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Cleaning the inside a grand piano. #1426528
04/29/10 01:44 PM
04/29/10 01:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8
L
luvidols Offline OP
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luvidols  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8
Hi everyone I am a newbie and just recently purchased a grand, but the inside is quite dusty. So I just wanted to ask are there any methods or tools on ways to clean the inside of a grand piano? The hard to reach areas just as under the strings. Is it as simple as just getting a blower and blowing the dust out?

thanks everyone

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Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: luvidols] #1426538
04/29/10 02:09 PM
04/29/10 02:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
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Brandon_W_T  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Ive always just vacuumed it out. I suppose using a can of air, then quickly vacuuming it up afterwards, it would work great!

I always forget, I have an air compressor with a handheld trigger in the garage. I might try bringing that in and blasting the insides out of the baldwin. But its a small compressor and takes forever to recharge.


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Brandon_W_T] #1426556
04/29/10 02:44 PM
04/29/10 02:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 67
D
doerayme Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
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Are you sure Brandon? Sounds abit too risky using the air compressor. You don't want to ruin anything and cry later!

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: luvidols] #1426564
04/29/10 03:00 PM
04/29/10 03:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,342
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,342
Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted by luvidols
Is it as simple as just getting a blower and blowing the dust out?


Nothing is ever that simple on a forum filled with obsessed fans with strong opinions. laugh

Some people do use a leaf blower and say it works great. Others recoil in horror and utter dire warnings about oil etc. getting accidentally sprayed into the piano and on the soundboard.

Some people use the compressed air thingy you can buy for computers. Others recoil in horror and utter dire warnings about making sure that none of the chemical stuff that creates the cold air comes out too and gets accidentally sprayed into the piano and on the soundboard.

Piano techs have a specialized tool that they can slip between the strings to dust off the soundboard. I'd recommend that you let your tech clean it out for you. I imagine you'll be bringing him/her out to tune the piano at the least, in addition to whatever repairs/regulation work it needs.

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Monica K.] #1426592
04/29/10 03:41 PM
04/29/10 03:41 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,963
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline
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Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

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Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Steve Cohen] #1426603
04/29/10 04:02 PM
04/29/10 04:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 103
New York
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dglo Offline
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New York
I know I created quite a dust-up on this subject several months ago. I use a battery-powered leaf blower (no chemicals, no oil) that I bought for a reasonable price on Amazon. It blows out the dust from every nook and cranny, and has not done any damage at all to the other parts of the instrument. For me, it's a great solution. I tried all the smaller tools that get in between the strings, etc. But they were tedious and messy, and you couldn't reach all the parts. So this once-a-month blow job works just great!

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: dglo] #1426633
04/29/10 04:32 PM
04/29/10 04:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,291
chicago, il
Entheo Offline
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Entheo  Offline
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chicago, il
Originally Posted by dglo
I know I created quite a dust-up on this subject several months ago. I use a battery-powered leaf blower (no chemicals, no oil) that I bought for a reasonable price on Amazon. It blows out the dust from every nook and cranny, and has not done any damage at all to the other parts of the instrument. For me, it's a great solution. I tried all the smaller tools that get in between the strings, etc. But they were tedious and messy, and you couldn't reach all the parts. So this once-a-month blow job works just great!


LOL

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Entheo] #1426695
04/29/10 05:41 PM
04/29/10 05:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
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Brandon_W_T  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Haha.

The air compressor isn't all that powerful. I just release around 60 psi, so the air stream isn't too high. I wont be spraying directly into the action, rather the soundboard, pins, and bridges.

Ill definitely be buying that duster though!

smile


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Brandon_W_T] #1426732
04/29/10 07:05 PM
04/29/10 07:05 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,755
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
I was taught to pull the action out of the instrument, blow out the dust with a shop-vac, and use a cloth and flexible piece of steel to clean off the soundboard. I definitely wouldn't blow dust and dirt around with the action in place.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: luvidols] #1426790
04/29/10 09:30 PM
04/29/10 09:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,405
SouthWest Michigan
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Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Roger Ransom  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,405
SouthWest Michigan
Here's what I and several of my friends and customers use.

Simple to use, inexpensive and will not cause any damage at all.

A good solution for us.

http://www.spurlocktools.com/id32.htm


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Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Roger Ransom] #1426796
04/29/10 09:40 PM
04/29/10 09:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Brandon_W_T  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
My rainbow vacuum used to have this neat thin, long extension tube, so you could get under refrigerators and stuff. I bet if I still had it, I could have used it to get under the strings easily.


