaky key is the result of debris stuck between the keys or a dirty piano inside. Most problems can be fixed with household tools, but some may require the care of a professional and experienced piano repairman. Troubleshooting pianos can be a difficult process and will require you to take extreme care.

Things You'll Need

  • Soundboard steel
  • Protek
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Press the key at different dynamic levels and see if a softer or louder dynamic creates the squeak. If it is a louder dynamic level that causes the squeak, you might actually be looking at a buzz instead. Check the soundboard and hammers for any debris, such as wrappers, coins, paperclips or even paper that may be causing the noise.

  • Insert a soundboard steel between the sides of the keys, and attempt to dislodge anything that may be stuck between the sides of the keys. Even a small splinter will cause squeaks.

  • Apply Protek to the balance rail located directly inside the piano at the bottom of the hammerhead shanks.

  • Dust the inside of the piano by using a clean cloth and a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment. Vacuum the piano key heads and the soundboard to remove any debris.

  • Sand down the sides of the key by pressing down on the keys to the either side and using a fine grain sandpaper. Sand just enough to smooth out the key and prevent future squeaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unless the squeak is easy to fix, hire a professional to come and fix your squeaking piano. You should have your piano tuned twice a year anyway, and this will save money in the long run if you accidentally damage your piano.

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