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Cleaning piano keys (Read 1559 times)

Offline minhogang

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Cleaning piano keys
« on: March 29, 2016, 08:52:55 PM »
Hello, I'm trying to clear all the bacteria I've put on my piano for the last 2 years. I'm not going to risk using Clorox wipes, as I heard they damage the plastic keys. Online it suggests that I use vinegar with warm water but a pianist of mine was against it. Any thoughts?

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 11:56:03 PM »
I hate to tell you this, but unless you use a very, very powerful, purpose made disinfectant, you will never get all the bacteria off.  You might get 95% off.  Maybe.  But then, as soon as you played it, they'd come right back on.

For more information on disinfection, start with this article: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/Disinfection_Sterilization/4_0efficacyDS.html

I can't think of a disinfectant which won't damage the keys...

However, you can get the keys nice and white again.  Just a damp rag, warm water, and gently rub them and dry them off.  And don't worry about the bacteria -- they're yours, after all.
Ian

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 12:35:11 AM »
many commonly used cleaning chemicals used to eradicate bacteria are quite harmful to organic life generally including humanoid, and to the environment.  these would include chlorine or ammonia based cleaners (and of course never let the two mix or interact which releases highly toxic gas). 

where bacteria are a concern in our house on smooth surfaces, we use seventh generation multi surface cleaner, active ingredient is a thyme oil extract.  can't spray stuff onto a key board of course because of the gaps, but onto a cloth to wipe with.  the thyme oil extract is described as effective against 99%+ of household microcritters including influenza A and common cold viruses, staphylcoccus aureus, salmonella, e.coli, on hard, nonporous surfaces.

Offline quantum

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 01:01:38 AM »
Washing hands before and after playing your piano is an easy way to minimize the cleaning needed for the keys.  It is also a very good protocol to follow when playing public pianos. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline themaximillyan

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 04:19:56 AM »
Use an alcogol or mix 50% alcogol and 50% water. It's work good
https://youtu.be/zT6tw5c5Nys

Offline irrational

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 12:47:06 PM »
I use a simple soft rubber pencil eraser to clean my keys.
It picks up dirt a treat and doesn't damage the ivory.
Just make sure you clean the rubbings off the keys. Use a vacuum clean or open the piano to clean the keys individually

Should work well on plastic too.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Cleaning piano keys
«Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 09:13:24 PM »
I use a low lint paper towel sprayed with Scrubbing bubbles or the family dollar knock off - non-chlorine bathroom cleanser. 
The 1941 Steinway came with really ugly brown stains on two patches of keys.  One reason I got it instead of the local  reseller.  Hasn't come off, but the cellulose tops or whatever it is didn't come off either. 
The plastic keys on the 1982 Sohmer come very clean.  As do the keys on the plastic key Hammond organs, 1964 and later.