A Full Guide to Clean Piano Keys

How to Clean Piano Keys

There are two types of piano keys. You can have plastic piano keys or ivory piano keys.
The ivory piano keys where common before the ban on ivory trade. But, still, you can find them in most music lovers. Before you start cleaning the piano keys, it is essential to check on the materials used to make them. For instance, the cleaning solution you will use to clean plastic piano keys is different from the one you will use to clean ivory keys. It is fun to own and playing piano, but the white color of the keys attracts a lot of dust and dirt which make the piano stay stained. You will not enjoy having a piano with white keys which are full of stains.

Here is a guide you can follow to clean your piano keys so that you can enjoy walking
around with your piano.

Cleaning plastic piano keys

Before you start cleaning your plastic piano keys, you should start by preparing the right
solution. Most plastic keys can be cleaned using soap and water. The soap will help in dissolving oil and dust particles which may have developed on the keys.

Pour warm water into a bowl and add few drops of mild detergent. About two drops can work well in cleaning your plastic piano keys. You can as well use bar soap to clean your piano keys. In the case of bar soap, soak a piece of cloth in warm water and wipe it on a bar soap. It will absorb solvent which will help you in cleaning the piano keys.

Use a damp piece of cloth to wipe the piano keys

Always ensure the piece of fabric you are about to use in cleaning the piano is only damp. Avoid using a wet piece of cloth because it will leak water into the piano body which will lead to damage to your piano body. While cleaning the piano keys, always ensure water does not seep into the body because it can lead to damaging the piano body and other parts of the piano.

  • Use a white piece of cloth to clean your piano keys

You should always use a white piece of fabric to clean your piano keys. It is necessary
because using a colored piece of cloth will transfer the dye to your piano key which can lead to more discoloration of your piano keys. The piece of cloth should be clean. Start by washing the white piece of cloth so that you can avoid cases where it will add more dirt to the piano keys instead of cleaning the keys.

Cleaning the white keys

There is a special way you should clean the white piano keys. Remember the white color
will tend to make the stains more visible. Start by brushing the keys backward down. Always avoid wiping sideways because it can move moisture and other forms of dirt to other keys. You should as well avoid wiping backward because it can push the dirt into the keys.

  • Use a separate piece of cloth to clean the black piano keys

It is necessary to use a different piece of cloth to wipe the black keys. Using the same piece of cloth can transfer dirt from white keys to the black keys. The black paint can easily stain the white keys. Apply the same front and back motion which you used to clean white keys. The two pieces of clothes should be clean to avoid deposition of more dirt on the piano keys as you clean them. Use a dry cloth to wipe off soap residue Use a back front down motion to wipe the soap residue. The dry cloth will absorb the soap residue making it easy for you to clean the piano keys. Always check to avoid leaving some residue between the piano keys. If there are any residues left, then remove them using the piece of
cloth.

A residue on the white piano keys should be removed using the piece of cloth you used when cleaning the white piano keys. Apply the same procedure to clean the residue you left on the black keys.

  • Remove fingerprints

The action of wiping the piano keys down will help in removing dirt. But, the fingerprints
will remain on your piano keys. There is a specific procedure you can apply to remove the fingerprints from your piano keys in the cleaning process so that you can be assured the best in the piano cleaning process. Here is a straightforward process you can follow to remove the fingerprints from your piano keys:

  • Mix a solution of vinegar and water

The mixture should be in 1 part vinegar and the other 4 parts should be water. Dip a white piece of cloth into the solution

A soft piece of white cloth can work well in removing the fingerprints. Wring the soft cloth but ensure it is only damp before you start wiping the piano keys. You can squeeze it dry to remove any solution droplets so that you can find the cleaning process comfortable without risking the safety of your piano body.

  • Wipe individual keys

Each piano key should be wiped and dried up individually. Wipe each key and ensure it is
dry before you move to the next key. It is necessary to avoid missing out on some fingerprints. Leaving vinegar on the keys too long can as well damage them hence it is essential for you to remove it fast before it can start dissolving some layers. Take time to wipe each key till it is clean before you move to the next. Cleaning all keys at once can make them develop dirt in-between them as you try to keep them clean.

