Preparing Musical Instruments for Long Term Storage

No matter what type of musical instrument you want to store over a long period of time, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your instrument comes out of storage in the same condition it was when it went into storage. Larger instruments like pianos are particularly susceptible to aging and degradation over time if they are not properly prepped. Even instruments that are kept in cases like an acoustic guitar needs to be properly prepped for storage. To help you keep your instruments looking and sounding their best after being stored, be sure to take advantage of these tips for long term storage.

Clean and Dust Thoroughly

Before you do anything else, it is important to give your instrument a thorough cleaning before you put it in storage. A large instrument like a piano will have to be cleared of dirt, dust and oily buildups on the interior and exterior of the instrument. This will prevent issues like keys sticking and dead strings from occurring when you take the piano out to play it again. You should also make sure to thoroughly dry and remove any liquid cleaners you may have used. If there is any moisture left on the piano, it may cause the frame to warp or crack, which will not only ruin the value of the instrument, it can also affect how it plays in the future.

For smaller instruments like guitars the same principles apply. You should be careful not to expose the instrument to any moisture or humidity. This can not only cause the guitar to fall horribly out of tune, it can also warp the wood which will compromise the sound of the instrument.

Wrap It Up

After you’re certain the instrument is completely clean and dry, its time to cover it. Most small instruments come in cases, but you may want to cover the case with a blanket or soft towel to give it an extra layer of protection against falling objects or other items it may rub up against. For a piano, there is a little more that goes into covering the instrument. First, you’ll want to wrap the piano in soft blankets and cover the keys in a soft cloth for extra protection. This will keep the piano safe from any minor bumps or scrapes, and it will also prevent dust buildups if you plan to store it for a long time. Once you’ve wrapped it in towels and/or blankets, simply cover the piano with a large canvas or plastic tarpaulin.

Climate Control is Key

The best way to ensure your instrument stays as safe and dry as possible in storage is to keep it in a climate-controlled storage space such as Annacis Lockup. While a standard outdoor storage unit will keep your instruments under a roof and safe from harm, they cannot prevent exterior temperature changes from having a negative effect on the instrument itself. String instruments such as guitars, violins, bass, and pianos are susceptible to humidity levels that rise and fall throughout the seasons. You may be initially pleased to find your piano looks great after taking it out of non-climate-controlled storage, but you’ll likely find the instrument is way out of tune when you play it.

At Annacis Lockup, our storage facilities feature a wide selection of climate-controlled spaces that can accommodate large and small instruments. To find out more about how you can rent on of our clean and secure storage spaces, be sure to contact us today!