Over time, you may notice that your piano does not have the same luster as it once did. The polish my start to fade and some spots may be very dirty or dusty. There are products out there to help with this common problem and we will include videos for you as well on what to avoid. If you have keys that are turning colors, we recommend that you check out our basic guidelines here. When cleaning your piano, we always recommend taking the time to do it right and to make sure any polish does not get on the keys of the piano.
Learning What Finish is on Your Piano
There are two common finishes on pianos and they both need to be cared for in different ways. To avoid any damage to your piano, it is recommended that you determine if your piano has been finished with polymer or lacquer. If you live in North America then it is standard to find that your piano has been finished with lacquer. You can tell if it has a lacquer finish when your piano shares a resemblance with wood furniture. In most cases you will see that wood grain and the surface is more susceptible to blemishes. One of the most common problems with lacquer finishes is the waxy build-up. The finish of your piano can be affected by environment and weather as well.
How to polish your piano: The product that you get to polish your lacquer piano is huge. It is worth spending the extra money to get quality polish instead of using something cheap. When checking the label, make sure to avoid these ingredients. First is lemon oil. Some people would debate this but something to consider is the lemon will eventually weaken your finish and cause build up over time. The second ingredient is silicone. This ingredient can cause serious damage to your pianos finish over time.
When polishing your piano, I recommend a few products. One product that I use is Murphy's Oil Soap. This product is great if your piano has more of a satin finish to it. For a higher gloss surface, it is worth investing in OZ cream polish. Both these products work well.
Tips while applying the polish: The most important and overlooked item is the cloth that you use to apply the polish. This should be very soft and clean. When applying the polish, you should always go with the grain of the wood and be careful around any of the edges and corners. The corners and edges have a thinner layer of finish on them. The last piece of advice here is to make sure not to use a polish that is meant for polymer piano finishes!
How to Care for your Polymer Finish Piano
Polymer finished pianos are usually easy to spot and have a hard finish. Usually, these finishes are reflective and are subject to having fingerprints all over them. The surface is dark and it is very hard to spot the wood grain beneath. The good thing about a polymer finish is that it is resistant to spills and other common wear. The bad part is that you can see scratches that are small easily in the reflective finish among other flaws.
Tips on your polymer finish: Before you worry about trying to apply polish, dust your piano first. In most cases your piano is just dirty and an easy dusting will make a world of difference. If there is still a problem, I recommend you pick up a polymer product from Steinway. Some of the ingredients that you want to avoid using are alcohols or silicone. Both of these will damage the surface. Just like applying any polish, it is a good idea to follow the pattern of the wood grain if you can see it. We have also included other piano care videos below. If you have any other questions, please comment or send us an email.