Can you clean piano strings? Can rusty piano strings be cleaned? Should you clean piano strings? Can rusty piano strings affect the musical instrument’s sound? How do you clean piano strings? When it comes to musical instruments such as the piano, it is typical that they can get dusty, dirty, or even rusty after some time, especially if it is not taken care of properly. So, the main question is, can you really clean the piano strings, or maybe you just have to let them be on their own before replacing them? Join us, and let’s find out the truth about it.
Importance Of Piano Strings
Are piano strings really that important? If you are curious whether your piano strings are that important, always remember that the main source of your piano’s sound is its strings. That is how important your piano strings are to your piano. Its piano keys are mounted on its wooden hammers, resulting in it producing a sound when the strings are struck.
It is why your piano strings must be in their optimal condition all the time so that your piano’s sound won’t be heavily affected just because of its non-ideal condition. The sound of your piano can get degraded, buzzing, or muffled if your strings are dirty or rusty, so in the next sections, we are going to find out if you can clean your piano strings or maybe just have to replace them immediately.
Why You Should Clean Your Piano Strings
So, should you clean piano strings? When it comes to cleaning the piano, especially its strings, there are just three things that you should protect them from, and those are dust, dirt, and rust. Surely, the most that you’ll find when opening your piano and looking at it is dust.
Even if you totally cover your piano with cloth, there is still a possibility that it can be still dusty; how much more if you are just letting it out in the open as you place it in your living or entertainment room. Sadly, when it comes to strings, it can be very hard to notice as it is inside your piano and not on its outside. This is why owners rarely clean the inner parts of their pianos, as it can be very complex to open one.
As dust accumulates with time and now has contact with the piano strings, they are usually collected between the piano’s upper strings, resulting in a headache for cleaning. In the end, if the dust won’t be cleaned, it can end up with the strings getting rusty and corroded, which could be the reason for them to break up with time.
Aside from the accumulation of dust, rust can also occur when your piano strings are not protected from moisture. Though moisture is a regular factor, when there is too much moisture, and it is very humid, it can be the main reason that your piano strings could get rusty.
Can Rusty Piano Strings Be Cleaned
So, can rusty piano strings be cleaned? Of course, yes. Although they can be a little bit difficult to do, you can still have your rusty piano strings cleaned. You can hire a piano technician to clean the piano strings for you; however, they can be costly, so if you want to do it on your own, you can follow these steps:
The first thing to do to remove the rust and stains on your piano strings is to secure the materials that will be needed, including a coarse sponge, steel wool, and a piano sanding block. You should also wear a mask, gloves, and goggles to protect your face and hands from getting hurt. Lastly, for finishing, secure a damp cloth.
After securing all the materials, you can start to gently rub against the piano strings using either the sponge, wool, or sanding block. You can include its bridge pins and hitch pins to make sure that you have eliminated all the rust on the strings. Remember to be careful on cleaning the strings, as it can hurt your hand if done improperly.
Do not use oil, grease, or moisturizer on the piano strings, as applying can de-tune or even degrade the strings’ structure, causing weakening and possibly breaking. If you notice that there is already breaking of the piano strings or it is starting to degrade because of the heavy rusting, then you should already replace it with a new one. You can hire a piano technician to do it for you, as replacing the piano strings is an easy task to do.
The last step is to use the damp cloth to wipe the piano strings lightly. Also, include the bridge pins and hitch pins in the cleaning to ensure that there is already no rust on the strings that could be a hassle in the long run.
Can Dusty And Dirty Piano Strings Be Cleaned
To clean the dust and dirt on your piano strings, you should first secure the cleaning materials, such as a feather duster, cotton swabs, and a paint brush with soft bristles. Always wear a mask and goggles to protect your face from getting hurt, while you also wear gloves to avoid cutting your hand, as strings can be sharp.
Use either one of the cleaning materials; however, it would be best if you use the feather duster first to remove the dust on the piano strings. Always remember to be gentle in brushing or dusting out the dirt and dust using your cleaning material to avoid damaging the piano strings. You also shake off your cleaning material every now and then to prevent the spreading of dust and dirt inside the piano.
To clean individual piano strings, you can use cotton swabs or soft micro-fiber cloth for more efficiency. If you prefer to use a brush, always remember that its bristles must be soft to avoid damaging the piano strings, as they can be very costly to replace, and they can be a huge headache too.
Just like cleaning rust on piano strings, you should finish it off using a damp cloth when cleaning the dust and dirt on your piano strings. Still, you should also include its bridge pins and hitch pins to make sure that there is dust and dirt already on your strings.
Things To Avoid In Cleaning Piano Strings
When cleaning piano strings, there are some things that you should avoid to prevent doing more damage to your piano strings, which could end up costing you more. First, always protect yourself by wearing gloves, masks, and goggles. Touching the strings without gloves can leave oil on the strings that will result in them rusting.
Do not also rub the strings hard, especially if you are not wearing a mask and goggles, as the rust can turn into powder, which is dangerous and toxic when inhaled into your body. It can also irritate your eyes; this is why goggles are essential when cleaning your piano strings.
So, can you clean piano strings? Yes, you can clean piano strings. However, you should always wear protective gear to prevent getting wounded or protect yourself from rust powder, which can be pretty dangerous.