Handpan maintenance

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Your handpan is a beautiful and valuable instrument. To keep your handpan in good condition, it is important to take good care of it. To enjoy your handpan for many years, please follow these tips!


It should go without saying, but make sure you don't drop the handpan and don't let anything fall on it. Keep the handpan in a safe place in your house. Avoid touching the handpan with dirty fingers (from food for example, especially salt).


A handpan must be played with your fingers, not with the flat of your hand as you would when playing a djembe, for example. Sticks will damage the surface, which affects the tone.
Remove rings and other metal items from fingers and hands before playing the handpan.


To prevent rust, it is important to prevent the handpan from becoming damp as much as possible. Use a cloth to remove any moisture immediately. Prevent condensation by removing the handpan from its bag whenever possible and placing it on a stand or cushion. It is not a major problem if the handpan gets wet, for example due to rain. Just make sure you dry it again thoroughly (also on the inside). Make sure that the handpan does not end up in a damp cover.

Exposure to salt can also accelerate rusting. For example, if you play it on the beach, clean your handpan immediately after playing and put it in the cover. Do not leave the handpan in salty, moist air for too long. Sea salt is very aggressive on metal and can quickly cause spots on the surface.  It is better to apply oil to the surface of the handpan and leave it overnight. Wipe off any residual oil in the morning.

As a handpan cannot withstand extreme temperature differences, do not leave the hand pan in direct sunlight and do not place it right next to a heat source.
The tuning will always change a little bit in terms of cents or hertz with the temperature. This is normal and will not permanently change the tuning or damage the instruments. It will change back with the temperature to its original frequency and tuning.


Treat with a care product

To keep the look and the sound of your instrument in good condition, it is a good idea to treat your handpan with a natural oil every time after playing. The oil protects the material against external influences (including dirt, acid and grease from your fingers which can cause stains and rust).

When near the sea, first clean and neutralise the handpan with alcohol ketonatus 96% before applying the oil because the salty air can accelerate rust formation.

How do you do that?

Put a few drops of oil on the handpan and use a microfibre cloth to spread the oil gently and evenly over the entire surface. Residual oil can be wiped off with a clean cloth.

If you play the instrument with bare legs, for example in summer, include the bottom too. You do not have to clean the inside of the handpan.

Which oil?

There are various care products on the handpan market. Phoenix handpan oil is good, but an alternative is the strong smelling Balistol. You can occasionally also use olive oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil, but they will leave a sticky layer. Try it out carefully and do not use too much oil.

Some handpans made of 'blue steel' and stainless-steel can be treated with car wax (like Turtle Wax or Sonax) since these instruments are finished with a clear car paint.


To remove dirt, stains or oil residue, apply a small amount of a ketone-based product (available from chemists) to a cloth and clean your handpan. Then treat the pan with oil again. Apply the oil well, including along the edges.

If rust spots appear on the handpan, you can them as follows: apply some alcohol to a scourer and carefully scrub the rust spot away. Then wipe the handpan well with some more alcohol on a clean cloth before rubbing on some oil. An alternative product is WD40.


A handpan is a sturdy, but delicate and vulnerable object. If you handle it with care and attention, you will be able to enjoy playing it for a long time. We are happy to help! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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