Whenever I’m cheerfully tuning pianos in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Scarborough, Driffield, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Nottingham, Hull and Manchester (not to mentions the little villages and towns I manage on a regular basis) – what do I often neglect to mention? Piano cleaning.
In most instances, such a lapse of memory is forgivable as the customer will bring it up with me as I first arrive at their home. Sometimes, however, If a piano is particularly dusty and they haven’t mentioned it I’ll take the initiative and politely ask the piano tuning customer if they’d like me to give the action, frame, key bed and the cabinet a thorough dusting and remove any cobwebs or excess dirt with a hoover before the piano tuning. If the dust has made its way into the action this will be even more crucial as too much dust can hinder its performance.
I’ve had some delightful results cleaning the keys with my Cory Care Product ‘Key Brite’ solution, which whitens all ivory, plastic or ebony keys with quick and efficient results, leaving them almost as bright and shiny as new. Most customers are very satisfied with the improvement.
If you have a grand piano that needs cleaning (the soundboards of many older grands can be covered in soot from old chimneys) it can be a little more laborious as a special tool is needed to get between the strings in order to clean it – and this tool only cleans a small section of the board at a time. Alas, hoovers are never powerful enough to suck up the dust from the soundboard (that would be much quicker if it were possible). A strong leaf blower might work, but I don’t have such items in stock – such an item wouldn’t fit in my well-stocked Seat.
Dust doesn’t have much of an affect on the sound of the piano, but it can be visually unappealing and its wise to remove the build up before it gets into the mechanism – if it’s bothering you I’m more than happy to discuss cleaning options before or after your piano tuning booking.
Once a piano has passed its final cleaning inspection, a product I sometimes like to use is Cory’s piano polish. Works really well on the finish of most modern uprights and grands
I could write all day about piano cleaning, just as I could with my Sheffield piano tuning blogs. Fortunately I’ll leave you with the essentials. I have an upcoming blog post about ‘Piano Maintenance’ which will give you the piano tuning customer some advice on how to maintain the piano’s aesthetics, its tuning stability and how to extend its lifespan so you can enjoy playing and looking at it for many years to come.