Fingerprints on the photograph : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have some fingerprints on a photograph that have been there for a few days. I need to know of an easy way to remove them. I am afraid of ruining the picture by rubbing with a dry cloth, etc. Any other ways you know of that wouldn't ruin the picture?

-- Gwen Blanchard (, November 25, 2000


Try any of the film cleaners such as PEC, Edwal Film Cleaner, or Ethol Film Cleaner (Kodak used to make one, but I haven't seen it for a while) and a PEC pad (doesn't leave lint) or a natural, long thread, cotton ball such as Red Cross (brush off any loose fibers when dry). These are all safe products for film emulsions, so should do fine with paper.

-- David Goldfarb (, November 26, 2000.

The surfaces of photographs when dry are not all that fragile. If you use a soft cloth (I recommend a micro-fiber cloth like those used for lens cleaning or a soft, lint-free cotton cloth) and rub gently, you will not damage your photograph. Using a solvent-type film cleaner is a good idea if you want to remove all the oil in the fingerprints and not just "polish" it around the surface of the print. Hope this helps, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, November 26, 2000.

If you saturate a clean Q-tip with some Bestine rubber cement thinner (available in art supply stores) you can easily remove finger prints and smudges from B&W fiber prints without doing any harm. I've never done this with color prints, however the thinner I described is essentially Naptha and perhaps others have tried this and can confirm its effectiveness. Warning though, this stuff is very flammable! Ad agencies have been blown off the face of the earth by careless, smoking retouchers, so be careful!

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, November 26, 2000.

You might try "butt wipes" that are used for cleaning new borns; and the scent may bring back memories.....aah....ooooooh.

-- miles feigenbaum (, December 31, 2000.

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