Harp maintenance

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Barbara Wellman on #157543


    barbara-brundage on #157544

    Hi, Barbara. For a harp by a maker who’s currently available, I’d just ask him what he recommends.

    Barbara Wellman on #157545

    Good suggestion Barbara, except that I can no longer seem to find a phone contact for him. I thought that perhaps there were some compounds that people might preferr for keeping their lovlies young and beautiful!

    sherry-lenox on #157546

    The safest and most effective thing I’ve found is a micro fiber cleaning cloth, dry.
    I personally prefer not to use anything wet or moist, and my harps gleam like the dickens after a thorough rubdown.
    I buy them at COSTCL.

    barbara-brundage on #157547

    Hi, Sherry.

    For others, just a warning about microfiber. It comes in many different ‘strengths’ from gentle enough to use on a camera lens to able to scratch the finish on your harp with one good swipe, so be careful when choosing. Not all microfiber is the same.

    Barbara Wellman on #157548

    So you haven’t found that any products are needed to “moisturizer” the wood? I had looked at a number of accoustic guitar sites and

    tony-morosco on #157549

    I just use a soft cloth. Actually an old, flannel pillow case. I just give the harp a wiping down after each use. The best way to clean a harp is to not let dirt build up on it in the first place.

    I used to not do that with my old lever harp, and it would get discolored around the edges of the sound board. I used Lyon and Healy harp polish to give it a good cleaning (I don’t know if they still make that, but it worked great), and now just wipe it down after each use. I also wipe down the strings. I have found that helps them last longer.

    Barbara Wellman on #157550

    Thanks Tony, that makes good sense!

    sherry-lenox on #157551

    I learn something new every day, Barbara! I must have been really lucky to get something that was gentle, but I love microfiber for lots of uses, so next time i buy the stuff I’ll be sure to check the strength before I make trouble for my self.

    Tacye on #157552

    A harp is a piece of fine furniture and can be treated as such, with the minor exception that you don’t want to add really heavy varnish to the soundboard.

    Barbara Wellman on #157553

    Thanks Tayce for the information. Good news, as I already have Renaissance Wax for my husband’s two sets of antique bagpipes. The chanters are African Blackwood and the RW

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #157554

    I found a better way to clean the strings, which is to wash one’s hands with a bit of mild dish detergent or soap, shake off the drops, then slide your hands and fingers up and down the strings and between them, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth. That way, you remove the oil without much moisture, and any soap film left behind may prevent it from building up. It doesn’t seem to harm coated gut or nylon strings.

    shelby-m on #157555

    Good idea, Saul!

    Minnesota Harpist on #157556

    Barbara, I also have a McFall.

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