March 2, 2023
Piano Care And Maintenance
We will help you take the appropriate steps for the care and maintenance of your instrument.
Whether you regularly treat your guests to the vibrant sound of your Steinway piano or it is an inherited piece that acts as the centrepiece of your home, you must take the appropriate steps to care for and maintain your instrument.
Read on for our expert advice on keeping your prized instrument in top condition.
Why do pianos need regulation and maintenance?
Your Steinway piano is made up of over 12,000 parts, ranging from small felt circles to its iconic continuous rim. Your piano requires regular maintenance to keep these thousands of parts working together in perfect harmony.
If you do not get your piano regularly tuned and regulated, you will find that its tonal quality deteriorates over time.
How to take care of your piano
There are two aspects to caring for your piano: keeping it clean and maintaining its working order. Follow these tips to take proper care of your piano.
The bridge is made from vertically laminated maple wood, chosen for its density and hardness. These qualities allow string energy to travel easily to the soundboard and ensure it is strong enough to withstand the pressure applied by string tension, offering stability to the instrument’s structure.
You should regularly get your piano tuned by a professional tuner or technician, ideally at least twice a year. It is important to keep the pitch at A-440, as changes can affect its sound.
Servicing, regulation and voicing
The action and keys also need regular servicing. You should get your instrument serviced after one year of use and every three to five years afterwards.
Servicing ensures your piano plays perfectly, with the tone and touch maintained at the optimum level. Regulation ensures the touch is responsive and voicing guarantees the hammers are adjusted to create a clear sound with fantastic dynamic range.
While Steinway pianos are made using only the best materials by expert craftspeople, they may occasionally require repairs or a part replacement. This includes cracks, missing parts or broken strings.
We recommend that only genuine Steinway parts are used for replacements and that trained technicians carry out repairs.
The right conditions
It is essential to store your piano in the correct conditions for its materials. As your instrument is made predominantly from wood and felt, it is highly sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity.
The ideal temperature for a piano is 20°C and humidity between 45% and 70%. Keeping the piano at a consistent temperature and humidity will keep the tuning and regulation stable and prevent cracks in the soundboard from forming.
You can use a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor these conditions and control the humidity using a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Exactly where you place your piano can impact its condition. Avoid placing your piano in direct sunlight or heat, such as by a window, an outside door or a radiator.
Don’t use your piano to display picture frames or other items, as putting objects on its surface can damage its finish.
General cleaning guidelines
You can clean the exterior of your piano at home with the proper precautions. Use this handy list to maintain your Steinway grand, baby or upright piano’s beautiful appearance:
• Regularly dust the piano with a soft cloth.
• You can wipe polished surfaces lightly with a microfiber cloth.
• If you notice dirt, use a cloth dampened with a dilute mixture of mild, basic detergent and water, and test this on a small area of the piano first.
• Avoid using abrasive materials and chemicals, such as alcohol, that could damage your piano’s delicate finish.
• Clean the keys by wiping them with a cloth very lightly dampened with water. Avoid using solvents on both the black and white keys.
• Make sure not to let get any water soak between the keys.
• We recommend you avoid waxing or polishing your piano.
Dust may also build up inside your piano. In this situation, or if you have experienced a problem with pests like moths or silverfish, we recommend hiring a trained technician to clean the inside of your piano.