Rusted Piano Strings

Piano owners may notice a rust accumulation on their piano strings. So what to do for that?

Piano strings are made from steel, so they rust, also strings can be very delicate and prone to damage, so it’s best not to fuss with the strings if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There are many discussion out there about whether or not you can remove rust from your own piano strings. Some say that you can polish and remove the rust, other say strings can’t be cleaned and the only thing you could do is have them replaced (a big job!).

“The rust is unlikely to affect the sound. So just leave it alone!”

However, one thing you can do in your home is prevent string rust. Try to regulate the temperature and humidity in the room where you keep your piano. Make sure that the temperature stays between around 20 -25 degrees Celsius, with humidity in the range of 42 – 47 percent. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can exacerbate string rust, so keeping conditions as consistent as possible is the best way to prevent rust from forming.

The other thing you can do is to make sure that you regularly dust your strings. You can get rid of unwanted dust that could eventually lead to rust. Use a vacuum cleaner with a powerful reverse suction, to blow the dust from the strings then, simply use the normal suction to remove it.

Older pianos may have rusty strings; Something a coarse sponge works well here for lifting the rust off. It’s important to clean rust off the minute you see it because the buildup of rust can cause strings to break.

Remember that rust can sometimes become powdery and lift into the air, so you should clean it off with a mask on to be safe. Make sure to lightly scrub the bridge pins as well as front pins.

We recommend cleaning the strings prior to a piano tuning. Messing with the strings after a tuning will cause the piano to go out of tune.

The more a piano is used, the dirtier it will become. From fingerprints to dust, water stains, and rust, pianos can get quite messy. Every once in a while, your piano needs proper cleaning. Keep these tips in mind to keep your piano clean and to help prevent rust accumulation on your piano strings, and remember, if you do notice your strings begin to rust, call in the experts – don’t try to polish them by yourself!


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