How to Completely Erase a Fingerprint on Document Paper

Updated April 17, 2017

Any smooth surface is liable to show fingerprints. Paper is particularly susceptible to fingerprints, as the paper fibres can absorb the oils and sweat from fingertips. Such "latent" prints can be left behind and found by investigators at the scene of a crime. Eradicating fingerprints on porous surfaces such as paper may be a bit tricky, but it is still possible to erase fingerprints from documents using a variety of techniques.

Purchase art gum from any art supply store. Gently rub over the fingerprinted spot back and forth. Use caution, because rubbing too hard will cause the paper to become thin.

Mix water and cornstarch together and carefully blot the fingerprints. Use water sparingly and mix in the cornstarch carefully. Too much water or cornstarch may ruin the paper quality. You may substitute dry borax for the cornstarch.

Dab the fingerprints with a blotter sheet to absorb some of the oils (especially for very fresh prints). Use a working iron on the lowest heat setting on top of the blotter sheet. Iron with caution, as too much heat will destroy the paper.

Use a stale slice of bread to absorb dirt and fingerprints. Wipe the dust off the document with a cloth first, then cut off the bread crust. Rub the bread gently over the document.

Things You'll Need

  • Art gum
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Dry borax (optional)
  • Blotter paper
  • Iron
  • White bread (optional)
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About the Author

Jane McDonaugh has been a professional writer and editor since 2010, with expertise in literature, television, film and humor. She is a freelance reader for Author Solutions Film and has held many other positions in television and film production. McDonaugh holds a Bachelor of Arts in television production and English from Emerson College.