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How to Care for Piano Keys in 4 Easy Ways

March 15, 2018 3 min read 0 Comments

How to Care for Piano Keys in 4 Easy Ways

How to Care for Piano Keys


Due to the very nature of the material they are made from, piano keys are susceptible to humidity
and fluctuations in temperature. Adding a piano into your home is not like just installing another
instrument or piece of furniture – it requires a little bit more attention – after all, if you’ve invested
in a beautiful piano you will want to keep it in perfect working order, with minimal intervention
from a technician.

Here are four tips on how to care for piano keys:


1. Use the Piano Top Properly

Top view of grand piano

It might seem obvious, if your piano came with a lid, then there must be a logical reason for it –
i.e. that you close it when not in use... well, that’s not always the case! The lid, while it does serve
to protect the keys, is more used to keep stray, unwanted hands at bay. This applies in a home
environment, but especially in a public place where people are often tempted to show off their
range of musical skills. In fact, the lid should really be kept closed about 70% of the time. Keeping
the lid closed on your piano can give rise to moldy and humid conditions. What makes more
sense when assessing how to care for piano keys, is using a piano cover that’s made with fabric it
will allow the keys to breath and avoid trapping humidity.


2. Avoid Spills

Milk spills on piano

Make sure food and drinks are kept away from your piano keys. Sounds obvious – but when you
have tired, young learners around a keyboard, sometimes a quick snack may encourage a few
more minutes of practice. Sometimes guests treat your precious piano as a table, placing coffee
cups, wine glasses and many other “hazardous” liquids that could cause untold damage to your
beautiful piano! Liquids can cause swelling to wood which is detrimental to the sound quality and

tone. One preventative solution is to invest in a water-proof piano cover which can limit, and
sometimes eliminate, damage caused by spillage.


3. Be Aware of Humidity



Humidity affects the keys and the sound from your piano. Give careful consideration as to where
the piano is placed in the room, ensuring it is not too close to exterior walls where humidity may
permeate. Humidity can cause wooden parts to expand (or shrink in the case of reduced
humidity) and felt interiors can absorb humidity causing sound distortion. It is advisable to use a
dehumidifier in the room with the piano, but an added solution would be using a piano cover to
help protect the most exposed parts of your piano. The changes that can occur with humidity
fluctuations can happen within 24 hours and could mean needing expensive piano maintenance.


4. Keep the Temperature Controlled

 Heating lightbulb


The temperature of a room is also very important as fluctuations can cause warping of keys,
splitting of wood and even affect the glue which is on some parts of the piano resulting in poor or
deteriorated sound. It is advisable to keep room temperature stable with the use of air
conditioner and/or heaters. Keeping pianos away from direct sunlight is also advisable but may
not always be possible. This is another situation when the use of a cover for a piano that protects
against UV rays is a good investment for anyone concerned about the damage that direct
sunlight may cause.


A very easy, simple solution to many of these problems is the use of piano key covers and a
piano top cover, which can be placed over the keyboards with ease and can limit damage and
costs. Universal piano covers, specific grand piano covers or upright piano covers could make
the difference to your beautiful instrument maintaining its original sound and beauty, providing
years and years of entertainment. See more piano care tips and tricks regarding how to care for
your piano on the Clairevoire blog!

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Sizing Guide for Piano Covers

How to measure pianos and keyboards


Grand Piano & Baby Grand

The biggest physical differentiator between Grand pianos or baby grands is their length. They range from 5" all the way to 8.5". There are also several concert grand models that are even longer in length.

Traditionally, Piano makers have found that longer strings tend to increase instrument power, reverberation and produces the desired tonal characteristics, which gave rise to the popularity of grand pianos. 

Before measuring your piano, please make sure to close the lids and keep the music rest down for a more accurate measurement.


How to measure a grand piano insturctions

Top down view of a grand piano

 Place measuring tape over red line [Measuring line guide]


Length: From the front of keyboard to the center of the tail at the back [ Longest points with the lids closed]

Width: From right to left over the music shelf where the music rest is located [ Longest points with the lids closed ]

Height: From the floor to the tallest point of the piano [Music rest folded down or kept under lid]

*Please note that the lids usually give slight extensions to the piano, it isimportant to account for the full length and width of the grand piano.



Vertical and Upright Piano

Upright pianos, also known as vertical pianos, features a compact frame and vertical strings. They are popular models purchased for home use due to their size and affordable pricing. 

The sizes of these pianos also vary among different manufacturers even though their shape stays relatively similar. Most standard sized upright pianos are around 150-154cm [ 4 feet and 11.055 inches ] in width while junior sized uprights are approximately 148-149cm [ 4 feet and 10.26772 inches ]

Our upright piano covers are designed such that it is able to fit almost all the different models from individual manufacturers. This is due to the overhang design, which also allows easy access to the keyboards. The overhang design has a natural and minimalist approach which provides greater ease and efficiency for the piano user.


How to measure an upright piano photo instructions

Top down view of the upright piano

  Place measuring tape over red line [Measuring line guide]


Width: Measure from left to right over the top of the piano [ Longest points with the lids closed ]

Depth: Measure from front of keyboard to back of piano [ Longest points with lids closed ]

HeightFrom the floor to the tallest point of the piano, usually on the piano lid [ Tallest point with lids closed ]

*Please note that Piano width is often mistaken with the term "piano length" for upright or vertical pianos. Certain electric or digital pianos, such as the Yamaha Clavinova Series, are shaped to look similar to an upright piano. In these cases, they are measured the same way as an Upright piano.



Digital Piano & Keyboards [ 76 - 88 keys ]

The Digital pianos are the smallest in size as they do not require strings to be installed. Portable and full of features, these pianos are highly popular with beginners and experts alike. 

The main difference between a digital piano and a keyboard is their action and size of the keys. Digital pianos are made to resemble the feel of an acoustic piano and they usually come with 88 keys, which is the usual number of keys found on an upright or grand piano.

How to measure a digital or electric piano instructionsTop down view of a Digital Piano / Keyboard


WidthMeasure from left to right over the entire span of the keyboard [ Include the body of keyboard, longest points]

Depth: Measure from front of keyboard to the back

Height: Measure from base of the body to the highest point [ Do not include the music rest ]

Please note that the height of the Digital piano or keyboard does not include the keyboard or piano support stand. Do not measure from the floor up unless specified to do so.  


Piano cover sizes are included in their own description pages. Please don't hesitate to contact us at if unsure of the size suitability of the piano covers.