How do I clean a bandoneon or accordion?

The bandoneon is a wind musical instrument, a free bellows, a relative of the accordion, with a rectangular shape, a square cross-section and a specific timbre.

Like all musical instruments, they require proper care and maintenance to keep them in perfect condition. While daily maintenance must be done by the owner, interior fittings and repairs require a professional.

The quick method is the piazzola used in this video. However, we would like to present a little more information.

Take your bandoneon out of the box by lifting the straps. If the coating is dirty or pet hair has accumulated, remove the stains with a lint roller or a slightly damp cloth.
Clean the outside of the bandoneon with a cotton cloth. You can apply a little furniture polish wax if you want to add some shine to the instrument. Avoid strong polishes that leave residue.

Pay special attention to the buttons, which accumulate finger fat and turn yellow. Thoroughly clean each key. Making a habit of rubbing the keys with a cloth after each use can prevent the instrument from turning yellow all the time.

Use a leather band conditioner. A mixture of lanolin and silicone, often referred to as mink oil, keeps the leather strong and supple. Apply a generous amount to each strap and work the entire strap with a cloth or your fingers.

Hire a professional to take care of your bandoneon if you suspect a hole in the bellows or damaged reed.

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