Maintenance

Maintaining your upright or grand piano

The mechanical part: action mechanism, keys and pedals
A piano’s internal action mechanism is crucial for its sound production and character. Little felted hammers, hinging in nifty little bearings, have to find their way to the strings flawlessly, thousands of times. Between hammers and keyboard (keys) exists a complex, purely mechanical transfer system for each key, which, depending on the frequency with which it is used, is subject to a certain amount of wear.

In case of less serious issues, we recommend that you consult your tuner, who can usually mend the problem. When in doubt, don't hesitate to contact your piano tuner! Moreover, the tuner is supported by the company's technical service. The only mechanical parts you can maintain yourself are the keyboard and pedals. The keyboard can be cleaned by wiping it with a damp cloth and rubbing it dry with a soft dry cloth. Please don't use ethanol or other caustic cleaning products! The pedals can be polished with copper cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. Make sure, however, that the copper cleaner doesn't come into contact with the case surrounding the pedals, as this may leave white marks. 

The only mechanical parts you can maintain yourself are the keyboard and pedals.

  • The keyboard can be cleaned by wiping it with a damp cloth and rubbing it dry with a soft dry cloth. Please don't use ethanol or other caustic cleaning products!
  • The pedals can be polished with copper cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. Make sure, however, that the copper cleaner doesn't come into contact with the case surrounding the pedals, as this may leave white marks.

The upright and grand piano as a piece of furniture: the case
Naturally, an upright or grand piano’s look is very important to you..
The instrument's casing is no different from any other piece of furniture with a high-gloss, stained or other type of finish. Therefore, it is difficult to give general maintenance advice regarding your instrument’s casing: the type of finish it was given in the factory determines the type of maintenance it requires. Below, we have listed a number of types of maintenance.

Case maintenance in new upright and grand pianos:  

  • High-gloss black polyester finish: dust with a soft feather duster and polish once a year with a silicone-based high-gloss polish, such as Yamaha's Unicon Polish. Small scratches can be removed using polyester polish. Both these polishes are available at Clavis.
  • Wood casings with a regular lacquer finish: dust with a soft cloth or feather duster, and once a year, gently rub the casing with linseed oil or a fairly thin maintenance oil for lacquered furniture.

Case maintenance in older pianos: 

  • High-gloss black French polish: dust with a soft cloth or feather duster and polish once a year with a polish which DOES NOT contain silicones. This polish is available at Clavis.
  • Wood casings with a regular lacquer finish: dust with a soft cloth or feather duster, and once a year, gently rub the casing with linseed oil or a fairly thin maintenance oil for lacquered furniture. Mind you, you should always try the maintenance oil on a test area somewhere out of view, to assess how the oil takes on the coloured lacquer finish. If, in 24 hours, stains have formed due to an uneven take of the oil on the lacquer, then stop! In that case, just leave it – don’t do anything else.