Dusting the soundboard of your grand piano

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

Spring is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for deep cleaning. You may remember to dust the blinds and vacuum the baseboards, but did you remember to clean your piano? Really clean it? 


It’s just not about looks

Dusting your grand piano’s soundboard may be an easy task to forget, but it’s very important to maintaining your grand piano’s overall health. Dust is unsightly, yes, but years of grime is enough to impair the overall sound of your piano. The strings need to vibrate freely and the sound needs to bounce off the smooth surface of the soundboard. A thick layer of dust and grime dampens the sound, reducing the quality of the tone.

 

It definitely pays to keep your piano clean.


Dusting your soundboard, however, is a delicate process. The pins are precisely tuned and the strings are under tons of tension at all times. Bumping into these parts can be problematic, and scratching the soundboard will leave you with permanent marks, so choose wisely when selecting a duster. Here are some of our top recommendations:


For large grand pianos

 

This 50-inch soundboard sweeper reaches across the entire soundboard and makes cleaning inside the piano’s iron frame a snap. This extra-long duster makes cleaning even the grandest grand quick and easy. 

 


Everyday cleaning

 

Long, flexible, and covered with a machine washable microfiber sleeve, this duster deserves a place in your housekeeping arsenal. This one is perfect for quickly brushing away thin layers of dust and debris. If you have a cat that sheds, you’ll probably use this one a lot. 

 


Deep cleaning and detailing

 

Spurlock is unsurpassed when it comes to detail work. This nifty little device comes in three sizes and is made to squeegee the dust and grime from even the toughest to reach places. For cleaning very dirty pianos or those that have accumulated grease, this is the best tool for the job hands down.

 


Cleaning the pinblocks

 

Pinblocks have a way of attracting dust and holding onto it. To keep your piano showroom clean and easy to maintain, we recommend using a pinblock cleaning brush that’s designed to do the job safely and thoroughly.


What NOT to use

Whatever you do, DON’T spray any household cleaners on your soundboard or use rough paper towels. It pains us to even think about it!


DIY cleaners may get the job done, but they’ll also make your soundboard look like it was attacked by a pack of feral cats. Don’t try this at home.


You may have noticed some cheaper soundboard dusters on the market. You may save money, but it’s one of the worst choices you can make when caring for your piano. It has sharp steel edges to make sure your soundboard gets scratched to bits. If you’re bothered by dust, wouldn’t a mess of indelible scratches be even worse? Sure, you could promise to be super careful when you clean, but if you ask us, it’s just not worth the risk.


The bottom line

Your piano is an investment. It’s likely the centerpiece of your home or business and it deserves to be treated as such. Use good-quality cleaning tools to reach those tricky corners without causing damage and enjoy years of beautiful music. 


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