What's the Proper Way to Clean My Piano Keys?

By Jo Ann Vick


Piano keys become dirty over time, which is not surprising with all the oil on our skin. The polished surfaces get worn down, especially on the keys played so frequently. Washing your hands before playing is a big help but doesn't make the problem dissappear completely.

Here are a few tips for cleaning your keys:

1.  Avoid store-bought chemicals or furniture polish. Instead use a mild soap diluted with filtered water.
2.  Always use a soft cloth and never use paper towels.
3.  Cloths should only be dampened, and keys should be wiped towards you rather than side-to-side
      to prevent liquid from getting between the keys.
4.  Clean and dry one octave at a time before moving onto the next.
5.  Avoid colored cloths that may bleed when liquid is applied. That color can easily discolor
      your white piano keys and is very difficult to get off.
6.  Use separate cloths on black keys, or just clean them last. The paint from the black keys can be
      transferred onto the white keys.
7.  To disinfect your keys, use a solution comprised of 3 parts filtered water to 1 part white vinegar.

Jo Ann Vick is a private piano instructor with 20 years of training and performing experience
and has a home based studio in Frisco, Texas. Her mission is to develop in others, a love
for playing the piano. Her website is located at

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