Over the years we have gleaned loads of piano care top tips and advice from pianists, manufacturers, tuners and shop owners. So here is the best piano care top tips from the piano industry to help keep your pride and joy in brilliant health.
Piano Care Top Tips #1 – Location
Try and position your piano on an internal wall away from direct sunlight. External walls vary more in temperature than internal walls. If you can keep pianos away from windows as UV light can bleach the piano casing. Also try and keep your piano away from any sources of direct heat or cold e.g. a radiator or air conditioning unit. If you need to place you piano next to a radiator consider turning it off or at least turning it down. We will happily move your piano to any location in your home so think about the best place for your piano to enjoy it, play it and keep it in the best condition.
Piano Care Top Tips # 2- Humidity
A piano is made of natural materials such as wood, felt, cloth and leather. As such it expands and contracts with variations in temperature and more importantly humidity. The natural materials will swell or shrink as the relative humidity goes up or down and this can affect the sound of the piano. For instance, felt will absorb water if the humidity increases which can dull the action, piano strings can rust and keys can expand and become sticky. In the worst case large and regular humidity changes can cause cracks in the sound board or loosen the tuning pins.
A piano does not like being in an overly damp or an excessively dry environment, therefore it is helpful if you can keep your piano in a room that holds a fairly constant humidity. For instance, try and avoid placing your piano near an external door. To help maintain the humidity you may also wish to consider buying a piano humidifier or a cheaper option is to keep a small jar of water underneath or inside the piano. Just remember to move the water jar before the piano movers arrive!
Piano Care Top Tips #3 – Cleaning
Dust can dull the hammer action and affect the sound of the piano. Most experts recommend you dust your piano every other week using a feather duster or soft cloth. Never use chemical cleaners or alcohol to clean the piano. If you need to clean the piano use only mild soap and water and use a well wrung out damp cloth. Avoid using any water on the internal parts of the piano.
Piano Care Top Tips #4 – Vases and Displays
We would recommend you avoid placing items on the top of the piano. These can cause poor tone or vibrations whilst you are playing. Heavy items placed on the lid may mark the piano case. Vases filled with water could obviously spill, causing water damage to the case, strings, hammer or action.
Piano Care Top Tips #5 – Piano Storage
If you need to store your piano, for instance if you are temporarily emigrating or down sizing whilst you decorate, you should look for a professional piano mover and storage expert to take care of you instrument. Just like in your home your piano will need to be protected from UV, temperature and humidity changes to keep it in the best of condition. Any professional piano mover will be able to offer you a range of piano storage services to meet your needs and budget. From standard storage to climate-controlled storage, where the temperature and humidity are maintained at optimum conditions, there are many storage options. In addition, if you are storing a grand piano you should consider storing the piano on its legs, this is how the piano was designed to be kept. However, storing a grand piano in this way does cost more, as it takes up more space, so most professional piano movers offer an option to store your grand piano on its side. This is perfectly safe and may be a better value for money option for you.
Piano Care Top Tips #6 – Piano Tuning
Your piano is a living instrument and as such it needs a check-up every so often. The piano will slowly go out of tune over time, whether it is used or not. As such it is recommended that you get your piano tuned every 6 months. If you have a brand new piano this increases to 4 times in the first year, as the new strings stretch more in the first 12 months as they bed in. Leaving a piano out of tune for a prolonged period of time can permanently alter the pitch of the piano or require major re-tuning to bring it back to concert pitch. To avoid this expense and stress for the piano go for regular tuning. You should also consider getting you piano tuned when it is stored, the effects of time on the pitch and tune apply to pianos in store as well as time at home. To find a reputable piano tuner in Kent, Sussex or London check out – piano-tuners.org.
Pianos are such special and beautiful instruments. To keep them in the best of condition they need to be looked after and cared for. A small amount of preparation will help you choose and maintain the best environment for the piano. Regular, careful cleaning will help keep the look and tone while professional tuning will keep the pith perfect throughout its life. If you look after your piano it will provide many years of joy for you and your family. By applying these piano care top tips you will keep your beautiful instrument sounding and looking great.