How to Clean Your Piano Keys

Piano Lessons / ivory piano keys / How to Clean Your Piano Keys

This is a very common question around here at the store. Everyone who has a piano is going to experience this problem eventually. Our hands pick up a tremendous amount of dirt and grime throughout the day and eventually it’s going to get on your piano keys as you continue to play it. Cleaning keys is an easy process but it’s one that you want to make sure you do correctly because you can actually damage your keys by using incorrect methods.

The easiest solution for cleaning your key tops is the following:

A Damp – not wet.

– paper towel
– cloth
– cotton swab

If this doesn’t get all the dirt and gunk off the keys then you can try a high solution of alcohol (90% rubbing alcohol) but just damp and not wet. It’s important not to use too much alcohol on the keys as it can damage them.

If you’re afraid to use rubbing alcohol or you don’t have any then you can use white vinegar as a replacement. Again, make sure that you don’t use too much and that you just dampen the cloth or towel that you are using.

When it comes to Ivory Keys there is a little bit more of a challenge.

Ivory is a porous material which means that it’s going to be a bit more difficult to get them clean. Dirt will fall into the small holes in the keys and it could be very difficult to get it out in some circumstances.

I recommend the same steps as above for Ivory Keys but you need to be aware of a few differences.

First of all, Ivory keys will yellow over time. This is something you can’t control and is just a natural occurrence over time. A piano technician can remove the key tops for you and apply a solution of bleach to them in order to try and whiten the keys again. Most of the time this works pretty well but you will want to make sure you have a technician do this for you unless you are experienced in replacing key tops.

If you have Ivory keys on your piano and you are missing an ivory key it can be very difficult to find a replacement key that will match the color of the existing keys. This is where you will want to explore bleaching the keys to see if you can match the new key to the existing ones.

The benefit to cleaning your piano keys is really a personal preference. You will find that after cleaning your keys they will be much more pleasing to play and you will certainly be surprised at how clean they feel.

Thanks again for joining us here at Living Pianos. We welcome all your comments and suggestions on all our topics and videos. Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729

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