Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

High Gloss Finishes

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Accutone Piano Service Professional Piano ServicesNew Piano Finishes: Most new pianos are made with a polyester high gloss finish.  If you have one of these, I can recommend some products to help keep the finish looking like new. 

What Do I Need? Since the finish is basically a plastic resin, any product that is intended for plastic will work well.  I recommend products made by Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze, available from Kragen Auto Stores and other automotive and boat stores. #10, #17 and #18 are good products.  You may find other products for plexiglas or lexan, which are suitable also.  Gel Gloss, available in drug stores and supermarkets for use in fiberglass shower stalls, is also a possibility. 

What to Avoid:  What you should NOT USE: Any “Bon Ami”, “Ajax” or other cleanser, Windex, Lemon Oil, Furniture Polish, solvents, cleaning solutions, and other cleaners that leave a residue on the surface. 

Cleaning Cloths: Use only 100% cotton cloths to apply and remove excess polish from the surface, like a diaper, terrycloth, flannel or other soft cloth.  Synthetic fibers may leave micro scratches on the surface. 

Protect the Surface: Be careful not to place any object on the piano without some kind of padding or felt underneath to protect the finish.  The high gloss finish is very soft, and will scratch easily.  The finish is very durable, but if impacted it will shatter. 

Polishing and Repairs: Repair of the polyester finish is possible only by a specialist in this type of repair.  I specialize in buffing and repairing polyester finishes.

Piano Cleaning

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Accutone Piano Service Professional Piano ServicesCleaning: Cleaning the inside of a piano, especially a grand piano, is not as mysterious as it may seem.  Most parts of a piano are rugged, and you need not worry about hurting anything EXCEPT DAMPERS in a grand piano.  The dampers are those black things that rest on top of the strings, and that move when you press the damper pedal.  Be careful not to snag them with a cleaning rag. 

Vacuum: To remove excess dust under the strings, use a hair dryer (Heat OFF!) to blow dust into the left corner where you can vacuum it up or pick it up with a dusting cloth.  Dust sticking to the board under the strings can be removed with special equipment, and this is best done by your technician.  People ask, “Is it better to close up the piano to prevent dust from entering?”  My answer is, dust is like air.  You can’t avoid it.  Up or down doesn’t really matter, it’s up to you.

Keys: Cleaning the keys is best done with some mild cleaner applied with a soft cloth (NEVER SPRAY ANYTHING ON THE KEYS).  If your piano has ivory keys, and they are badly soiled, use “Softscrub” or other mild abrasive cleaner.  Be sure to dry the keys thoroughly afterwards.

Brass: If the brass hardware on the piano is tarnished, I recommend “Brite Boy” brass cleaner.  Note that many brass parts are coated with a plastic or lacquer coating to prevent premature tarnishing.  After some time, the brass may become tarnished in tiny spots which grow larger in time.  The coating must be first removed before the brass can be cleaned and polished.  “Flitz”, a polishing cream, is a good choice for stubborn tarnish, as well as Brasso.  If you have a high polish finish, Brasso may leave a dull finish and residue, so avoid Brasso if you have this type of finish  .

Spills: Be sure not to allow anything to fall inside of your piano, especially anything wet.  If anything spills inside, try to mop it up as soon as possible.  Call a technician immediately to have the piano inspected for damage.  Time is critical here, and long term damage may be avoided by immediate servicing of the piano.  Don’t touch the strings, especially the bass strings, since finger oils will tarnish the strings, .leaving discolored spots on them.