Humidity levels are crucial to the life of your piano, the stability of the tuning, and for prolonging the time in between tunings. Humidity levels are also the cause of sticking keys. Too much humidity causes wood to swell and therefore can cause keys to stick but low humidity levels can also cause aggravating conditions such as sticking keys! Low humidity is more likely present during the winter, however, during our current period of drought, it is important to watch our humidity levels closely. Low humidity cracks soundboards and other vital wood parts of your piano! Proper humidity levels in your home, year round, should be in the range of 40-52%. In many areas it is impossible to maintain that constant level but the important condition to avoid during the winter months is humidity that is too low. If you are getting static electricity in your home, your piano is in danger!
Humidity levels and having your piano tuned annually are two of the most important things you must do to preserve your investment. Many people are under the wrong impression that if their piano isn't played much or never played at all a tuning is unnecessary. Wrong! Annual tuning protects the pinblock and remember, having a technician regularly see and inspect your piano is necessary preventative maintenance. Never place your piano on top of, directly beneath, or beside a heating/air conditioning duct. In the event the piano is placed in close proximity to a duct, buying an air-redirector shield, or completely closing off the vent is required.
With most high-gloss finishes today, we recommend using a microfiber cloth lightly dampened by water. Using furniture polish is highly discouraged since many polishes on the market contain silicone and other oily bases that do not belong on wood and will eventually dull and cloud the finish. Once polishes with these chemicals have been used it is very difficult to return the finish of your piano to its original shine. Damp microfiber cloths are also the recommended care for satin and semi-gloss finish since using any polish will cause your finish to look streaky and will lose its intended sheen.
On a grand piano, it is always wise to close the lid when not in use. This helps keep dust and pet fur off the soundboard, plate, and strings. After time, you may want to have your grand piano professionally cleaned by a qualified technician. Do not attempt to clean any part of the inside without instruction. You can regularly vacuum the inside carefully using the brush attachment. But never, under any circumstance, use cleaning chemicals or furniture polish on the inside of the piano.
Cleaning your keys regularly feels better to the pianist and looks better to everyone. Using a damp (not wet) soft cloth, like a wash-cloth, and mild solution of dish soap and warm water, should be all you ever need.