Both wood and plastic caster cups may slide with the the piano (more or less) on hardwood or other smooth floors if you need to move the piano locally. But either may still scratch the floor, so if you are contemplating being able to slide the piano on a smooth floor or surface in the future, you should glue a circle of felt or leather to the bottom of the cups before installing them under the piano, to facilitate their sliding and to further protect the floor. Many people with hardwood floors do this, and also glue felt or leather to the ends of the legs of the piano bench, so they won't leave marks. Some types of caster cups come already pre-felted on the bottom. If you are careful to just take the piano's weight off the legs, the caster cups will usually move along with them. If you lift the leg too high, the caster cups will be left behind. Again, this requires a certain degree of skill and coordination, and some caster cups are just obstinate, so some people find it easier just to remove the caster cups and put some good sized sheets of thick cardboard under the casters for sliding the piano.

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With uprights and vertical pianos, unfortunately, there is not a lot of choice, at least in one aspect of how you locate them: they're usually designed to be placed with their backs against the wall (as the backposts are not that visually appealing). However, if necessity requires, you can get a cover for the vertical's back, or use potted plants, judiciously, or other types of screens.

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The West Coast of the United States (California, Oregon and Washington) also seems to be a good environment for pianos, even though the relative humidity is higher (generally around 40 to 60%.) Because of the temperature moderating effect of the ocean, humidity levels within 50 to 100 miles of the coast seem to stay relatively constant, except for the occasional rainstorm and seasonal changes. Pianos that have spent their lives in California often have few or no cracks in the soundboards, although there may be some light oxidation on the strings. But California also has hundreds of varying local "micro-climates." For example, there can be problems within 2 to 3 miles of the ocean or on a peninsula like San Francisco, or along the Southern California beachfront communities. Salt in the air and fog from the sea tends to accelerate the rusting of strings and other metal parts, even though the wood parts seem to do all right. For this reason, try not to store your fine Steinway in a beach house or seaside cottage, or in an unheated mountain cabin. Salt water tends to be the most corrosive, but there are also problems near freshwater lakes, rivers and other large bodies of water.

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It is true that some of the polishes supplied with, and recommended for, new high gloss polyester finish pianos, contain silicone. A polyester finish, being thicker and harder than a traditional nitrocellolose lacquer finish, may be more impervious to silicone contamination than other types of finishes. However, the fact is that anything used on the outside of the piano sooner or later usually finds its way inside, and even polyester finishes have cracks and seams through which the silicone can migrate into the wood underneath. That alone is sufficient reason for us to recommend you try and find an alternative that does not contain silicone. As an alternate for polishing/cleaning high gloss pianos, Meguiar's Mirror Glaze line of polishes (or equivalent products by 3M or other manufacturers), available at auto body supply or hardware stores, is something we have found excellent over the years. We use either Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze, or #5 New Car Glaze, neither of which contain silicone. Meguiar's also has a product called Hand Polish and another called Swirl Free Polish, which should work as well. To remove light scratches try their #9 Swirl Remover. There are also other products they offer to remove deeper scratches or defects. Meguiars also offers a line of waxes, but their spokesperson informed me that the waxes contain silicone. The above mentioned polishes, however, do not. Look for labelling on the product which states "contains no silicone" or "paintable", to find polishes without silicone.

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On a vertical or upright piano, you can remove the lower panel and, with a hose and brush or crevice tool, vacuum up the dust that has fallen in the bottom of the piano and around the pedal levers and rods. You can also vacuum the plate, soundboard and bridges in the lower part of the piano. Unfortunately you cannot easily do this with the upper half of the piano because the keys and action parts are in the way. If you know how to remove the lid and upper panel/music shelf on your piano, you can vacuum down inside around the keys behind the fallboard. Anything else requires further disassembly of the instrument.

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Both uprights and grands should be checked to make sure that one corner does not have a block of wood or other supporting object under it, because of a missing or broken caster. When such a piano is moved and inadvertently comes off the block, it may lean or fall forward or backward unexpectedly, with possibly disastrous results. Older uprights, especially the taller ones, tend to be top-heavy. Be aware of this and be prepared. If you have any doubts that you can move the piano safely, call in a pro.