How Should I Clean the Finish?
Don't use waxes, furniture polishes, oils or dust cleaners, unless one is recommended by your technician. Some oils, especially silicone, cannot be removed when put on a finish. Others can darken the wood or damage the finish.

On most new pianos you can use a soft cloth (such as cheese cloth or a cotton diaper). Take two pieces of the cloth, put a little tap water on one, just enough to lightly moisten it, and leave the other dry. Clean the piano with one stroke of the wet cloth, then wipe it dry with the dry cloth. This works especially well for the high gloss finishes. You may also use a little diluted glass cleaner on the cloth if the piano becomes especially dirty. Just make sure you use glass cleaner without ammonia.

To clean the keys, first take a close look and determine if they are ivory or plastic. If they keys are plastic, use the same procedure as above. Avoid spraying water or glass cleaner directly on the keys, as moisture may get in between the keys causing warping and sticking problems.

If the keys are ivory, however, fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and add a drop of a mild dish soap (such as Ivory dish soap, for example). Then take a soft cloth, dab it in the bowl of water, and clean the keys. Try to avoid wetting the ebony keys if possible, as it may smear black paint from the ebony onto the ivories. Immediately dry the keys with another soft, absorbent cloth.  And no - don't believe the old wives tales you may have heard about cleaning ivory keys with milk!

For yellowed ivory keys, consult your technician.

For inside the piano it usually best to let your technician do the cleaning, as an inexperienced person may do minor damage. However, if you insist, your your technician may agree to show you how you can safely do some interior cleaning.

To clean the inside of verticals, open up the bottom board and the top lid and vacuum, being careful not to touch the strings or suck up any parts which may have broken and fallen from the action. If you find a part and are in doubt - save it for your technician. You may dust with a moist cloth, again being careful not to touch the strings, as moisture will cause them to rust.

For Grands, your technician has a special method to clean underneath the strings and it is best to consult him for a thorough cleaning. You can, however, use a feather duster or blow the soundboard area out with the exhaust end of a vacuum cleaner from time to time, but be prepared for a large dust cloud. Also, it's best to do this before a tuning, not afterwards. Be careful to avoid touching the strings with moisture or your hands, since moisture and the oil from your hands causes rust.


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