10 Essential Tips on How to Take Care of a Piano

Posted by Gordon Bolton
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how to take care of a piano

Having a piano in your home is a wonderful thing. The piano is a lovely instrument that has long been associated with the most prestigious levels of society. They make for beautiful centerpieces for a room, and there are few things more wonderful than hearing piano music in your home.

That being said, pianos are also high-maintenance instruments that require a lot of care. Unlike your child’s recorder, which can be tossed on a shelf and forgotten about, pianos require tuning, maintenance, and a healthy dose of TLC.

Read on to learn how to take care of a piano the right way. 

Tips on Caring for Your Piano

1. Keep It Tuned

One of the best things you can do to maintain your piano is to have it tuned regularly.

During the natural changing of the seasons, the wooden pieces in your piano will expand and contract slightly. Keeping it out of tune this way can warp the strings over time and make it even harder to tune.

Most piano technicians recommend that during your first year of owning a piano, you have it tuned four times.

In the years following, you’ll only need to have it tuned every six months. This will help your piano sound more beautiful and make each tuning job easier.

2. Protect It from the Elements

Most piano owners aren’t keeping their pianos outside, and we all know how bad water damage can be for an instrument. But even inside, your piano may not be safe from the elements. You want to keep your piano as insulated from outside forces as possible to keep it in the best shape.

Place your piano on an interior wall in your home, one that will not experience extreme temperature shifts. You also want to place it in an area that isn’t too drafty or humid. And while playing the piano in a sunroom sounds lovely and romantic, long-term exposure to sunlight can damage your instrument. 

3. Dust Often 

Tuning helps protect the inside of your piano, but protecting the outside is just as important.

For one thing, a piano is as much a piece of furniture as it is an instrument, and it should be beautiful. For another, maintaining the keys and exterior will help keep your piano in excellent shape.

Dust your piano often with a clean dusting cloth — no furniture polish. You can wipe down the keys with a slightly damp (not dripping) rag. And make sure no one comes anywhere near your piano with any liquids, including flower vases, drinks, cleaning liquids, and more. 

4. Don’t Mess with the Inside

It may seem tempting to dust the inner workings of your piano, especially if you have a grand piano where the strings show. They’re right there, so what harm could it do to run a dusting rag over them?

But messing with the inner workings of your piano can undo the tuning you’ve so carefully maintained.

Never ever try to perform repairs on the inside of your piano yourself. Please resist the urge to clean the inside of the piano in any way.

Instead, these tasks should be left to a professional piano technician who can perform them without damaging your instrument.

5. Keep the Temperature the Same

While we look forward to the changing of the seasons every year, the temperature change is not good for a piano. Changes in temperature and humidity mean expansion and contraction of wood. This can place strain on the inner workings of your piano and take years off its life.

Try to keep your piano at a consistent temperature and humidity if you can. In general, pianos like to live at around 42% relative humidity. Investing in a humidity control system can cost you very little per day and can add years to the lifespan of your piano.

6. Play Often

The piece of advice we’re about to give may be the easiest one to follow.

To keep your piano in good shape, you should play it as often as possible. For one thing, if you’re playing your piano regularly, you’ll be able to notice small changes and problems with it over time.

Playing your piano more often will also provide benefit to you. Studies have shown that playing an instrument can improve social life, relieve stress, build confidence, and even make you smarter. Your skills will also improve faster if you play your piano more often, which is gratifying.

7. Don’t Move It on Your Own

If you ever have to move your piano, under no circumstances should you try to do it on your own. Pianos are delicate instruments that are bound to get out of tune during any move. But improper moving techniques can result in permanent damage to yourself or your piano. 

Instead, hire a company who has experience moving pianos for your move.

They’ll be able to transport the instrument without causing any damage to either the instrument or themselves. Not to mention, if any harm does come to your piano, they’ll have insurance to cover it.

Learn More About How to Take Care of a Piano

Knowing how to take care of a piano in the proper way can extend its life by years.

Given how expensive pianos can be (and the fact that many of them are family heirlooms), these efforts are more than worth the investment. Keep your piano cleaned, tuned, and played, and your home and instrument will be happier for it.

If you need someone to help you move your piano, reach out to us at Piano Movers of Texas. We are certified and insured and can even offer you piano storage while you get settled into your new place.

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