Piano maintenance

To take care of a piano is not that hard but there are some aspects that you need to know in order to optimize your piano's maintenance. Pianos often get detuned and it's because of the factors that make an environment unfriendly. Such factors are: humidity, temperature, and contaminants.


Much of a piano is made of wood, and is therefore extremely sensitive to fluctuations in humidity. The piano's wooden soundboard is designed to have an arch, or crown. The crown increases or decreases with changes of humidity, changing the tension on the strings and throwing the instrument out of tune. Larger fluctuations in humidity can affect regulation, and even cause parts to crack. If humidity changes are extreme, the soundboard can warp so much that it can collapse and lose its crown, which may require rebuilding or replacement of the instrument.

Piano owners can prevent these problems by controlling humidity. Most technicians recommend an indoor relative humidity in the range of 30% to 50%, kept as frequent as possible.  However, even with these precautions, changes in weather can affect indoor humidity. Ideally, a piano owner would use a hygrometer in conjunction with a humidifier and dehumidifier and/or air conditioner/evaporative cooler to keep the humidity of the room housing the piano constant year-round.


Keeping the piano away from air vents, heaters, open windows, open doors, direct sunlight, and the kitchen can help prevent damage, since all these are potential sources of sudden changes in humidity.


Pianos can be easily damaged by liquids. Liquid spills can only damage the exterior finish; however, if a spill reaches the inside of the piano, it can result in costly damage to the action or soundboard. Piano owners should protect their instruments by keeping liquids as far away from the instrument as possible. Dust in between the keys can interfere with the action but can be minimized by keeping the lid closed when the instrument is not being used, however, the lid should be opened at times to ensure air circulation to prevent mold from growing. If a spill occurs, immediate action should be taken by removing the keys, cleaning them in a grease cutting solution and allowing them to dry. Careful disassembly, and reassembly should be taken if done by anyone other than a technician.

Moving a piano is a complicated process. There is risk to the piano, risk of bodily injury to the person moving the piano and other people and risk of damage to other property. Although moving a piano may seem like a simple task, there are hidden factors which compound the process. Pianos are difficult to move and should only be moved by a professional who is careful, properly trained, insured, and has the proper equipment.

An upright piano is the most popular and easier to move than a grand piano. It is moved by lifting the piano and sliding a piano movers' dolly underneath or lifting the piano up onto the dolly. The dolly has a strong frame for moving and large rubber wheels for ease of moving and not scratching the floor. The piano is transported to its new location and removed from the dolly. The piano should be covered to prevent being scratched or damaged.

The wheels attached to the upright piano itself are rarely used for moving, and are primarily used as cosmetic effects. For a studio piano with larger, double wheels, it is only designed for short moves. When moving a studio piano beyond the immediate room or for more than just a few feet, a dolly should still be used.

The better you take care of your piano and its the environment, the longer your piano will last and so will the tuning.