Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth?

Posted by: electone2007

Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 09:03 AM

...Even if I always close the fallboard each time I'm done playing?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 09:25 AM

The felt cloth is for those who do not cover their keyboard after playing. Unless there is a lot of dust some dealers recommend not covering the keys or closing the fallboard at all. I'm not sure of the pluses and minuses of keeping the fallboard open. I never close the fallbaord or cover the keyboard with felt.
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 09:31 AM

Glad to know that it's not that important to use the felt cloth. I'm too lazy to put it on the keys.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 10:07 AM

The felt is actually intended to remove the moisture from the keys that your fingers leave on the keys and to help with having less dust accumulate under the keys. I always close it up when I'm done playing.

What's so difficult about putting it back? I own a Schimmel and I place mine on every single time and close the key cover too. It keeps my keys nice and white and shiny. smile
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 10:32 AM

What about ivory keys? Is there a benefit to covering them up after playing? I always leave my fallboard up and do not cover with felt.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
The felt is actually intended to remove the moisture from the keys that your fingers leave on the keys and to help with having less dust accumulate under the keys. I always close it up when I'm done playing.
I would think that any moisture(I never really noticed any but I play in an airconditoned room during the summer) would evaporate very quickly?
Posted by: Ragdoll

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 10:49 AM

Quote:
I always leave my fallboard up and do not cover with felt.


Hi Morodiene, your house must be a lot cleaner than mine. grin

My Jack Russell Terrorist is a heavy shedder and it's a constant battle with her hair. I close mine because of this and to keep the grandkids from playing without my permission/supervision.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 11:02 AM

If you close the lid, I can't see why adding the felt would give additional protection
Posted by: Annitenth

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
What about ivory keys? Is there a benefit to covering them up after playing? I always leave my fallboard up and do not cover with felt.


Seems like I've heard that ivories should not be covered, that the natural light in the room helps keep them from yellowing. Anyone know for sure?
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 12:29 PM

I have not covered my keys in any way for the 47 years I have had my piano and they don't appear any the worse for it.

I occasionally wipe them down with a key cleaning fluid.

However, there is certainly no reason not to cover them if it makes you feel better (except ivory keys?)

I say do whatever you like.
Posted by: KataiYubi

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 12:47 PM

I just disassembled my piano yesterday to try to correct a sticking key problem. I had never used a felt cloth in 41 years.

I could not believe how much dirt had accumulated under the keys, so I'd vote for the use of the felt cloth.

Cleaning it did not resolve my sticking key problem, though, but it probably helped a bit.
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT


What's so difficult about putting it back?


It's for a very trivial reason actually. :-)

The piano brand is embossed on the felt cloth, and everytime I lay it on the keys I have to make sure it's right side up and oriented correctly. This obviously takes extra time and effort.

As I said, trivial.
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
I just disassembled my piano yesterday to try to correct a sticking key problem. I had never used a felt cloth in 41 years.

I could not believe how much dirt had accumulated under the keys, so I'd vote for the use of the felt cloth.

Cleaning it did not resolve my sticking key problem, though, but it probably helped a bit.


Did you ever close the fallboard on your piano?
Posted by: nylawbiz

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 02:39 PM


i think they used to put felt over ivory keys to protect them from sunlight.
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 02:39 PM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
If you close the lid, I can't see why adding the felt would give additional protection


That's what I'm thinking too.

And with today's soft close fallboards, as soon as one is done playing, one can just flick the fallboard forward, get up and walk away. The fallboard will close on its own without slamming.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 03:33 PM

Well, you did ask and I answered the reason for the felt. It does help to eliminate humidity and it does help to keep the dust from going under the keys.

Use it as a duster if you wish. smile
Posted by: malkin

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
The felt is actually intended to remove the moisture from the keys that your fingers leave on the keys and to help with having less dust accumulate under the keys. I always close it up when I'm done playing.
...


Does the fiber of the felt make a difference--like whether it is wool felt or polyester?

