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How To Clean Piano Keys And Keyboards-the Right Way

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Must to Know


What is the need to maintain piano keys and keyboards? A piano is a wonderful instrument, and it will always give positive energy. We are spending our valuable money on a grand piano, but without proper maintenance, the keys and keyboard will lose their glow and become dull.

It will be a disgrace to look at the keys in yellow. Not to worry anymore. With the help of the below simple steps in this article, I’m sure you can have your piano keys sparkling like new!!! 

Analysis Before Cleaning

    Before you start cleaning, you need to know about the keys to your piano. Take a close look at what kind of keys you have. The piano may have two types of keys.


Having confused with identifying the keys? Hope the below description will help you to distinguish between plastic and ivory keys.

Plastic keys: Most of the keyboards are made with plastic keys. Nowadays, Most modern pianos may have plastic keys. Plastic keys were smooth to touch and have a clear varnish on the Top, and they will be whiter than ivory keys.

Ivory keys: Ivory keys are not pure white, and they are off-white. The material is porous, and it will look like two pieces connected. The ivory key will be more yellowish when it is dirty.

Once you have identified what kind of keys your piano has, you can easily clean it by choosing suitable methods.

Materials Required

We may not have to spend and buy any products for cleaning the piano. We can use the common household items to clean our piano. Here are a few :

  1. Lint-free cloths / Cheesecloth / Flannel.
  2. Vinegar
  3. Warm water
  4. Gentle Soap
  5. White toothpaste
  6. White vinyl eraser
  7. Mayonnaise / Milk /Yoghurt
  8. Rubbing Alcohol
  9. Sunlight.

Cleaning Plastic Keys

As soon as you have identified your piano keys are plastic, clean them with Lint-free clothes, damp with a mixture of vinegar and filtered warm water. Be careful while cleaning not to drip down the sides of the keys.

Dry the keys immediately with another lint-free cloth. Use separate cloths to clean white and black keys to avoid black paint will stick on white keys. Finally, use the dry lint-free cloth to buff all the keys.

Note: Warm water + vinegar solution is the best cleanser for plastic keys, and soap is harmful.

Cleaning Ivory Keys

 There are various methods to clean ivory keys.

The first and easy way to whiten the ivory key is by placing the piano in indirect sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight help to bleach the ivory keys. And the second way is, cleaning the ivory keys with gentle soap. You can also use white toothpaste to brighten the ivory keys, and do not allow the toothpaste to stay on the piano for more than 30 seconds.

With the help of a clean cloth damped with milk,we can polish the keys and dry the keys with another cloth. 

By rubbing the keys with a white vinyl eraser from Top to down vertically, not side to side. Make sure the eraser dust did not go inside or in between the sides of the keys to avoid the cracks in our piano keys.

Rubbing alcohol, Mayonnaise, or yoghurt can also help whitening Since the bacteria present in the food will help bleach the ivory. Use a clean cloth and buff the keys to remove food residues.

What Not To Do

  • Do not clean the keys using chemical cleansers or polishes, as it may cause damage to the key. Use only mild soap.
  • Do not use a paper towel. Use only lint-free clothes and clean properly.
  • Don’t clean side to side. Clean Top to down vertically.
  • Don’t use the same cloth for both white and black areas, otherwise, paint from the black will get smear in white.
  • Don’t use spray disinfectants while cleaning at cold and flu seasons that will crack your piano keys.


Regular Maintenance

Do clean your piano keys regularly with a dampened white cloth. Frequent maintenance or repair is required. Must take care, or residues get drip between the sides of the keys or down into the keyboard, leading to swelling and blocking of keys. Clean it without damaging the piano strings. The piano may get dirt when our hands are not clean when playing the piano, also the oil in our skin, dust and dirt in the surroundings. Without hiring a professional, you can clean your piano on your own.

 If you cannot clean the keys twice in a couple of weeks or atleast in a month frequently, you can dust off once after use with the help of a paintbrush (or) soft-bristled brush. Wash and dry your hands before playing the piano. Your piano will look new after cleaning and buffing, and it is ready to play the magic. Now our piano keys are clean. It’s time to fill your room with wonderful music.


Note: In the case of Antique piano, Consult an expert instead of your attempt. You can mishandle the keys with improper techniques.

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