How to Clean Ivory Keytops

What you’ll need:

  • Clean toothbrush

  • Toothpaste (non-gel kind)

  • Paper towels

  • 2 separate cups of water

  • Old t-shirt or cloth

✔️ ✖️

After taking the keys out of the piano and lining them up at your station, put a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush. Toothpaste is a type of polish, so you’re cleaning and polishing at the same time.

Begin scrubbing the key with the toothbrush. You can scrub aggressively, but be careful not to get toothpaste on the wooden parts of the key. You’ll likely need to add toothpaste to the brush after every few keys. Use one of the water cups to rinse the toothbrush, dabbing it onto the paper towel.

Set aside the keys you’ve done, keeping them separate from the keys you still have left so you can keep your station organized. This does get messy, so wear gloves if you don’t want your hands to be sticky.

Once you’ve finished brushing all the keys, it’s time to wipe them off. Grab your old t-shirt and the clean water cup. Dip the cloth into the water and gently wipe down each key, again avoiding where the keytop meets the wood on the sides. You also don’t want to soak the cloth, just dampen it enough to wipe the toothpaste off. You might end up having to turn the cloth to a clean spot once the original spot you’ve been using gets too dirty.

After wiping down all the keys, take a clean cloth (or clean part of the one you were using) and wipe down the keys again to dry them completely, and then you’re all finished!

This process certainly isn’t difficult, but it can get messy, and also can be time- consuming if you really take your time to scrub the keys down. That being said, it makes a huge difference in the keys which makes it all worth it.

Before: After:

By Jennifer Gold

Holland, Pennsylvania

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