Can You Polish Piano Pedals? (Explained)

If you own a piano, you may be curious about how to keep them in tip-top shape. Piano pedals are almost always in contact with your feet, and if you play frequently, your pedals will begin to show signs of aging due to overuse. 

You’ll probably think how your once-shiny, glossy pedals became dull, pallid, and washed out. Although this is natural and has little to no effect on your playing experience, with little effort, nothing can go wrong with frequent maintenance to keep those pedals shiny and in pristine condition once again. 

Do Piano Pedals Need To Be Polished?

Consider the pedals on your piano as you would any other pedal. They all have one thing in common – our feet and shoes often rub up against them, thus, creating wear and tear. The dirt from our shoes, as well as the dust from the environment, might make that glossy shine from your pedals fade over time.

Technically, it’s not really a requirement to polish piano pedals. It all comes down to personal preference. For others, minor dusting or using a damp cloth is sufficient enough. 

However, if you want to go the extra mile and restore your piano pedals to the condition they were in when you originally had them, then you might as well consider polishing them from time to time just to bring back that glossy feel.

What Can You Use To Polish Piano Pedals?

Piano pedals are usually made from brass because of their durability and their golden tinge that give the piano a more vintage appearance and feel. In other digital pianos, chrome-finished pedals are also used. This has some sort of metallic-gray color, is lighter in weight, and easily conceals scratches and other imperfections as compared to brass.

Before deciding what type of polish to use, make sure that you know what your pedal is made of and purchase a polish that’s intended for that specific material. It’s a good idea to keep your brass pedals lacquered to keep them from tarnishing.

People have varying opinions on how they prefer to polish their pedals. Make sure to invest in a high-quality polish to get the best results and to minimize the frequency of re-applying them again. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to clean and polish your piano pedals.

Things you need:

  • Dusting Tool
  • Dry and Damp Cloth, preferably microfiber
  • Pedal Polish
  • Cardboard 

Instructions:

  1. Place cardboard or rag on the floor, underneath the pedals.

Using cardboard or a rag helps to keep the work area clean. This avoids extra cleaning later on when you’re finished polishing. 

  1. Start by lightly dusting off any dirt on your piano pedals.

This is to remove debris and dust from the piano pedals. If you use a damp cloth while there is dust in your pedals, it will just clump those specks of dust together because of the water and will be much more difficult to remove. 

  1. Once visible dirt has been removed, you can start by wiping the pedals with your damp cloth if there is any dirt left.

It is important to remember that before applying any form of metal polish, make sure the pedals’ surface is completely clean and free of any dirt. Make sure to clean the “heel” of the pedals as well. Even though they are not on the surface, dirt and grime can still accumulate in that area.

  1. After you’ve cleaned the surface, wait for it to dry first before applying the metal polish.

This ensures that your polish sticks to the piano pedals completely. Apply an ample amount of metal polish in circular motions throughout the entire pedal. Tape the edges of the pedals to protect the polish from spreading to other parts of the piano aside from the area you intend to apply them.

Any surface scratches will be filled in with a high-quality metal polish, letting the brass or chrome’s stunning sheen shine through. 

Be careful not to go overboard with the polish and do not let it get inside the mechanism to avoid any unwanted outcomes such as corrosion or damage to the part and possible squeaking noises.

  1. Allow it to sit for 1-2 minutes before rubbing the polish away with a dry microfiber cloth or paper towel.

Giving it time to sit ensures that the polish really sticks into the pedal and has time to work its magic. 

Widely Used Pedal Polish Brands:

  1. Brasso 
  2. Simichrome 
  3. Noxon 7 
  4. Flitz

Are Piano Pedals Slippery If They Are Polished?

A newly polished piano pedal shouldn’t be slippery. But there are certain factors such as applying too much polish and not letting it dry or wiping it off can cause your piano pedals to become slippery when used. Certain footwear may also lead to your feet slipping on these pedals. 

To avoid slippery pedals, just make sure that you only apply an ample amount of polish. Let it dry or wipe it off with a paper towel or a microfiber cloth before using it.

This will not only prevent them from becoming slippery but it will also guarantee that the polish adheres to the pedals, giving them a gleaming finish and reducing the frequency of re-applying again.

Is It Bad If I Don’t Polish My Piano Pedals?

Polishing your piano pedals is not a mandatory step, so it’s not really much of a big deal if you don’t do it. Besides, some people actually prefer the worn-out appearance as something like a badge of honor.

Those signs of wear and tear are the fruits of their efforts. Some people, on the other hand, want to keep their piano pedals looking as close to their original state as possible. 

Whether you polish your piano pedals or not is entirely up to you. It won’t affect your playing experience, which is what really matters.

It all just comes down to how you want them to look and to what extent you want them to be maintained. Some just do the regular wiping with water and cloth, while others add the extra step of polishing them to bring back the pedals’ previous luster. 

Final Remarks

A piano is not only an instrument present in people’s homes, schools, or theaters, but it can also be used as an elegant piece of furniture to help complement a room. It’s somewhat the focal point of a place and the piano is often the first thing you notice once you enter a place.

Hence, there is no doubt that people would want to go to extra lengths just to keep their pianos well-maintained from top to bottom. 

If you want to keep the piano pedals in tip-top condition after applying the metal polish, you might consider using a pedal cover for when you’re not using the piano or socks instead of shoes anytime you intend to use it.

This will keep the lustrous gleam of your piano pedals by reducing the amount of dust, dirt, and grime that attaches to them.