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Whitening piano keys

(12 Posts)
HPonEverything Wed 13-Jul-11 21:31:09

Whilst I'm on this thread here's another poser.

The white piano keys on my piano have gone very yellow and look awful. I imagine they're ivory (it's a very old upright) but I'm not too sure!

What can I clean them with that's safe and will make them sparkly white, and not damage the black keys?

PoppyDoolally Wed 13-Jul-11 22:16:20

Er please please please don't do anything to your keys! I take it you have a child who plays rather than you being the pianist, so it is understandable that you are concerned with aesthetics rather than playing.

Basically leave it the he'll alone! A little friction in the keys is no bad thing- plenty of professionals are happy to let their piano keys 'wear' a little x

HPonEverything Thu 14-Jul-11 13:08:04

Haha no children, it's my piano although I don't really play it any more.

It must be something I'm doing because the piano I had as a kid had very white keys and I played it constantly, and my mum NEVER cleaned grin

I just thought there was something simple I could do to make them look better, but obviously I don't want to ruin the keys so I'll leave it alone.

PoppyDoolally Thu 14-Jul-11 17:32:14

Ha I know what you mean! Get a microfibre cloth to dust the piano regularly- also check if the keys are indeed ivory as you can leave the lid up a bit. With modern keys they yellow more though with the lid up so keep it closed. There are a few schools of thought that suggest gentle rubbing with toothpaste but I was always too much of a wimp to try it! X

AMumInScotland Thu 14-Jul-11 17:46:43

If they are ivory, then sunlight yellows them, so I wouldn't leave the lid up. But I don't know of anything which can whiten them after they've already yellowed unfortunately.

HPonEverything Thu 14-Jul-11 21:21:20

OK thanks for the suggestions. I never leave the lid up (a bit OCD about that to be honest), I'm not the first owner of this particular piano and it's from the early 1900s, yet the keys have only started yellowing since I've had it.

Very weird, must be something in the air (or on my hands!)

mumtoted Thu 14-Jul-11 21:39:08

My MIL, who is a pianist, tells me to leave the lid UP to make the keys white, she says shutting the lid makes the keys yellow. And of course, being a MIL, she obviously knows best grin

mumtoted Thu 14-Jul-11 21:41:29

What do you know, apparently she is right here

HPonEverything Thu 14-Jul-11 23:08:17

Your MiL is a GENIUS, that must explain it since I never ever leave the lid up!

Now I wonder if I begin to leave the lid up will the keys go back to white, or is it all too late hmm

AMumInScotland Fri 15-Jul-11 09:33:48

Wow - I shall tell my parents they had it all wrong when they used to tell us off for leaving the lid up!

PoppyDoolally Fri 15-Jul-11 12:27:02

That's the funny thing about ivory keys! Sunlight does a bit of good! But make sure you dust with clean dry cloth to keep dust at bay.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Sat 16-Jul-11 10:25:56

I just got my old piano delivered (so freaking happy it is unbelievable! Was without it for 4 years) and I'm not terribly bothered about White v Yellow - but the keys, particularly at the extreme ends of the keyboard, are really grubby. Any tips? smile

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