CLEAN THE KEYS: Keys may be cleaned with warm water or a weak solution of Ivory soap.
CLEANING THE CABINET: Clean the cabinet thoroughly with a rag dampened with warm water. Clean one full surface at a time, then immediately wipe with a dry, soft cloth until it is completely moisture free. In other words, the section that you are cleaning should only be wet for under a minute or so. Be careful, when wiping down your piano. All cloths should be like brand new. Even the smallest grit, like a little dust from the bottom of a storage box, can scratch your piano permanantly. Wipe it down like you are wiping down a Rolls Royce. Pianos with ebony high-gloss finishes are the most delicate and can be scratched even with a bathroom towel.
POLISHING THE CABINET: Polish with furniture paste wax which buffs up to a hard, glossy finish or use a piano polish. If you have an old upright or player piano with an old wood finish, you may want to use one of the new orange spray cleaner/polishes. NEVER use conventional aerosol furniture polish on a piano. These types of polishes contain alcohol which can create a chemical reaction with the existing finish and discolor or dissolve the varnish or lacquer on your piano surface.
There ARE a number of recommended piano polishes available online and through reputable piano stores. Make sure you tell the salesperson exactly what type of finish you have because there are different types of polishes. Also, pick up a polishing cloth while you are there if they carry them. Again, make sure your clothes are like new, clean and free of grit.
POSITIONING THE PIANO IN YOUR HOME: Your piano should be placed along an interior wall of your home. This will help to keep the temperature of your piano stable; a maximum temperature change of no more than 10 degrees all year. Avoid placing the piano in a concrete block building or on a concrete floor, either of which is usually very damp.
HUMIDITY MANAGEMENT: A drastic change in humidity is the NUMBER ONE REASON why a piano goes out of tune! (More so than a drastic change in temperature!)
For best protection, the climate surrounding the piano should be controlled. If a building or room humidification/dehumidification system is impractical, the piano may be protected by installing a climate control system right inside the piano. If the room that the instrument is located in has more than a 15% change in humidity, having this system installed is imperative. (If you live along the shoreline, this could be you!) These usually run between $400 and $700 installed.