WD-40 as Piano Action Lubrication? No Thanks!


We recently had an upright piano action in our shop that had no movement in the action and had not moved for almost 3 decades!  Why?  Because the customer, almost 30 years ago, hired a piano technician who decided to use WD-40 as a lubricant on all the piano action center pins.  What a bummer for our customer and anyone else who had their piano serviced by a technician who used WD-40 on their piano action.  

WD-40 is an amazing product but it has caused a lot of damage over the years in the piano world...and, while it worked wonders in the moment, it leaves a residue that takes a lot of work to repair.  

In pianos, over time, the action center pins become sluggish because they tend to bind up and subjoin the felt bushings in their perspective flange.  The best remedy for this natural occurrence is to recenter all the flanges.  However, the process is quite pricey and so lubrication is often used as a temporary remedy to free up stickiness and sluggishness.    

In this particular piano action where WD-40 was used, the customer stated that it worked really well for a short amount of time after the WD-40 was applied and over that short period, the entire action stopped working.  WD-40 left an oily residue that attracted dirt and dust and caused the flange felt to harden onto the center pins.

This repair was quite a bit of work, as there are hundreds of pins and bushings that had to be repaired.

Just a tip: do not use WD-40 on a piano action!

Thanks.

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We are here to answer any piano related questions that you may have.

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