How to fix a sticky hammer on a piano

Written by susanne koenig
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How to fix a sticky hammer on a piano
Keep your piano in top shape by dealing with sticky keys when they occur (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Playing a piano should be a joy, and nothing can cause you to wince like a key that is sticking. A stuck key can throw off your playing and make it difficult to finish a piano piece properly. Locating and fixing problems within your piano isn't hard, as long as you know what to look for. Sticking keys are usually the result of a sticky hammer inside the piano and are often caused by wear and tear or humidity.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Canned air
  • Piano lubricant

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  1. 1

    Open the cover to your piano's interior. Run your hand over the keys (or play scales) to see which hammer is sticking.

  2. 2

    Take canned air and blow out the hammer's mechanism. Sometimes the smallest item -- mouse droppings, grit -- will stop a hammer from working properly.

  3. 3

    Spray the hammer's mechanisms with the piano lubricant. If it still will not respond, then talk to a piano technician. Often the cause of a sticking hammer will be in the piano's more complicated actions that are difficult to gain access to and are best left to a professional.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use WD-40, machine oil or silicone sprays to free up sticking components. These sprays might solve the problem temporarily, but they will become sticky over time and require a special treatment by a piano technician to remove.

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