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How to Unstick Accordion Buttons

History of the Button Accordion
Sarah Rigg

The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument often used in folk music throughout Europe and the Americas. If the base keys on your accordian are sticking, it will result in a less-than-perfect sound. As dust and debris can easily build up in your accordion, regular care and maintenance of your instrument will keep it looking and sounding like new for years to come.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the accordion's back panel, which is located under the instrument's bass buttons. Gently pull the back panel off the accordion to expose the bass-button mechanism.

Vacuum the mechanism to remove obvious debris, dust and dirt.

Wipe the metal poles that are attached to the bass buttons with a clean, damp cloth. Clean around where the bass buttons protrude with cotton swabs and Goo Be Gone to remove dirt and grime, then wipe the buttons with a dry cloth.

Replace the back panel on the accordion. Test the buttons to ensure they do not stick.

Things You'll Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum
  • Wet cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Goo Be Gone
  • Dry cloth


Take your accordion to a professional if button problems continue. Keep your accordion in dry, moderate temperatures and away from damp, humid conditions. Occasionally take your accordion out of its case to let it air. Cover it with a dust cloth to prevent debris from settling on the accordion. Tune frequently played accordions every three to five years. Have a back panel installed on your accordion to prevent bellows damage from zippers, belts and buttons.

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