As with any instrument, digital pianos will need maintenance at some point during their lifetime. The best brands and models will need far less maintenance than cheaper, less durable models, however there is no way to avoid maintenance at some point during the lifetime of the instrument.
Maintenance Comes With the Territory
Some of the most common issues seen with digital pianos come from regular wear and tear. Common problems to look out for include issues with the keys and their contacts, damage to the pedals or other outer components of the instrument, and issues with regular functions (volume, sound selection, etc.). While these issues are common and can be easily fixed by a professional, there are a number of preventative measures that should be taken to avoid these problems:
- Invest in a cover to protect keys from damage while the piano is not being used.
- Clean and dust the keys and contacts regularly, even when the instrument hasn’t been used recently.
- DO NOT use water or a wet cloth to clean it – use a dry clean cloth only, preferably microfiber.
- Read the instruction manual or manufacturer’s website for their preferred cleaning method as it has been tested on their units.
- Be sure to wash and dry your hands before you sit down to play – everyday grease, dirt, and grime is as much of a problem in the long run as accidental spills.
Find a Good Home
One of the most important parts of caring for a digital piano is having a permanent place for it in your home. While digital pianos are designed to be moved and transported, they still need a stand and a permanent place to sit when not on the road. Digital pianos should be stored in a low traffic area of your home, away from direct light or any sources of water or moisture. Keep them from being too close to an air conditioning or heating vent, as they are best kept in a climate controlled area. Changes in temperature, extreme temperatures, and direct sunlight can cause shortages in the instrument’s electronics, as well as warp the keys, which can be an expensive fix.
Clean It Regularly & Carefully
All digital pianos must be cleaned regularly, as dust can fall between the spaces of the keys, in return making them less responsive, even sticky. However, cleaning must be done with great care, as a poor cleaning regime will not only do little to benefit the digital piano, but can also lead to damage in extreme cases.
When cleaning a digital piano, be sure to use a micro-fiber cloth, as other materials are prone to scratching the surface of the piano’s key and body. The cloth should always be dry, as moisture can severely damage a digital piano, and should be applied with just enough pressure to wipe away dust and dirt.
For stubborn marks or dirt, check the manufacturer’s information booklet or website for their recommendations. Do not use household cleaners you have handy. No moisture should be able to find its way through the keys to the contacts in order to prevent damage to the instrument. If the manufacturer recommends use of a specific cleaner or cleaning method you should follow that.
Not for Storage
It’s very common for digital piano owners to let their instrument become a catch-all for anything and everything that needs a place. While it may be convenient to place something on the piano rather than back in its place, all digital piano owners must understand that they are dealing with an expensive piece of equipment that deserves respect, and should be treated as such. Food and drink should be kept at a safe distance away from the instrument, and children should not be allowed to use it as a toy. While it’s easy to believe nothing will happen despite allowing these actions, the fact is while it may not happen right away, tragedy will strike if these behaviors are continued, which could shorten the life of the instrument.
Not a Toy
The money you invest in a digital piano can be significant so you should remember to treat your instrument well, and with respect. It’s not a toy to let the kids play with. That is not to say you should never let your kids play. Allow them to practice and take their lessons. Just make sure their use is supervised as much as possible until they’ve learned to respect the instrument as you do.
And no matter how cute or how many likes you could get with your pet guinea pig running up and down the keys, please keep pets off the instrument as well. Pet fur and dander can get between keys and wreak havoc on contacts and electronics. Not to mention miscellaneous mishaps with pets that forget the piano keyboard is NOT their bathroom. Need I say more?
Plug It In Properly
Digital pianos typically use a significant amount of energy when in use, making it important that they have a dedicated outlet, or that a surge protector is in use. If a digital piano is subject to a power surge, the electronics of the instrument could be destroyed, and overloaded outlets are a major fire hazard. In addition, any and all cords for the piano or nearby electronics should be kept neatly out of sight, and out of the way. Cords can be a hazard to those walking by, and a fall could not only result in damage to the instrument or other furniture, but serious injury as well.
Wrap It Up With a Cover
One of the best ways to protect a digital piano is with a cover. By covering the piano when it is not in use, dust will not be able to find its way through the spaces of the keys, which can result in response issues over time. Covers also protect against pet hair, which can be detrimental to a piano if it settles on the contacts of the keys. In addition, a good cover will protect against other damage, such as spills or falls. See our Accessories page for some more information about covers and some links to a few good choices.
One key factor in deciding which digital piano to purchase is its warranty; never buy a model with no warranty, and be aware of what the warranty on your chosen model covers. Most models feature a 3 year warranty that covers simple repairs and replacement in the event of a major issue.
Most manufacturer’s warranties cover basic malfunctions and defects, but they can also cover a number of other problems one may not expect. Warranties can be difficult to read due to their fine print and length, so be sure to contact the manufacturer of your piano to learn more about what is covered and what is not.
It’s important to never change or lose the proof of purchase, and be sure to register the instrument for the warranty if manual registration is necessary. The serial number of the piano must also remain intact and unchanged, and it’s important to understand that malfunctions as a result of temperature changes or humidity will not fall under most digital piano limited warranties.
Remember that there are many choices to be made when you are in the market for a digital piano. It is important to take all variables into account and make sure you are prepared to take care of it with proper cleaning and maintenance. This will eliminate many of the risks that could possible damage or deteriorate your piano.
Traditionally, manufacturer’s warranties do not cover accidental damage, meaning that a spilled drink on your piano will not result in a free replacement. That being said, many retailers offer additional warranties that do cover these types of incidents for an extra fee. If you are concerned about accidental damage, purchase from a retailer that offers an affordable warranty that covers accidents, as it may save you a significant amount of money with time. Most retailers will allow you to purchase a warranty up to 30 days after buying your digital piano, which gives you plenty of time to determine if the extra cost is within your budget.
Other Care Tips for Your Digital Piano
It’s true that digital pianos require less maintenance than their acoustic counterparts, however they still require care and attention to function their best over time:
- Respect your digital piano. Understand that it is not a toy, but a state-of-the-art piece of musical equipment worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Do not be careless with how you treat your piano, as treating it with respect will lengthen the life of your piano by years, and will limit the amount of maintenance it requires.
- Digital pianos should be stored safely in the home. They should not be placed in high-traffic areas where trips or falls may be possible, and should not be anywhere near dining areas. Proper digital piano storage is in a climate controlled room, away from direct sunlight.
- Always clean your instrument regularly. Do so with great care, but ensure that all dust or pet hair is cleared from your keys before playing, as this kind of debris can become lodged in the keys, and even reduce the responsiveness of the instrument.
Quick Cleaning Video
We do not endorse or recommend this company’s products, nor using any products other than your piano’s manufacturer recommends, but this is a helpful short video with some tips about how to clean your instrument at home.