Piano Care Tips

A tip from the Doctor: " It's always good to leave a container of water inside/underneath of your piano (8"long x 4-5"wide) from Christmas to Easter in order to prevent dryness from damaging it. "

Piano Care Tips

Pianos are sensitive objects which when looked after can give many years of enjoyment but need a few simple things to keep them happy.

Mike with his father Hank Makkreel

Ideal Position
  • Keep out of direct sunlight. (This fades the polish and causes heat extremes)
  • Keep away from direct sources of heat such as: Radiators, Open fires, and Heat Vents
  • Keep away from strong draughts and sources of extreme dampness.
Ideal conditions for a piano:
  • An ambient temperature of not more than 20 degrees C (68 Fahrenheit)
  • Humidity should be between 45% to 55%
  • Humidity Below 40% may cause your piano to dry out - glue joints break on keys and loosen action parts!
  • Humidity above 70% can cause action parts to seize up - you will get sticking notes and sluggish action. It can cause metal parts to rust and mildew may form on some parts of the piano: Destorying felts effecting the soundboard.
  • Our professional technicians recommend a humidifier system installed into your piano. See Piano Saver Systems and register your product for the warranty.
  • We have installed and maintain a number of systems for a variety of our clients including 5 full piano humidifier systems for the music department at Brock University.
Piano care during the winter months:

Place a jug of water 6" x 8" inside your piano in front behind the bottom board, located near the peddles. Keep filled from December till March. This will keep the working parts from getting loose and drying out.

For the Pin Block:

If your piano is not holding long lasting tunings and the Pin Block is dryed out, place two cans of water in the lower back side of the piano or even behind it. If possible, drape a piece of cloth or burlap over the entire back side to hold the humidity in. This will allow for the water/humidity to stay inside the piano, and prevent it from being absorbed into the outside air. Please note: this method should only be used for pianos with loose pins that are not holding their tuning.

  • Casework

    For wood finishes: use Old English furniture polish or Walnut Mohawk scratch cover to enhance the beauty of your piano. Just use a soft cloth and rub over gently. All products are also available in our store.

    Modern polyester finishes really only need a soft cloth to polish off any finger marks and dust. DO NOT use cleaning products as they may harm the finish. Use turtlewax ultra (clear not green) or use the suggested polyester polish. All products are also available in our store.


  • Keys:

    Use a damp cloth with some non-abrasive cleaner (Eg. Windex, Vinegar and Water). Avoid using one with ammonia as this may harm the casework or dissolve the blackness of the sharps. Don't allow any moisture to get down between the keys, otherwise they may swell up and stick/warp.

    Once ivory becomes yellowed it is very difficult to bring it up to white again, as the discolouration goes through the grain.

    Yellowing is caused from ivory being in the shade for long periods. Makkreel Piano, provides ivory pieces for piano restoring at $5.00 each, some cheaper based on colour and size. We also provide and instruction sheet on what glue should be used and for cleaning ivories. Please contact us, and we will be happy to email this to you.

    Take a look at our Ebay deals for ivory pieces if you are looking to buy new keys.

Disposing of Your Piano

If you are disposing of your piano please contact us. We will take it away for recycling. Please call for pricing.