  • Leave the keys uncovered for a day

If you have a piano key cover, you should avoid covering the keys immediately you clean
them. This is necessary to allow room for the vinegar smell to dissipate before you cover them. You can as well clean the cover and let it dry for the period before you can cover the keys. The place where you will leave the piano keys uncovered overnight matters. Ensure the keys are left in a room which is free from dust, or you will wake up the following day to find dust has already settled on the keys.

  • Cover the piano keys to avoid dust build up

You do not have time to use in cleaning the piano keys. To avoid cases where you will have
to clean the piano every now and then, then it is necessary to make a habit of covering the keys each time you finish playing them. Maintaining the cleanness of your piano is very necessary. You will always feel proud playing piano which is very clean.

Cleaning Ivory piano Keys

The process of cleaning ivory piano keys is slightly different from the procedure you will
follow to clean the plastic piano keys. First, you should carry out some form of research to know whether the piano is an antique. Remember ivory piano keys where the first to be introduced to the market. They are nowadays limited due to the ban on the trade of ivory. You can consult an expert who will let you know whether your piano keys have antique value.

How to clean ivory piano keys Avoid harsh chemicals and soaps

The care for ivory keys is different from the care you are supposed to carry out on plastic
keys. When dealing with ivory keys, you should know they can absorb chemicals and moisture when cleaning them. The absorption of the chemicals can lead to damage and discoloration of the keys. Applying bleaching agents or soaps on the keys can lead to wearing out of the keys which is not good as you are trying to keep your piano keys as protected as possible.

  • Wear white cotton gloves

Always avoid oil from your hands getting the ivory keys. You can avoid the spread of
oils and dirt onto the ivory keys through wearing cotton gloves. Avoid colored cloves because they can transfer dye onto the white ivory keys in the process of cleaning the keys. It is necessary to wear the cloves before you start the cleaning process as it will make your work easier. For example, you will not have to struggle cleaning fingerprints later. Cotton does not react with the surfaces of the piano keys hence making it easy for you to achieve the best in
your cleaning process.

  • Dust the keys

You can use a soft-bristled paintbrush or even a duster to clean the keys. Always work
backward to the front so that you can avoid the dust getting in between the keys as you clean them. Wipe as you observe so that you can avoid cases where dirt will get into the keys which can be hard to reach due to the pushing action while wiping.

Wipe the keys using a damp cloth

Soak a piece of cotton wool in water and proceed to wipe the ivory keys. It is a simple process which you can apply to ensure the keys are clean. Dusting will remove most of the dirt, but using damp but not wet cotton wool will work well in removing fine dust particles which may still stick on your ivory keys even after dusting. Only use water to soak the piece of cotton wool because application of harsh chemicals can lead to the destruction of your ivory keys. After cleaning the ivory keys, you may still not be happy with the color of the keys. There is a specific piano ivory keys method you can apply to whiten the keys.

Whitening the ivory keys

For your cleaning process to be recognizable, you should leave the piano keys when they are very white. There are several whitening methods you can apply to make your piano keys stay white. Some of the techniques you can apply to make your piano
keys stay white and attractive include the following: Use the vinyl eraser to rub each key surface

White vinyl eraser can work very well in cleaning the ivory keys. Rub the surface of the ivory with the vinyl eraser till it is white. Rub each key so that you can achieve the cleanness you deserve. After you are done cleaning the keys, you can wipe away the eraser bits through use of the technique you applied to dust the ivory keys. Always ensure you are gentle enough when cleaning the keys to avoid cases where the keys will develop uneven surfaces.

Use a fine steel wool to whiten the ivory piano keys

You can use a  steel wool to remove all the yellowing from your piano keys. Always use
very fine pads. It is necessary always to ensure you use very fine pads so that you can avoid cases where you will end up scratching up the keys as you try to keep them clean. Rub the surfaces of the keys with care. Ensure the rubbing is even so that you can avoid cases where you will expose your keys to too much abrasion making them look uneven or rough when playing them. Remember the cleaning process will be carried out on several occasion in the lifetime of the piano keys hence you should be careful in each session. Use sunlight to whiten
the ivory keys Active rays of sunlight can easily bleach the ivory keys on your piano to brighten them.

The process is simple, just leave the piano keys on a sunny day, and they will absorb the sunlight to brighten your piano keys. The process will not lighten the keys like the way you can have them bright by removing the yellowing physically. Ensure you take good care of your piano keys to prevent discoloration. A cover will work well in ensuring your piano keys are protected from dirt and other agents which can lead to discoloration of the keys.

 

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