• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Cleaning a piano accordion externally

wirralaccordion

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
442
Reaction score
43
There is lots on here about internal repairs, eg waxes, felts, adjustments, etc but I have seen nothing about cleaning the externals of a piano accordion. I have just bought an additional accordion from an antique shop that seems to work OK throughout but it is quite dirty.
What materials are recommended for cleaning keys, metal grill, bellows ( outside skin ), pin heads, etc, in fact the exterior as a whole?
 

Stephen Hawkins

Experienced Gentleman.
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
32
Location
Lancashire, England.
Hi Philip,

Congratulations on your recent acquisition.

I use a bit of furniture polish, but I don't spay it directly onto the machine. Just a little spray onto a dry cloth does the trick.

I favour the use of superannuated underpants for this task, though I understand that this is a matter of personal preference.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
2,973
Reaction score
58
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I use a gentle glass cleaner like a slightly watered down version of Windex (or other gentle glass cleaners). I spray it on a clean lint free cloth so it is slightly damp, NOT dripping, and never spray on the accordion directly. Wipe and make sure it is dry.

Don't use alcohol of any kind on it anywhere. Never spray directly on the accordion. Never spray cleaner on anywhere that can get inside anywhere on the accordion.
 

Dingo40

Prolific poster
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,762
Reaction score
316
Location
South Australia
All the above, plus for bright work and metal bellows corners a jeweller’s polishing cloth.
I have had success removing difficult stains (such as nicotine stains, on an accordion previously owned by a heavy smoker) by rubbing the stained section with neat fine toothpaste on a a piece of old cotton singlet: just be sure to keep out of any holes or recesses the toothpaste may lodge in. Even so, it was quite effective even on the base board, which is covered in holes<EMOJI seq="1f642">?</EMOJI>.
Aluminium inserts, which were much favoured at one time, can be kept bright by rubbing with balled up paper towelling.
Pleats in bellows can be brushed out with an inch wide, clean paint brush.
Once cleaned, the outside of an accordion needs relatively little attention! <EMOJI seq="1f642">?</EMOJI>
 

Happy girl

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
300
Reaction score
8
Never blow into the bellows to remove dust as that can result in moister retention & mould, use a clean soft brush as preciously described
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,487
Reaction score
345
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
And when things are really dirty, like at the edges between keys or register switches, I use a paper towel and naphta (which we call "was benzine").
 

WaldoW

Active member
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
235
Reaction score
1
After a cleaning, I apply a coat of "Renaissance micro-crystalline wax polish". No problems so far with good protection. Available thru Ebay or Amazon, compare prices and volumes before purchase, as they vary immensely.

Press on....
 
G

Geronimo

Guest
StargazerTony post_id=57532 time=1524671982 user_id=2434 said:
I always clean my accordion externally, its to small for me to crawl inside.
For me, its too big too swallow. But there are other good reasons for keeping it external for cleaning purposes. You have a better view that way.
 

boxplayer4000

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
377
Reaction score
41
Location
Near Edinburgh. Scotland.
I have an old Hohner accordion with white lined bellows. They are quite heavily stained and it might be that the accordion was used in a smokey environment. Fortunately it does not have that associated smell.
Obviously ordinary cleaning methods with some kind of liquid raises dangers.
Is anybody aware of any safe methods of cleaning?
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
2,973
Reaction score
58
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Well since the bellows are most often plastic covered cardboard, the most important aspect would be to make sure that whatever you use is not so wet that it affects the cardboard interior. We also want to try to avoid harsh chemicals.

I would try a micro fiber cloth ever so lightly sprayed with some isopropyl alcohol of the highest percentage you could find at your pharmacy, but try it in a spot on the back that is not evident for your first tests. If it works well for you, slowly move to the rest. Make sure the alcohol is completely dried before letting the bellows seal shut and again do not over wet the cloth. This can be done working on a table for ease of working position.

My 2 cents. :)
 

JIM D.

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
4,677
Reaction score
196
For many years now Ive been using  --
https://www.amazon.com/Windex-Blue-Pack-of-2/dp/B01KGS0C6W/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2MX5WYRPY   --  for exterior surfaces on accordions (do not spray directly on accordion-only on cleaning cloth). For difficult spots I also use -- 
http://www.handyacehardware.com/product.aspx?pid=99730  --

For polishing I use  -- https://www.pledge.com/en-us/products/pledge-multisurface-cleaner  
(again dont spray directly on accordion).

For metal surfaces -- https://www.amazon.com/Weiman-Silver-Polish-Cleaner-Protective/dp/B002IKHEJU/ref=sr_1_
the metal polish with some elbow grease will also remove minor scratches on cellulose.
 

boxplayer4000

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
377
Reaction score
41
Location
Near Edinburgh. Scotland.
JerryPH:
The bellows were made in 1938/39 so I'm not sure at all that they might be plastic. The risk of using liquid seems a risk. The modest dis-colouration may be something I will have live with. (Like the treble palettes in thread  'Morino 1 palettes' in the 'How Do I' section. This is the same accordion)

JimD.  
Thanks.  Some of the products you mention may be limited to the American market but I do recognise some of their equivalents over here.
The bellows lining is my only problem at the moment and the issue of using any sort of liquid cleaner.

StargazerTony,
I couldn't get the door shut on the dishwasher.
 

StargazerTony

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
303
Reaction score
1
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Eddy Yates said:
Zevy said:
StargazerTony said:
So, you mean the dishwasher is out?

:D :D :D
Be careful, men. Some of us rely on your years of experience and we're pretty gullible.
:angel:

Well, just to be on the safe side. No accordions in the dishwasher. Everyone knows dishwashers are just for trumpets, flutes, guitars, some pianos, fish and blue socks.
 
Similar threads

Similar threads

Top