Would any cloth accomplish the same thing?
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 04:08 PM

That I can't answer. I don't know what's in it. All I know is what it was intended for. It does seem to work though, whatever it is. smile
Posted by: adak

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 05:15 PM

why don't you just vacuum the keys once a month, that will suck up any dirt on, in between and beneath the keys.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 05:43 PM

Vacuuming they keys won't suck the dirt that is underneath them. It's a lot further down there than you think it is.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/09/13 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: KataiYubi
... I had never used a felt cloth in 41 years.
I could not believe how much dirt had accumulated under the keys, so I'd vote for the use of the felt cloth...
Has no technician in 41 years done more than tune the piano? Every few years (10 at very most!) a piano requires a more in-depth servicing, of which the first step is a thorough cleaning.

I would not bother with the key cover felt if you want - just have your piano serviced the way it deserves to be.
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 12:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Well, you did ask and I answered the reason for the felt. It does help to eliminate humidity and it does help to keep the dust from going under the keys.

Use it as a duster if you wish. smile



Good idea! I might do that. :-)
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 08:54 AM

I have also heard that one should not cover the ivory keys to prevent yellowing. They are not exposed to direct sunlight, but just natural indirect light. I do close the fallboard when I leave for an extended period of time.

Can anyone verify if this is in fact correct about keeping the keys exposed?
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 08:59 AM

I think that has more to do with lack of cleaning them than anything else Morodiene.

Finger dirt and grime gets on the keys especially from kids and, many not so clean adult fingers too and if not cleaned, the air cannot get at them and then they become yellowed and discolored. At least that's what I was told. Keeping the keys clean is more important than if the cover is left up or down. wink
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 09:48 AM

Although my own piano is a digital, I still wouldn't let anyone loose on it unless they'd washed their hands first. When I was a child having piano lessons at my teacher's (my second teacher; the first one came to our home), she always inspected my hands before letting me near her piano....

I had plenty of experience of sticky keys playing on the little vertical that was my piano in my childhood, but that wasn't due to dirty fingers or dust accumulating between the keys (my parents saw to that, and I always had to replace the felt and close the fallboard after finishing practice). It was the poor build quality of the piano.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 01:01 PM

The felt strip with the cover closed helps to avoid sluggish and sticking keys. For 'Sticky' keys you might want to relocate the candy dish.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/10/13 01:14 PM

I'm sure some would disagree with the first sentence but Faust Harrison Pianos has this recommendation on their website. Of course, I assume this doesn't apply if one has a particularly dusty environment.

"The fallboard should always be open to allow free circulation of air around the keys. Keys should be cleaned only with a soft cloth, dampened very slightly with water or club soda (or Windex if the keys are really dirty). Never put fluid directly on the keys."
Posted by: electone2007

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/11/13 01:03 AM

I just ditched the felt cover, and I'm at peace now. :-)
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/11/13 04:16 AM

My first new piano, a Yamaha UX in 1979 was covered and lid down every time for the first 5 years - till the children started learning. We worked out that they would be far more likely to play if the keys were visible. The cover (with Yamaha advertising) was stored, and the lid was only put down on the day the piano was dusted - and re-opened. The piano was extensively used by 4 of us for 27 years when I upgraded to my first grand.

I laboriously covered and close that grand and my new grand daily. And the grandchildren are supervised (hands washed etc) when they play!!!!

But my old UX went to my daughter's place with 3 grandchildren. My daughter never saw the lid down or the cover, so it's still open. Unfortunately it's closer to her kitchen, so when I visit, I wipe the sticky etc off the keys.
Posted by: Scout

Re: Do I have to cover the keys with the felt cloth? - 02/11/13 04:17 PM

The thing is, a piano keyboard is incredibly beautiful and inviting. I can't bring myself to cover it up and then miss seeing it whenever I'm in the room or walking by. My tuner/tech has always cleaned absolutely everything during a tuning visit. I might start dusting the keys myself more often, say, once a week, but close the fallboard? Can't do.