Quick Fix for Stuck Musical Keyboard Keys

Whether you have a fancy grand piano or a digital keyboard, use these helpful tips un-stick musical keyboard keys.


The first thing you should think about is prevention.  If you just bought a used piano, it probably needs to be cleaned.  How often you clean your old or new musical keyboard keys depends on how often you use it and the environment it's kept.  Cleaning once or twice a year may be just fine in some cases, with regular dusting.

In order to deep clean your piano keys, you first need to determine whether they are the plastic type or precious ivory over wood. 

For plastic keys it is simply a matter of having a clean white cloth together with a bowl of nice warm water.  The water should have a drop or two of dish soap.  You will need to get a corner of the cloth wet with the warm water. Clean each key individually, drying off as you go with another end of the cloth. 

Because ivory keys are delicate, the cleaning process is more involved.  You can use non-abrasive toothpaste applied with a soft toothbrush.  Again, you will need to clean each key individually, then buff with milk for shine.


Besides built up dirt, another cause for sticky piano keys could be swollen wood.  This would happen if the keys somehow got wet or if you live in an humid climate.  Avoiding spills on the piano is vital because once the keys get wet, the wood may become distorted.  If the issue is humidity, purchase a dehumidifier to keep near the piano. 

Debris in the Cracks

If you suspect the keys are stuck because something has fallen in between them, use flat head screwdriver for a quick fix.  You can gently insert the head of the screwdriver between the keys to separate them.  Then take something, like a thin credit card or envelope, to slide through the space.  This will allow you to gather anything that may have gotten lodged between. 

Everything Else

For anything else that may be causing the keys to stick, it will usually require more than a quick fix.  In some cases you may still be able to fix it yourself by removing the fall board or other parts.  However, for a problem more complicated, it is recommended that you find professional help.