How To Clean A Clavinova Piano?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

How Do You Safely Clean Plastic A Digital Piano?

In cleaning a digital piano it is highly crucial to avoid using any household cleaners to prevent any damage to the keyboard. One of the most effective ways to ensure that you clean your digital piano safely is by reading the user’s manual, in here you will be able to take note of specific and acceptable cleaning methods. Although there are various products made specifically for cleaning digital pianos, you may utilize homemade cleaners that are safe to use. 

Materials To Prepare When Cleaning A Digital Piano:

  • Two soft and clean white cloths preferably white microfiber towels
  • Warm water
  • An ample amount of gentle dishwashing soap
  • Small container
  • Q-tips/cotton buds


Note: Before proceeding with the procedure ensure that the power supply is unplugged to avoid any unnecessary hazards such as electric shock. 

  1. Properly mix a few drops of the gentle dishwashing soap with the warm water in a container.
  2.  It is crucial to use a white soft and clean cloth to prevent the chemicals of the colored cloth from damaging your digital piano keyboard. Slightly soak one of the cloths with the mixture you previously made and gently wipe the keys using a damped cloth including the sides of each key. 
  3.   Using the other dry cloth, gently remove the moisture left on the keyboard. It is essential to be patient in doing this to prevent any damage to your digital piano especially since left moisture can cause damage to the electronics of your piano. Remember water and electricity don’t go along with each other.
  4. For areas of the digital piano’s keyboard that the damp cloth can’t reach such as tight corners, Q-tips/cotton buds are surely a good alternative. Dampen the Q-tips/cotton buds by simply dipping them onto the mixture. Carefully clean the tight spaces ensuring that no drops of water fall between the keys. If ever droplets of water do fall, remove them with the use of a dry Q-tip/cotton bud.

Whenever cleaning a digital piano’s keyboard, searching in the kitchen cabinet may come in handy. Warm water along with a little amount of gentle dishwashing soap is a safe and cheaper alternative compared to commercial keyboard cleaners which typically come expensive. Both homemade cleaners and commercial cleaning products could do the job of cleaning your digital piano. 

What Are Good Commercial Cleaning Products?

One of the best ways to save on your piano’s cleaning products is by purchasing piano maintenance kits (cleaners and polishers) which include everything you need to ensure that the exterior of your piano is protected and well-preserved. Maintaining your piano with the use of these kits guarantees that it retains its luster and glow. 

What Every Piano Care Product Should Be:

  • Gentle and Effective: It shouldn’t damage or harm your piano’s finish and components.
  • Easy to Use: It should be simple to use with minimum steps/procedures when applying them on your piano.
  • Specifically made for pianos: Avoid using All-purpose products which may cause harm and damage to your piano.

The Best Piano Care Kits:

Using these products in cleaning and polishing your pianos from fingerprints, dust, and sludges will surely give them a showroom finish. They are easy to use, simply spray and wipe. Mentioned products below are used worldwide by musicians, piano technicians, repair shops, collectors, and piano manufacturers. 

Cory Ultimate High Polish Piano Care Kit

Price: $33.00

The Cory Ultimate High Polish Piano Care Kit provides you with everything you need in one kit from cleaner, polisher, and cloth. It provides an easy and convenient way of keeping your piano’s exterior clean and new-looking. This piano care kit is highly recommended for high-gloss pianos. It offers a combination of great value and a great product for consumers who want more than regular dusting. This product guarantees that your keys and piano exterior feels smooth and slick and not oily. 

  • Key Cleaner (For Ivory, Ebony, and Plastic Keys)
  • Piano Polish
  • Washable cleaning/polishing cloth

Music Nomad Piano Cleaning/Polishing Kit

Price: $25.99

The Music Nomad Piano Cleaning/Polishing Kit provides your piano with protection as well as gives it the high-gloss shine you desire. It is safe and effective to use for all semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes with the addition of UV protection and an anti-static agent which help reduce the attraction and build-up of dust. This product is streak-free and residue-free.

  • One (1) bottle of “Piano One” Cleaner (for cleaning, polishing, waxing, and protecting the exterior of your gloss piano)
  • One (1) bottle of “Key One” Cleaner (for removing fingerprints, dust, and grime found on your piano keys)
  • One (1) Microfiber cloth (12 inches x12 inches)

Cory Super High Gloss Piano Polish

Price: $34.73

The Cory Super High Gloss Piano Polish comes from Cory which is the leading manufacturer of cleaners and polishers of pianos and musical instruments. It is formulated by experts to help prevent fading and surface deterioration of your pianos. This product is perfect for eliminating fingerprints, smudging, and static that attracts dust and provides UV protection. It is best for cleaning and protecting high-gloss polyester, polyurethane, and lacquer finishes.

  • One (1) 8 ounce “Super High-gloss Piano Polish”
  • One (1) Microfiber piano cleaning cloth

Roland Premium Care Kit for High-Gloss Home Pianos

Price: $24.99

The Roland Premium Care Kit for High-Gloss Home Pianos comes from Roland which is one of the renowned manufacturers of excellent home digital pianos. This premium product guarantees a gloss finish look on your digital piano and that they look their best. 

  • Gloss Finish Detailer: effectively protects and safely cleans the exterior of your digital pianos making them appear brand-new.
  • Key Cleaner: Eliminates fingerprints and dust from keys making them feel smooth.
  • Two (2) Microfiber Cloths: Remove dirt and dust while keeping your piano’s surface is scratch-free 

Fender Perfection Piano Care Kit By Meguiar’s

Price: $19.98

The Fender Perfection Piano Care Kit is made by Meguiar’s which is well-known for piano care and maintenance. This product helps eliminate fingerprints, smudges, and dust from your piano making them shine like new.

