How to Clean Piano Keys and Keyboards

Last updated Jan

Many people assume that a piano is a luxury object and only certain people can buy it. Not just the keyboard can bring a musical atmosphere, but it also gives an elegant impression on your home. Even so, after you have a piano, you can’t just play it, but also have to take care of it. The keyboard requires routine care to be able to maintain its beauty and performance in producing beautiful music. Caring for the piano requires knowledge, understanding, and patience in the process, that is a reason why you should learn how to clean piano keys properly.

Keeping and caring for your keyboard is same as maintain your favorite music and instruments that can bring pleasure to your home. There are some things that you must pay attention to preserving and caring for your favorite piano. Maybe it’s not easy at first, but after you get used to it, caring for the keyboard will be fun. Of course, by taking care of it, you can also maintain the durability of your piano for longer.


To always keep your piano in the best condition, you must clean it from time to time regularly. One important part that you should pay attention to is the piano keys. The keys are one of the essential components on the piano. Keys is a part that helps you produce beautiful melodies in every song you play. In cleaning the keyboard, the right time to clean up depends on how often you play it. If you rarely use your piano at home, you can clean it every six months unlike the case with the keyboard used for teaching.

Most piano teachers clean their piano after students use them. Dust caused by constant friction in the piano can enter and accumulate below the key. The powder can collect on the soundboard and around the tuning pins. Of course, it can cause piano performance to be interrupted, and you will not be comfortable by the dust while using it. Make sure your palms are dry and clean before starting to use the piano. Dirty, greasy, or sweaty palms will make dust and dirt stick to frequently used keys and notes. Don’t forget to wash your palms before playing the piano.

The first thing that concerns everyone who sees the piano is the key. Unfortunately, the white key makes dust, dirt, and fingerprints visible. The key color is one factor that requires you to clean the piano keys regularly. Always remember to start cleaning with the lightest technique and then use an invasive method depending on how severe your level of dirtiness is. Ivory keys are sensitive to moisture. Please use dry cleaning cloth when cleaning the smooth surface of the keys. You must be extra careful because if you do it roughly or carelessly, it will have an impact on the surface layer and pigment. Because the piano keys absorb oil and stains, it’s better if you use gloves when playing. There are some ways you can use to clean the piano keys, both on plastic piano keys and ivory keys.


No More Sticky Piano Keys! Learn How to Clean Your Piano Keys Properly


1. How to Clean Plastic Piano Keys

To clean the plastic key, you can use a cleaning solution. You can use one to two drops of dish soap then add warm water. Alternatively, you can use a soft cloth to wipe. Wet the fabric damp and rub it on a bar of soap or you can dip it in a cleaning solution then squeeze the fabric until the water has dripped.

All you have to pay attention to is that the structure should only be moist. Cleaning with a material that is too wet will cause water to seep between the keys and can cause damage to the piano. You are recommended to use a fabric that has white color because the colored fabric can move the dye to the keys. Of course, you don’t want your keys to get colored spots from the material you are using.

For white keys, you can wipe it from top to bottom the button and then back to the front. Do not clean from side to side because it can move dirt and dust between the buttons. Do not wipe backward because this can push dirt into the back of the keys. For black keys, clean using a separate white cloth. Make sure you use two different material when cleaning the black and white keys. This treatment is to prevent when your black color cloth wears off and stains the white keys. Clean the soap residue with a dry cloth and make sure you sweep it with the same movements when you use a damp cloth.

To clean fingerprint beams on keys, you need a different method. You can use vinegar and water solution. The comparison is 1: 4, more for the water. Dip the cloth in the solution then squeeze until the fabric is only moist. Wipe then dry each button separately. Make sure the key is dry before you move on the next button. Sticking vinegar for too long can damage the core. Open the keys cover for a day to eliminate the vinegar’s aroma. To prevent the keyboard from being dusty which makes it necessary for you to frequently clean it, make sure you close the lock after finishing using the keyboard.


2. How to Clean Ivory Piano Keys

To clean the ivory keys, you must avoid the rubbing technique using a brush or scouring brush. Don’t use any chemicals materials because it can damage its valuable surface. Ivory can absorb moisture and chemicals that can make it turn to black. Wear white gloves, better if made from cotton, when cleaning your ivory keys. Do not use colored gloves because it can move the color to the button. Use a soft-bristled brush or soft cloth.

You can use light toothpaste to clean stains and fingerprints that are hard to lose. Gently rub the surface with a white vinyl eraser, do each button separately. Once done, you can clean the remaining eraser with the technique mentioned above.

Excellent steel wool pads can help remove the yellowed parts. Use it gently so as not to damage the surface. The easiest way to keep the color white and the brightness of ivory is by exposure to sunlight. Keep your keys open in a place that is exposed to the sun and let them absorb light. Sunlight can prevent the yellowing of buttons.

Do not use alcohol, detergent or soap to clean ivory keys. You are not allowed to use water. It is because if the liquid or wet steam pass through the piano keys and accumulate over sometime, this will cause the key to becoming rotten and damaged. You’ve probably seen old pianos that have yellow keys, that’s because of the accumulation of moisture for a long time. So there are some tips can help you maintain your piano keys clean and durable. Good luck!

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