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Polishing a lacquer piano

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Polishing a piano is something that you shouldn’t do too often. While dusting a piano regularly is fine, polish can wear on the wood of a piano over time, making it potentially harmful to polish it often. About once a year or less is enough polishing for most pianos.
The first thing to do once you’ve decided to polish your lacquer piano is to find a good polish. In general, common household furniture polishes are not ideal for a lacquered piano. While many of these products are great for expensive furniture, they have ingredients in them that can damage the sound of a piano. For example, polishes with silicone can, over time, seep into the wood of the piano. Eventually, this can cause damage to the piano’s delicate parts. Another common ingredient, lemon oil, can weaken the piano’s finish and cause a sticky buildup on the wood over time.
If is also not recommended to use a glass cleaner, especially on a piano that has a satin or low-gloss finish. These products can damage the lacquer and leave a residue that is hard to clean off. Try an oil soap for a low-gloss lacquer finish. For high and semi-gloss lacquered pianos, try a cream polish or one of many products sold in music stores meant only for a piano. Be very careful that you do not choose a product that was meant for a polymer piano finish. These products can seriously damage a lacquer piano.
Once you have the right type of polishing product, get a soft cloth (do not use paper towels) and pour a dime sized amount of the product onto the cloth. Do not pour the product directly onto the piano. Gently wipe the cloth over the piano along with the direction of the wood grain. Because this is the direction in which the original lacquer finish was applied, following the grain will give the piano the best looking finish without any streaks.
Be particularly careful around the corners and edges of the piano. These parts typically have the thinnest layer of lacquer applied to them. Using too much pressure or scrubbing at these areas can expose the raw wood underneath.
Finally, if there are any areas on the piano with a sticky buildup of wax or polish, or any other type of stain or spill, clean these areas with a very diluted solution of filtered water and mild soap. Dry the solution off immediately after cleaning the area. If this does not remove the blemish, call a professional to clean the piano.

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