Cleaning, Lubricating and Squeak-Proofing
Eliminating the call-back

A completely clean piano is much more enjoyable to work on and it has a psychological effect on the owner. With the right tools you can do it in short order. Cleaning, lubricating, and squeak proofing, performed by a skilled technician, can make the difference between being a true professional, and being “that guy”.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Cleaning the upright piano

  • A: Safely remove case parts, and key slip
  • B: Vacuum lower piano
  • C: Vacuum upper piano and action, as far as possible
  • D: Remove action and vacuum the rest of the inside of the piano
  • E: Vacuum the action

Chapter 2 - Lubricating and “squeak proofing” the upright piano

  • A: While the action is out, lubricate damper lifter rod and hangers
  • B: If lifter rod squeaked at all, remove the rod and polish it
  • C: With keys are out, lubricate key pins
  • D: If pedals squeak, remove, clean, and lubricate pedal springs and/or any contact points
  • E: Use the recommended lubricant
  • F: After replacing all parts, check everything with slow, then fast movements
  • G: Check the bottom board and tighten screws

Chapter 3 - Cleaning the grand piano

  • A: Remove the case parts and place them in a safe place
  • B: Vacuum the front rail and sides of the action before removing
  • C: Before removing action, see if keys need to be eased
  • D: Before removing action (above) see if key height needs to be raised
  • E: Remove action to a safe work place
  • F: Vacuum action w/o removing stack
  • G: For complete cleaning, remove stack and keys, vacuum
  • H: Vacuum inside of action cavity
  • I: Vacuum tuning pin area
  • J: Vacuum all other areas you can reach from the top
  • K: Using special soundboard tools, clean the soundboard
  • L: Wipe down inside of piano with clean microfiber cloth
  • M: If client wishes, clean outer case (Read for cautions)
  • N: If you have access to a compressor or “air bomb”, you may blow out the action outside

Chapter 4 - Lubricating and “squeak proofing” the grand piano

  • A: While action is out, lightly sand, clean and lubricate the FR and other friction points
  • B: While (if) keys are off lubricate the key pins
  • C: Lubricate the key bushings with Microfine Teflon powder and burnish
  • D: Polish tops of capstans and apply lubricant
  • E: Apply Microfine Teflon powder to wippen cushion and burnish
  • F: Brush knuckles and apply Microfine Teflon powder, burnish
  • G: Clean action return spring & contact point on side of action, then burnish in dag or other
  • H: DO NOT apply lubricant to the action centers as standard practice (Know when)
  • I: See ebook on pedals, lyres and trapwork for complete job, but here are some “helps”
  • J: After finishing, here are some “checks” you should do

Chapter 5 - Additional tips and tricks