Pianos are one of the most common and complicated pieces of furniture in American homes. While piano sales have been declining nationwide for the past several decades, millions of homes still have these massive music makers taking a prominent location in the living, parlor, or family room. And though a huge number of these pianos remain unplayed and untuned, they still command the attention of the eye of the beholder, which means that owners must find ways to keep their pianos looking clean and polished.
If you're going to have the piano in the room, at least make sure it looks good, even if you have not plans to play it. So, in the quest of making your piano look good, you're going to want to know how to polish a piano.
How to polish a piano
First off, let's get right to the proper question. It isn't "How do you polish a piano?" It's "How do you clean your piano's finish?"
First off, you need to determine what kind of finish your piano has. Is it satin? Is it a high gloss? Is it open-pore? If your piano is pre-1920, then you're likely dealing with oil-based varnishes and the like. If your piano is later than that, you're going to deal with more synthetic finishes.
To get an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of each finish-type, I recommend this excellent article about cleaning a piano's finish.
Use a microfiber cloth
One thing I'd like to echo from their excellent piece, though, is the vital importance of using a microfiber cloth, regardless of the type of finish you're dealing with. I use a microfiber cloth from Melaleuca, but any microfiber cloth will do.
There are many reasons why people choose to hold onto pianos instead of sending them off to the auction block, even if nobody in the family is musical. For example, maybe the piano is a cherished heirloom, or perhaps the piano is just a stunningly beautiful piece. Whatever the reason, it is still important to take good care of the things we have, especially the prominent furniture-pieces which are front-and-center in our homes.