First of all, have your piano tuned regularly. Twice a year minimum.
Ask your technician to do a minor “touch-up” regulation at each tuning. This will prevent most instances of unnecessary wear and breakage. Have a full regulation done every 2 to 5 years. You’d be surprised at how your piano should have sounded and responded to you playing all these years.
Keep plants, vases, drinks, or anything to do with liquid off the piano. Condensation can ruin the finish, and spillage of liquids into the inner mechanism can result in irreversible damage.
To prevent scratches on the finish, never place objects on your piano without a soft cloth or felt.
Don’t use furniture polish to clean your piano. It can soften the finish if overused, and the silicone & oils present in many household brands can even contaminate the wood, despite what the labels may say. Just feather-dust the piano first (dust is abrasive, so wiping it first can cause scratches), then wipe with a soft, damp cotton cloth, wiping in the direction of the grain. Then, wipe up any excess moisture with a similar dry cloth.
Do the same thing as above to clean your keys, or just a small amount of denatured alcohol, but use separate cloths for the blacks and the whites. Avoid any liquid running down the sides of the keys. This is fine for ivory or plastic key tops. Don’t use cleaning agents!
If more thorough cleaning and polishing is desired, special polishing products are available through piano technicians, and they are made specifically for piano finishes.
Check in next week for more tips, hints & ideas to take care of your piano!