How to Restore an Accordion

Written by robert russell
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How to Restore an Accordion
Restore the original appearance of your accordion. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you are interested in selling an old accordion that has been laying around the house, the first thing to do is to clean it up and make it presentable. Restoring an accordion requires patience and attention to detail. Dirt and grime are two of the biggest problems for an accordion. Carefully cleaning the different parts of the accordion not only helps to restore its original appearance, it also improves the overall sound and tonal qualities.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Household cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Residue remover
  • Towel
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Toothbrush
  • Metal polishing/cleaning paste
  • Sandpaper
  • Steel wool
  • Shoe or leather dye
  • Replacement accordion parts

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  1. 1

    Remove the shoulder straps from the accordion. Some shoulder straps are screwed onto the accordion while other straps snap into place.

  2. 2

    Clean the accordion with household cleaner, warm water and a soft cloth. If the plastic is discoloured or stained, then use a mixture of baking soda and water or white toothpaste on the plastic part of the accordion. Remove labels and sticky residue with a spray gel product.

  3. 3

    Rinse the accordion with fresh water and clean cloths. Wipe the accordion several times until all of the soap residue disappears. Dry the accordion with a towel.

  4. 4

    Vacuum the interior of the accordion with a vacuum cleaner and its attachments. Brush the lint out of the accordion with a clean, dry toothbrush.

  5. 5

    Clean corroded metal parts of the accordion with a metal polishing or cleaning paste. Metal paste is available at auto parts stores, hardware stores as well as music stores. Follow the instructions and apply the recommended amount. Allow the paste to dry for the recommended amount of time before buffing with a cloth. If the metal is heavily corroded, then sand off the corrosion with light grit sandpaper or steel wool prior to applying the polishing compound.

  6. 6

    Repair or replace broken parts on the accordion. The House of Musical Traditions suggests repairing damaged corners or holes with black duct tape and filling in scuff marks with a shoe or leather dye. The House of Musical Traditions provides an online repair page that sells all the necessary replacement parts for an accordion.

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