What To Use To Clean Digital Piano Keys

Ensuring the highest possible standards of a digital piano depend upon regular maintenance and upkeep. Although digital pianos are renowned for not requiring the level of upkeep that acoustic pianos do, they still need cleaning in certain areas, primarily when used often for piano lessons. One of the areas most prone to dirt and grime is the digital piano keys.

If your piano keys look a bit kempt and feel somewhat greasy, immediate cleaning becomes essential. But were you contemplating cleaning the digital piano keys with the dishwashing liquid under your kitchen sink?

If yes, hold your thought there, as cleaning piano keys requires more thought and care. The few steps mentioned below can help you.

The Basics of Cleaning Digital Piano Keys

To begin with, you should avoid harsh ingredients and gritty fabric while cleaning your piano keys. For instance, avoid products containing alcohol, chlorine, ethanol, benzene, peroxide, or salts, as they contribute to cracking and discoloration.

The adept cleaning of digital piano keys depends upon the cleaning techniques and frequency. There is a common cleaning method for all types of piano keys. In addition, there are alternative cleaning processes vis-a-vis the type of material the keys are composed of.

Plastic keys are the most hassle-free to clean and least sensitive. On the contrary, ivory keys need more attention and are highly sensitive. Cleaning frequency also matters. For instance, if you have to clean the keys of a piano used in a school or choir, the cleaning process should occur routinely every week or two.

However, if the piano instrument is used at home or in a setting with seldom usage, then cleaning it once every few months is more than enough. No matter the situation, the crux remains that a clean piano keyboard is indispensable for its proper functioning and longevity.

A Step-by-step Approach to Cleaning Digital Keys

If you keep your piano in the best possible condition, then follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

The first step is to create a simple solution by mixing a few drops of liquid soap in lukewarm water. Remember to opt for gentle cleaning products. Avoid harsh chemicals. Wash hands after preparing the solution.

Step 2: Clean the White Keys

To clean piano keys properly, take a white, soft cloth and dip it into the solution. After that, gently it all over the white piano keys. It is ideal to go over each key individually. It is a cleaning process that should remove any fingerprints and surface dust luting around the white keys of your keyboard. One pro tip: Use two clothes for the procedure. Use a fiber that is dye-free, soft, clean, and without any grittiness.

Step 3: Clean the Black Keys

Dip a separate cloth in a small bowl comprising the cleaning solution. Ensure to dampen the cloth and not soak it with dish soap liquid. Then, you have to gently rub the cloth over all the black keys one by one. It would be best if you remembered to clean the sides of the keys. Keep repeating the process till your keyboard keys seem squeaky clean.

Step 4: Drying

It is noteworthy to remember that you should wipe the piano keys you play with a dry cloth till the keys are completely dry.

How to Clean Ivory or Ebony Keyboard Keys: A Step-by-step Approach

  • To clean your ivory keys, you must start by wiping all the white keys with a clean and dry microfiber cloth to remove the top layer of dust and debris.
  • Wipe the dry cloth towards yourself, from the top of the keys to the closest edge. It is essential to keep in mind that wiping horizontally can damage or misalign the keys.
  • Ivory keys are porous and prone to damage by specific cleaning methods. Make sure that you use two clothes; one slightly damp and the other completely dry.
  • You should also start cleaning from the lowest white key on the piano and work your up. Remove the dust from the keys by rubbing them back and forth or cleaning the piano keys.
  • Lastly, make sure to dry the areas in between the clean digital piano keys.

You can also use toothpaste for deeper cleansing, but ensure to wipe off every bit of toothpaste and moisture after cleaning. You can also use white vinegar and water for a robust cleaning but do not remember under any situation.

The key is to be extremely gentle with ivory or ebony keys. In keeping the keys white, you should not use stripping ingredients or harsh chemicals and only opt for mild detergent.

How to Clean Plastic Keyboard Keys: A Crisp Overview

The best thing about a plastic piano key is its resilience. Thus, you can use other items like vinegar and lemon juice to clean the piano keys. Like ebony piano keys, you have to clean your plastic keys with a soft, damp cloth with soapy water. Then, wipe the damp white cloth over the plastic keys gently.

One pro tip is to place a piece of cardboard between the keys to prevent dust or moisture from accumulating between the keys and creating further issues. Always turn off your piano before cleaning, in case it is electric. In addition, when you are cleaning it, do not pour the solution directly onto the keys.

It is a huge mistake that can force water between the keys, damage your piano, and make playing challenging. Furthermore, although plastic piano keys are durable, you should keep scrubbing agents and gritty fabric at bay, as they can scratch the keys.

How to Make Piano Keys White Again?

As a piano collects dust, the keys can lose their natural color. It mainly happens due to the oxidation of the white paint job. If you want to make your piano keys white again, the following steps can help-

  • Use Vinegar - Take half a cup of white vinegar and add two cups of warm water, then follow the cleaning mechanism mentioned above. Take a damp and soft washcloth to gently wipe the keys, and then use a dry and soft cloth to remove any moisture or vinegar.
  • Use a Whitening Toothpaste - You can also opt for a toothpaste solution to revamp the pearly white color of your piano keys. Put some white toothpaste containing baking soda on a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently rub it on the piano keyboard.

    The trick is to be mellow and mild, as harsh scrubbing can deteriorate the paint job. Then, remember to remove the excess and soak the leftover moisture from all the keys.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Piano Keys in an Immaculate Condition

Playing the piano always feels best when it is squeaky clean. In addition to the points mentioned above, you can follow some tricks and tips to ensure that your precious digital keyboard is in good condition.

  • A proper piano cleaning mechanism should always start with dusting. You can use a soft cloth and dry fabric to clean your piano free of dirt or residue.
  • Always cover your piano with a felt sheet when not in use. Keeping the piano covered when not used is important to keep dirt and grime at bay.
  • Provide your piano with some much-needed Vitamin D by placing it in indirect sunlight. A good piano cover comes in handy in such situations.
  • Wash your hands before playing the piano keyboard.

Wrapping it Up

So, there we have it, a crisp overview of how to clean the digital keys of your precious piano. The steps are simple. And we must remember that when you play a well-maintained piano, its melody becomes all the more prominent.

Lastly, check the user's manual that comes with your piano before starting the cleaning mechanism.

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Harlan Kilstein began playing piano during covid with no piano background at all. He taught himself how to play learning what to do and what not to do.
Today he's an advanced intermediate player and can help you grow in your skills because he learned all this on his own.