Introduction to Caring for Your Piano in 6 Steps
Tender loving care is something that all pianos need, but it is not an easy task as you can easily damage your valuable instrument with improper maintenance. Therefore it is essential to know about a few basic rules and things, that you, as a piano owner, can do for your piano that will not only extend the life of your piano, it will save you money later down the road.
Step 1. Never Drink or Eat Food Around the Piano
Food and drinks must be strictly kept off the piano at all times, cold or hot. Fizzy drinks, spirits, wines and hot drinks do the most damage because of the sugar and other ingredients, but just water can lead to extensive damage which can lead to expensive repairs. We have fixed many pianos from water damage.
Step 2. Do Not Decorate the Piano With Household Items
Try to avoid placing anything on your upright or grand piano that may scratch the wood surface. While we don’t recommend it, many people choose to place fresh flowers on the top of their upright piano, while they look beautiful, it poses some risks that you should be aware of. Fresh flowers need water, and this poses a significant risk to your piano. The other risk is some flowers such as Lilies release pollen which is not piano friendly.
If you want to place flowers on the top of your upright piano, then consider using artificial and always use a coaster or felt cloth for the vase. The image above with the Christmas deco on top of the piano is a perfect example of what to avoid, always use a cloth felt to protect the wood and finishing.
Step 3. Keeping the Piano Free From Dust
Stay on top of dust in the room in which the piano is kept because even dust can scratch the piano. Vacuum the room regularly and use a soft cloth for dusting the furniture and the piano itself. Protect the keys or even the entire piano with a cover cloth when not in use.
Step 4. Keep the Piano in a Stable Climate
Consistent temperatures and humidity levels are critical factors as pianos are very delicate instruments and are incredibly vulnerable to these effects. 20 degrees of Celsius and 42 per cent relative humidity is the optimal environment for a piano. Many houses in London were built many decades ago and have put ventilation which leads to high humidity which causes mould throughout the house and even inside your piano.
If your house has one or more walls that attract mould, then you likely have high humidities levels, if this is the case, use a decent dehumidifier such the Meaco DD8L Zambezi. Opt to use a desiccant dehumidifier rather than a compressor because they work better during the warmer months of the year and mould is not caused by cold, its caused by water in the air.
Step 5. Pianos Need to Be Played Regularly
Regular use of the instrument keeps it in good working order and makes it easier to spot problems. It is recommended to play your piano once a week at least. Just a few minutes is better than zero. Tip, you do not need someone who knows how to play the piano, simply ask anyone in the family or household pressing the keys multiple times in a piano-friendly and uniformed way from left to right.
Step 6. Use a Good Professional Piano Tuner
Always opt to use a qualified and highly skilled piano tuner! Do some piano company research to find one that is very reputable. Generally, a good company will offer a vast range of pianos services such as tuning, repairs, restoration, repairs and servicing. Always check out their accreditations and check their Google reviews before hiring them. Also consider regular maintenance and servicing as it can prevent expensive repairs in the future. Most grand and upright manufacturers recommend servicing at least two to four times a year.