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I do a lot of work on each accordion before I list it for sale. I want to make sure that every accordion I sell is in its best possible condition.

First, I remove the bellows from the accordion. I open the bellows using a special hand-made tool:

Then I brush and vacuum clean the folds inside and out. In these photos, you can see the microvacuum I use: it’s the black cylinder at the front of the workbench. The DataVac Pro is an incredible find! It’s designed for professional circuit board repair. it’s just right to get the fragile parts of an accordion clean while also being gentle.


I remove all of the reed blocks and test every reed on my test bellows. On the test bellows I can hear minor problems with a reed that you can’t hear while you’re playing it, and I repair even those tiny things! You might not consciously hear these tiny issues when the reed is in the accordion, but your ear can still hear them and it affects the sound and tone of the reeds. I clean all of the reed blocks and reed plates with a special brush, and that really gets the reeds sounding great. In many cases, this also improves the pitch and tuning of the reeds–because when dust settles on a reed, it changes the pitch ever so slightly. I do this same cleaning with every accordion I repair, and when customers pick it up and first play their repaired accordion, many say “Wow, it sounds like a new accordion!”

This is an image of me cleaning the bass side of an accordion. You’d be surprised at how often I find spider webs, dead insects (no kidding), and (always) lots of dust. Even with accordions that look great and sound good, dust and lint will be inside if you haven’t had it looked at in a few years. It never hurts to get a good cleaning! Behind the DataVac, you can see my test bellows with the two bass reed blocks sitting on top.

Here’s a photo of me cleaning out the treble side of an accordion. Behind my hand, you can see two of the treble reed blocks.

If you’ve read this far, then I know that you really care about accordions! If you’re interested in buying one of my accordions, please take a look at the accordions I have for sale. You can be sure that I did this same loving work with all of them.