There are many delicate working parts in a piano whatever the size, and each bends uniquely to the will of its environment and the demands of those who play it. Observing a few piano care tips will help safeguard your instrument and realize the best sound, touch and feel your piano can achieve.
Engage a piano technician who is able to answer all of your questions, and with whom you feel comfortable. Consistency is key, as having the same person service your piano year after year will yield the best results; over time, this technician will become well adept at understanding all its quirks and nuances.
Adjustment of the tensions of the piano strings. It is recommended to tune your piano at least once every six months (twice a year) at a minimum. However, if your piano is being played more frequently than an average user and/or you’re living in an environment where you experience all four seasons, every three months (four times a year) would be optimal.
Adjustment of the piano’s action. Minor regulation can be done when you are having the piano tuned. On average, a full regulation needs to be done every 2-5 years. However, just like tuning, how often you do this is more dependent on your piano, how often it is played, and the climate.
Adjustment of the piano’s tone or sound. The hammers control the piano’s distinct sound or voice, and over a period of time wear down. After a technician has ensured the piano is properly tuned and the expression or tone is still not quite right, then he/she can treat the felt hammers to achieve the quality you are looking for.
To maintain the original finish, avoid direct sunlight. Dust can cause abrasions and scratches on your piano, so it is best to use a feather duster or some other gentle dust picker-upper. Then apply a soft damp cloth to gently wipe the piano, followed by a dry cloth to finish. Avoid all polishes as they can soften the wood.
If you are still experiencing some stubborn fingerprints—smudges or other undesirable muck—and the damp cloth wasn’t enough, it may help to use a tiny amount of mild soap.
Often people see their pianos as an extension of their furniture. And because of this, it is tempting to put plants, beverages or other items on top of them. This is a bad idea. No matter how careful or well intentioned—accidents can happen.
Think of this part as Goldilocks’ preference: not too cold, not too hot; not too humid, not too dry; just right. Either extreme can cause the piano to go out of tune—or worse, damage any number of parts. Therefore, temperature regulation is just as necessary for the longevity of your piano and the quality of its sound as all the other maintenance treatments.
If your environment is difficult to maintain, consider using a humidifier/dehumidifier in the room or a humidity-control system directly with the piano. In addition, keep the piano from heating and air conditioning sources such as vents and radiators.
Keep your piano properly ventilated.