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: dglo] #1426819
04/29/10 10:46 PM
04/29/10 10:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member
crogersrx  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by dglo
I know I created quite a dust-up on this subject several months ago. I use a battery-powered leaf blower (no chemicals, no oil) that I bought for a reasonable price on Amazon. It blows out the dust from every nook and cranny, and has not done any damage at all to the other parts of the instrument. For me, it's a great solution. I tried all the smaller tools that get in between the strings, etc. But they were tedious and messy, and you couldn't reach all the parts. So this once-a-month blow job works just great!


Yes, I remember that funny thread about the leaf blower!! I am one of those that recoil in horror thinking of it. I just invision damper heads flying all over the room!! Of course, I am still licking my wounds over the $4000 for a new damper system I recently paid out on my restored grand, so I'm a bit sensitive on the issue.

When I first bought the piano I have now, it was horribly dusty on the inside. I had the wild idea of cleanign the soundboard too. Since I didn't have an air compressor or a battery powered leaf blower, I just used some Swiffer duster thingies. I dusted as much on the edges as I could easily get, then pulled the fluffy thing off the handle and gently and tediously used a chopstick to push it around and pick up the dust. I also used a sable paint brush to brush dust off of the bridges and other nooks and crannies. It was tedious, but it worked.

I'm sure I've horrified some people over using a treated dusting cloth on the soundboard, but it seemed to work without any problem. No tarnishing noted on the strings.


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: crogersrx] #1427436
04/30/10 09:25 PM
04/30/10 09:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,126
Texas
TX-Dennis Offline
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TX-Dennis  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,126
Texas
My tech, when I asked this question, suggested removing the action and using an air compressor to blow the dust out occasionally. I bought a cheap electric leaf blower at Wal Mart, and use that instead. It works quite well, and no damage. Perhaps it's not for the "faint of heart", though. As dglo so humorously put it, the "blow job" works wonders. grin

Last edited by TX-Dennis; 04/30/10 09:26 PM.

Dennis
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Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: TX-Dennis] #1427445
04/30/10 09:51 PM
04/30/10 09:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,931
Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Varcon  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,931
Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
There was an article in a now defunct magazine (music) where Henry Steinway suggested the use of a leaf blower to clean soundboard and under the plate. I think I have a copy of it somewhere. Creates a lot of dust so be prepared for that to settle somewhere. Perhaps a netting of some kind could catch most of it.

I did, at a suggestion on another thread about cleaning the soundboard, buy a flexible plastic rod with a soft cloth cover to slide and clean and then wash the cloth. Works well.

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Roger Ransom] #1427449
04/30/10 09:56 PM
04/30/10 09:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Whittier, Calif
Roxy Offline
Full Member
Roxy  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Whittier, Calif
So everyone blows the dust around before they vacum? Not just vacum? Is that because the vacum is not strong enough to suck it all out?

Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Roxy] #1427454
04/30/10 10:04 PM
04/30/10 10:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Brandon_W_T  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Well if your vacuum aint strong enough.... you need a new good vacuum. laugh Like a tristar, or a rainbow...
If you need help getting one of them... just give me a holler... Ive got a few vacuums laying around my house... say about 14.


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: Brandon_W_T] #1427509
04/30/10 11:32 PM
04/30/10 11:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,691
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Offline
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PianoWorksATL  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,691
Atlanta, GA
For cleaning a piano, I like the vacuum hose and a paintbrush to sweep the dust/debris loose and into the mouth of the hose. For under the strings, you can use the soundboard steel & cloth like terminaldegree suggested or there is another product we've sold. Soundboard Duster for around $20.

For detailed work around the plate or on accessible parts of the soundboard, we use Murphy's Oil Soap and lots of Q-tips (when it is more than a maintenance cleaning).


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: Cleaning the inside a grand piano. [Re: PianoWorksATL] #1427663
05/01/10 08:22 AM
05/01/10 08:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 165
Texas
B
BGJ Offline
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BGJ  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
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Texas
Carefully blowing the soundboard off annually from the action end towards the tail with an electric leaf blower is great to prevent dust buildup. There are several tools these days to dust off or even lightly wash the soundboard if blowing is not enough. The old standard was a "soundboard steel" which you could attach a cloth to the end and use it dry dust or damp to clean with. The newer tools are easier and better. My experience is that annual blowing keeps it very nice and then more active cloth dusting or damp washing is only needed every 5 or so years to keep it really clean. If you need to use liquid keep the cloth or cleaner barely damp with water, or if water is not enough use very diluted Murphys wood oil soap. Do not let things stay wet or even damp, dry immediately after using water with dry cloths or blow it out again.


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