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Piano Care and Maintenance Tips
Care and maintenance of pianos.
Temperature and humidity.
In positioning your piano, you should strive for evenness of humidity and temperature. Since a piano is made mostly of wood, it is greatly affected by seasonal change. If there is lots of variation in humidity and temperature, your piano will easily go out of tune. Humidity fluctuations can also cause cracking of the wooden soundboard and damage to the finish.
For these reasons you should never put a piano next to a frequently opened outside door or in front of a picture window. Never put it near heating ducts, hot air registers, or radiators. Protect the piano against direct sunlight, humidity and sudden changes in temperature. You need to ensure a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of about 40 percent.
If you can't control the environment of the house, if you can't find a suitable location, consider installing a climate control system in the instrument itself. This will take care of climate-related problems.
If you prize your piano, you will tune it regularly. Domestic pianos should be tuned roughly once every four to six months. For those playing in concert halls the piano is tuned just before every performance. It is important to tune the piano regularly. The longer a piano remains out of tune, the more time and effort a technician will need to restore correct pitch. When moving the piano to a new environment wait a few weeks for it to become acclimated. Only then should you tune it.
Your piano should be cleaned and polished carefully so as to avoid introduction of any fluids into its interior. To avoid the abrasive effect of dust consider using a feather duster rather than a cloth. When a cloth is used it should be soft. You should clean the keys with a sponge dampened with water or a very mild soap. The piano lid should be closed only when necessary. While the lid provides protection when the piano is not in use, it can also lead to yellowing of the white keys.
Take proper care of the inside of your piano. Bug sprays and mothballs should not be used. Don't try to oil it yourself. Don't place drinks and other liquids like cosmetics, any kind of Aerosol, insecticides, paint thinner or petroleum-based products on top of the piano. They can spill inside and cause metal parts to rust and wood parts to stick. A professional should clean the inside once every three years.
Many problems can be prevented by playing your piano frequently. These include the accumulation of dust and rust.
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