When you think of unsanitary places or objects in your home, your piano probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind. Maybe you should have a look under your keyboard.
The space under the keys of your piano is typically a very dirty place. There’s no easy way to clean it, and you can’t
see the dirt that’s there. So most piano owners simply ignore it. Over 10 or 20 years, a lot of accumulation happens down there. It’s collecting dust, dry skin, cat hair and anything else that might be small enough to slip through the cracks.
This might seem harmless enough (if a little disgusting), but dirt accumulation over time has two unpleasant side effects.
First, the dirt under your keys can gum up the works. Consistent play depends on the piano’s keys and action working properly, and an ill-placed toothpick can cause problems. Second and more concerning is that every time you play the piano, you stir up the dirt that is underneath. All of those dust mites and particles then get kicked up into the air. If you’ve got allergies, that can make playing your piano pretty unpleasant.
Now, this is far from the worst issue that you can have with the family piano. Check out the rest of our blog for all of the other things that can go wrong. But it can be a nuisance, and if you have an 80-year-old piano it might be a good idea to get all of that nastiness swept out of there. I’ll explain how we handle it.
There isn’t really an easy way to get this clean without taking the keys off, which is why most piano owners just don’t bother. A technician cleans under the keys by carefully disassembling the keyboard. Once the keys are out it’s as simple as vacuuming. It’s the disassembly that requires care.
As usual, cleaning under the keys is a service that works well with other piano care issues. With the keyboard off, a technician can inspect some of the felt parts to see if any are damaged and need repair or replacement.