  • Opulent Preservation Spray: increase the natural glow of your piano
  • Radiance Finish Reflections: Enhances your piano’s overall appearance with clarity and protection.
  • Luminescent Finish Clarifier: Reveals and protects your piano’s unique finish characteristics while removing minor scratches, stains, and swirls for a clear and glowing effect on satin finishes and gloss and depth on high-gloss black lacquer finishes.
  •  Foam pad applicator

Is It Safe To Use Alcohol When Cleaning Piano Keys?

No, the use of alcohol and other non-piano cleaning chemicals/solutions especially bleached-based disinfectants or any product with citrus isn’t safe for cleaning piano keys. Although they are effective in eliminating germs and viruses they aren’t ideal for piano application. This is mainly because rubbing alcohol on sticky keys may eliminate their stickiness however, they also damage and melt all the lacquer piano finishes. Even the use of excessive soap when cleaning sticky or dirty keys may harm your keys which is why it is highly advisable to avoid using and rubbing alcohol as much as possible whenever cleaning your piano. 

How To Make Old Piano Keys White Again?

Discoloration and yellowing of piano keys normally happen over time. However, there are safe methods to restore and whiten your keys to make them look good as new. Before whitening them it is essential to determine whether your keys are made of Ivory or Plastic. This ensures that you apply the right methods of whitening your keys without permanently damaging them. It is mostly understood that acoustic pianos are equipped with ivory keys and digital pianos with plastic keys. However, that is not always the case especially nowadays, due to innovations digital pianos such as the Yamaha Clavinova are now equipped with synthetic ivory keys making it highly important to examine your keys material rather than basing it on the type of piano you have.  

Ivory Keys

Ivory keys tend to become yellowish over time however there are still methods to restore their white color. It is crucial to keep in mind that whenever cleaning or whitening ivory keys avoid using any liquid, chemicals, or soap. It is recommended to wear cotton gloves when cleaning or whitening the keys to prevent the spreading of dirt and oils from your hands onto the keys.

Ways In Whitening And Preventing Ivory Keys From Yellowing:

Fine Steel Wool Pad

The use of very fine steel wool can help whiten and clean ivory keys with emphasis on “very fine”. You must gently and cautiously scrub it on the keys, patiently one key at a time. Although this is an effective method in keeping your ivory keys white and clean, it is suggested to research online or to seek advice from an experienced individual or piano technician beforehand. This is primarily because improper application and application of other textures may damage your piano’s condition and result in scratches.

Direct Sunlight

Exposure to direct sunlight is one of the unconventional ways in preventing ivory keys from yellowing. Typically when you place your piano where sunlight shines on the keys will not result in their color fading but would rather stop any further discoloration on your keys.

White Vinyl Eraser

Another method of whitening and cleaning ivory keys is with the use of a white vinyl eraser. In applying this option, it is important to avoid scrubbing the white vinyl eraser harshly onto the keys and to apply this motion one key at a time. It is also essential to remove the excess eraser pieces from the eraser caused by rubbing to prevent them from getting stuck in between keys which can affect your piano’s key performance. 

Plastic Keys

Plastic keys are the complete opposite of ivory keys, they allow the use of gentle cleaning solutions to whiten and clean them compared to ivory keys which exclude the use of liquid, chemicals, and soap. 

Ways In Whitening And Preventing Plastic keys From Yellowing:

Mixture Of Warm Water And Droplets Of Dish Soap

The most common and effective method of whitening and cleaning plastic keys is by mixing a small amount of dish soap with warm water. Damp a piece of white soft and clean towel (preferably a microfiber towel) onto the mixture and gently wipe the keys down from top to bottom and not side to side. It is essential to avoid quenching the towel with excess moisture to prevent any droplets of moisture from damaging the electronics of your piano. It is also recommended to use a white-colored towel to avoid any color or chemicals from transferring to the keys. 

Mixture Of Warm Water And Vinegar

In dealing with aggressive stains and fingerprint marks on your plastic keys, a solution of warm water and vinegar can solve the problem. Disinfect using 3 parts filtered water and 1 part white vinegar. It is also essential to provide your keys with proper ventilation when applying this method, this is to eliminate the odor brought by the vinegar. 

Tips In Keeping Your Piano Cleaner for Longer

Digital pianos need to be cleaned regularly or frequently to eliminate dust, smudges, fingerprints, and stains. A clean and well-maintained piano ensures that your piano performs at its best. Here are some methods to keep your piano clean for longer.

Use A Piano Cover

Use a piano cover or any piece of cloth in covering your digital piano whenever not in use. This helps keep your piano clean longer and prevents any dust build-up that may cause damage to your piano’s sensors, electronics, and sensitive components. 

Disinfect Hands Before Playing

Our hands are one of the body parts we use most often which makes them more susceptible to dirt, oils, and germs. Washing our hands before playing the piano ensures that we don’t spread or transfer the dirt, oil, and germs our hands have onto the keyboard. It provides us the assurance that we leave the keyboard clean when we are done playing, keeping it cleaner for longer than usual. 

Wipe The Keyboard Using A Damp Cloth

Playing the piano without washing our hands may cause dirt, oil, and germs from spreading onto the keys. In addition, some people when playing the piano can cause their hands to sweat which may slip onto the keyboard causing them to become sticky and dirty after use. Wiping the keyboard using a damp cloth after every use guarantees that you keep your piano cleaner for much longer.

Don’t Place Piano Near Windows

Another tip in prolonging your piano’s cleanliness is to place them away from windows and doors especially since these areas are where the most dust often enters our homes. Dust build-up can cause electrical problems. In addition, windows may cause your piano to experience sporadic exposure to sunlight which if exposed for a long duration may cause the plastic material to weaken. Keeping your piano away from windows and doors prolongs the life of our pianos but also their cleanliness.