As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I am occasionally asked about ivory keys on an older piano. Our previous article discussed the structure of ivory keys and this article will discuss proper care if you own a piano with ivory keys. This information will be especially useful if you own or are considering purchasing an older piano with ivory piano keys, as they require a small amount of special care. If you have not yet read our previous article, this would be a good time to read it, so that this blog article will be more easily understood.
Ivory in its natural state has a yellowish tinge to its color. Prior to being glued onto a piano key, the ivory is bleached so that it is white. In order to prevent the color from reverting to its yellow color, it is important to let indirect sunlight reach your ivory key tops. Proper care of your piano, then, means that you should always keep the key cover open on your piano. This is important, because if your key tops turn yellow, there is no way to bleach them again without ruining them. The ivory is porous, so anything you put on the ivory will go through and loosen the glue. Once a key top comes loose, it rarely can be glued back on as well as it was originally.
If your piano keys get dusty, you can simply wipe them with a dry cloth. If they get dirty, then a slightly damp cloth can be used to remove dirt. Do not use cleaning agents, and remember that anything you put on a piano key top will tend to go through and loosen the glue.
If a key top should come loose, save it in a safe place. Ivory cannot be purchased any longer, as a protection for elephants.
If you have any questions about pianos, please let us know. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts. Kenneth Keith Piano Services also provides professional piano services Philadelphia, Southern NJ and North Shore MD.