Common Problems

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Piano

Pianos are intricate and precise pieces of equipment designed with finely tuned parts that work together to create wonderful sounds. However, just like any instrument, regular cleanings and maintenance is the key to keeping everything functioning correctly. So, while you might want to put this chore on hold in favor of other household tasks, it’s vital to the longevity of the device that you don’t. These are a few reasons why it’s important to clean your piano.

Slower Deterioration of Parts

Acoustic pianos are very strong and durable devices, but even they are sensitive to a series of environmental conditions. Humidity, specifically, can have drastic and lasting effects on the way your instrument looks and performs. In fact, it can even cause the internal components to rust and lose their flexibility. Regularly cleaning these parts can significantly slow the deterioration process and keep the mechanisms running smoother for a longer time.

Less Frequent Maintenance

Likewise, frequent cleanings can also result in less frequent maintenance for your piano. The more often you wipe it down and address any issues, the lower your chances are of needing to get it professionally fixed. This cuts the overall costs you would need to spend to maintain your instrument and allows you to preserve its value.

A Sleek, Well-Kept Appearance

Additionally, regular cleaning practices allow you to keep your piano looking as gorgeous as the day you bought it. The deep, natural sheen of the finished wood can fade over time as your instrument collects dust from the room around it. Without proper care, this dust can remove the piano’s characteristic shine and begin staining the once beautiful surface. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you occasionally dust off and clean the piano exterior with a dry or slightly damp cotton cloth, depending on the finish.

Better Overall Performance

Most notably, it’s important to clean your piano because of the way it affects performance. Dirty pianos are often met with sticky keys, off-tune notes, and squeaking peddles. All these occurrences can make the instrument more difficult to use correctly and can hurt the music you’re trying to create. As such, removing extra oil and dirt from the keys, dusting the inner mechanics, and shining the exterior will all contribute to the show you give on your piano.

Piano care is our calling at Chicago Piano Tuners. Whether you need to move your instrument or conduct a few necessary repairs, we’ll be there to provide you with the best possible assistance. Additionally, our affordable piano tuning services will ensure that your piano not only performs at its best but also that your budget remains intact.

Caleb CrockettWhy It’s Important To Clean Your Piano
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Common Problems – Sticking Keys

I get lots of questions about sticking piano keys. Most people think sticking keys means there is something very wrong with their piano, but in most scenarios, it can be resolved quickly, and sometimes in just a few seconds. Almost every piano I’ve ever sat in front of to service, has at least one key that returns a little slower than it should.

This goes for all types of pianos, and all ages of pianos. For several years, I was the first technician to address a piano after it had been unboxed and placed on the showroom floor, fresh from the factory. One of the first things I would do is check for sticking keys, and there’s almost always a few that could be improved.

I have a process for going over a new piano, to make sure everything is working and sounding as it should, and there’s always a few adjustments that need to be made. However, most new pianos, whether they come from Indonesia, Japan, or New York, are very close to being ready right out of the box, and this is good news for pianists of all skill levels and all budgets!

I have a similar process for going over used pianos, with slightly different approaches for different age groups and different use-case scenarios. When your piano is serviced every 6 months, sticking keys should appear infrequently.

There are exceptions of course, sometimes all of the keys stick, sometimes the piano needs to be completely restored, sometimes there’s verti-grease, sometimes a piano should be hauled away and recycled. But this is usually when a piano is being serviced for the first time in decades, or if the piano was “free”. Again, in many situations, a few slow keys are not an indication that your piano is junk, especially if you live in a climate that has big humidity swings throughout the year (like here in Chicago). One day with the windows open on a humid day, could be all a piano needs to start behaving badly.

Your technician should be checking thoroughly for sticking keys every time he or she is in front of your piano, and they should also be able to point out anything else that you should be aware of. Pianos are very technician dependent, but the payoff of a perfectly functioning piano is satisfying in a way that no virtual piano can ever be!

Caleb CrockettCommon Problems – Sticking Keys
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