Most of the points below are commonsense and apply to most musical instruments or delicate pieces of equipment, but I think they are worth repeating here.
Over the years, I have seen numerous examples of problems with accordions down to some of the issues below.
I have heard of cases where reeds have fallen off an accordion when the wax has melted – yes, even in our usually cool weather.
I have heard of reports of woodworm in a fairly new accordion, thought I have never seen that myself.
But with care an accordion will last you a lifetime, so just pick it up and enjoy playing!
- Cleaning – never use strong chemical cleaners. Dry and polish with a soft cloth only.
- Case – when not in use for prolonged periods store your accordion in its case. A hard case helps to protect your instrument, but a soft case is lighter to carry.
- Keys or buttons – be careful not to knock the keys or buttons, especially when putting the accordion into or taking it out of its case.
- Storage – store your accordion in the same position as when you play. This keeps the valves and palettes in their best alignment.
- Avoid damp – avoid damp conditions for storage as these can result in warping of the wooden frame and rust on metal parts.
- Avoid heat – avoid extremes of temperature, especially be wary of storing your accordion in a hot place, which could soften or melt the wax used to hold the reeds in place.
- Avoid shock – accordions are made up of hundreds of individual parts. Although generally robust, avoid sudden sharp knocks which can cause misalignment of the levers, palettes or reeds.
- Bellows – Do not allow anyone to pull your accordion open unless a key or button is being depressed at the same time.
- Strap – the strap and in particular, buckles can cause damage to the outside of your accordion and its keys. So store your accordion with the straps folded behind the accordion away from the keyboard and bass buttons
- Use it! Don’t store your accordion for long periods, take it out of its case, play it and enjoy it!