How to Clean a Piano Keyboard

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To assure that your piano stays in top notch condition, you need to clean the keyboard occasionally. How often you clean your piano keyboard depends largely on how it is used. For instance, piano teachers may need to clean off the collected fingerprints of each week's students, while a seldom-used piano keyboard needs to be cleaned only once or twice a year.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 soft, clean, color free, dry cloths
  • Gentle dish washing soap and warm water
  • Make a cleaning solution in a small bowl. Mix warm water with a drop or two of gentle dish washing soap.

  • Dampen a soft, clean, color free cloth slightly in the cleaning mixture. Rub the dampened cloth gently over each white key individually to remove dust and fingerprints. Then use a soft, dry cloth to wipe off any moisture left on the keyboard.

  • Dampen a second soft cloth with the cleaning solution and wipe each black key in a similar manner.

  • Wipe the sides of every key with a dry cloth.

  • Consider using a commercial spray or cleaner for digital piano keyboards only. These products are available from music stores or on the Internet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful to avoid getting the sides of the keys wet. The keys on standard pianos are made of wood, covered with plastic or ivory. Moisture can swell or damage the key itself.
  • If a key is moving up or down sluggishly, or if it is stuck, examine the sides closely for any object that may have slid between the keys. Once you spot the object, try removing it with tweezers before you call a tuner for help.
  • Avoid using bleach, rubbing alcohol, or commercial home cleaning products. Those cleaners can dissolve the glue that holds the plastic or ivory keyslip onto the key. Those cleaners may also react with the plastic or ivory to dry out or damage the keyslip.

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