2 Simple Ways to Take Care of Kalimba

Posted: 2019-12-28     Last Update: 2020-08-26

take care of kalimba poster

The best conditions of a kalimba is when it arrives at your hand. The second best is anytime when it is well taken care of by the player. Without appropriate actions, either the body or the tines are easily impacted by the environment which may finally result in a bad looking and a less perfect sound. To ensure the kalimba goes a long way on its best conditions, there are two simply ways you can pick up and utilize right now.

Here are the two simple ways for easier navigation, how to take care of the instrument when it is fine and how to deal with the rusted tines. When it is still working well, mind the environment with respective methods while potential physical or chemical harm shall be prevented. If the tines are heavily rusted, either cleaning or changing of the tines is advised up to the rusty level.

Care for the kalimba

By the time of receiving a kalimba, you have a new friend coming into your life.

Like other friends, kalimba is also expecting the care from your end so that you can explore the most of the music world together. Here are some tips which apply for wood kalimba only.

care kalimba

The first in mind is the climate where you live. Neither too dry nor too humid is where kalimba likes to stay. As shared in the selection chapter, those types of wood, e.g. acacia, are climate sensitive. In prior of making the purchase, climate shall be taken into consideration. When this only comes into awareness after the purchase has been made or acacia is the only wood you like when purchase a kalimba, any suggestion is available? Sure, we do. Humid as where you live, note to keep the instrument in a care case or a flannelette bag where a certain degree of moisture will be absorbed. Desiccant is another option dealing with humidity. On the contrary, if you live somewhere very dry, appropriate use of humidifier is a good choice to remain the wellbeing of kalimba. The best humidity of the environment for kalimba will be somewhere between 30-60 which may vary from wood to wood.

For the sake of wooden protection, long term of direct sunlight or closeness to any sources of heater is prohibited. This contributes to a higher degree of evaporation which finally results in the crack of the wood. It works not only for kalimba, but also for any sort of wood products. To make it less dry, selected oils, e.g. lemon oil, can be used to form a layer on the surface to keep the water inside.

Again, stay away from wet cloth to clean any part of the instrument. Otherwise, the wood body would get out of shape in different degrees and the spring steel are more likely to turn rusty. Given this being said, dry cloth is high advised to do the cleaning when required.

Furthermore, any chemical supplies shall be abandoned when doing the cleaning. It may erode the protective film smeared on the surface of the wood.

Last but not least, a care case is highly recommended when purchase a kalimba. Whenever you are not playing, the loved thumb piano can be placed in the case where it can be perfectly protected. Thus, every time when you are back, it is still in a great condition, in good presentation and in tuned, for any songs to be played.

How to deal with rust tines

Made up of steel for most the tines, it is easily to get rusty when under a humid climate. Unless there is a chance to move to somewhere less humid, a solution has to be figured out to deal with that.

Before taking any further actions, it needs to be found out how rusty it is. Sometimes, the rusty tines still perform well or even better as they have lived quite long time with the body of the instrument and adopted the way how to make the best sound. If you are fine with this, just leave it and take appropriate actions to keep it from being worse in the humid climate.

If it has been too much rust and it is not sounding as good as it once was, you could try one of the solutions as below. Get to clean the rust by using steel wool and some mineral oil. This is the best way to resume your kalimba as good as once it looks and sounds. Unless no other option is available, the tines ought not to be changed as you have to help yourself to take apart of your kalimba and change the new tines. Any misconduct may lead to a less perfect condition of the instrument.


It only takes very limited time and resources for players to take care of their kalimbas. While the return on this may be tremendous. A healthy and good looking kalimba not only brings you great music and songs, but also a memorable time with your family, your friends and more.

What is your action to keep your kalimba beautiful and healthy?