Cleaning Your MIDI Keyboard Keys

One of the most important things in music production, is keeping your equipment clean and functional. Why is this so important? It’s important because you don’t want to spend a bunch of money buying new equipment because you don’t take care of your equipment right. One of the most important pieces of equipment is either your MIDI keyboard or your piano. If you take care of your keyboards and pianos right, they will be working for you for a long time.

One of the most important parts of keeping your piano and keyboards clean and functional is cleaning your keys. If you don’t properly take care of your keys, they will start to stick and playing will become harder. On a piano with ivory keys, the keys will become stained and look unappealing. There are many other things that can go bad when you leave your keyboard and piano keys dirty.

What not to do with ivory piano keys:
Using water to clean.
Scrub with any kind of hard surface such as a brush or brillo pad.
Use chemical based cleaners to try and clean. It will damage the keys.
Use any kind of polish like Pledge.
Spraying air freshener anywhere near the keys where the freshener can reach the keys.

Ivory keys should only be wiped with a very soft cloth that it clean and free from any kind of liquid. You can use a white colored toothpaste to gently rub the keys to keep them clean. Make sure the cloth that you use with the toothpaste is damp, but not dripping wet. Rub gently and avoid scrubbing. You can rinse with milk on another cloth that is clean. Buff the keys well until they are clean, avoiding scrubbing. On sunny day, leave the keys in the sun so they will bleach and not turn yellow. If your keys are too stained, you will need to call a piano cleaner to recover their original color.

What not to do with plastic keys:
Use any chemical based cleaner.
Leave the keys uncovered for a long period of time. This will cause the keys to change color.
Use any kind of polish like Pledge.

You will need to dust the keys often. Every once in a while, you will need to use warm water and vinegar with a clean chamois leather. After you do that, you can shine the keys by buffing. Cleaning the rest of the surface of your keyboard is important too. A vacuum can suck up excess dust and anything else on the surface. Use a soft clean cloth to wipe the rest of the surface down. Do not use any kind of liquid to clean the surface. You may use compressed air to clean the cracks and corners that you cannot get to with your cloth.