Latent Fingerprints

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Updated on May 08, 2013

Superglue fuming is a very common technique used by forensic specialists across the world to develop fingerprints that can't be immediately seen with the naked eye, known as latent fingerprints. The fumes from the superglue will adhere to the amino acids left behind by the fingerprint secretions. This is a valuable technique that can easily be replicated.


How does a persondevelop latent fingerprints on a non-porous object?


  • Small, plastic container (approximately 8”X10”) with lid
  • Bottle of superglue
  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Two aluminum tart shells
  • Lamp with a shade
  • Compact disc


  1. Run your hand through your hair and place a few fingerprints on the compact disc
  2. Place the disc in the center of the plastic container
  3. Place seven drops of Superglue in one of the aluminum tart shells and place it in the corner of the plastic container.
  4. Fill the other aluminum tart shell with hot water and place it in the opposite corner of the plastic container.
  5. Cover the entire plastic container with plastic wrap and then place the lid over of that
  6. Place the container on top of a lamp for 15 minutes. (If the superglue has fumed properly, you will notice that the fingerprints have turned white. Allow to dry for a minimum of three hours.)
Detective Constable Jake Friesen is a member of the Forensic Identification Unit with the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service in Ontario, Canada. Jake is highly trained in many disciplines of forensic science and is a fingerprint expert in Canada.

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