Removing fingerprinting powder - Gromit {P}
Can anyone unlucky enough to have had their car broken into offer a reliable method of removing fingerprinting powder from plastic trim?

Punto was broken into two years ago (but not taken, fortunately, thanks to the immobiliser), after which the police dusted for fingerprints. While most of the powder rubbed off the steering wheel, dashboard and door handles afterwards, some powder remains trapped in the textured pattern of the plastic.

Since then I've tried furniture polish, interior trim cleaner and upholstery cleaner, none of which shifted it. I've just tried acetone, which dissolved the carrier paste - but only enough to spread the powder about more.

So, what have other Backroomers found works without making an even bigger mess?

Thanks in advance,
- Gromit
Removing fingerprinting powder - local yokel
Have you tried calling the scenes of crime office to see what they suggest?

A good solvent for many sticky solutions is lighter fluid. If you can still find it, carbon tetrachloride is also good, but I think is not available OTC any more, as it's a carcinogen, I believe.
Removing fingerprinting powder - Kevin
Bluetack?

Kevin...
Removing fingerprinting powder - LexusBoy
The SOCO told me to use Fairy Liquid (other washing up liquids are available) when I was burgled. That seemed to do the trick if I remember correctly.
Removing fingerprinting powder - Dynamic Dave
I've just tried acetone, which dissolved the carrier paste - but only enough to spread the powder about more.


It *might* now be permanent as the acetone could well have melted it into the plastic surface.
Removing fingerprinting powder - Altea Ego
>> I've just tried acetone, which dissolved the carrier paste -
but only enough to spread the powder about more.
It *might* now be permanent as the acetone could well have
melted it into the plastic surface.


At least you always have a scroat to blame if it gets broken into again?
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Removing fingerprinting powder - update - Gromit {P}
Thanks for your suggestions on how to remove the offending fingerprinting residue. Finally got to try them out at the weekend.

Washing up liquid and a soft nylon brush removed the residue on the surface of the door pulls, but not the powder that is stuck into the grooves in the pattern of the plastic.

As DD pointed out, using acetone probably didn't help!

If I do have any further success, I'll report back.

PS: No, TVM, the scroat who inflicted the damage was never traced (as far as I know), but at least the police have a chance of identifying him if ever he's collared for something else. Am I being optimistic? Yes. But it wouldn't be reasonable to moan if I hadn't done my bit to help nail the scroat..?
Removing fingerprinting powder - update - AR-CoolC
Get a good quality (with long strands) microfibre cloth, and use it damp. You'll be amazed what it removes.
Removing fingerprinting powder - update - glowplug
You used to be able to buy a record (vinyl) cleaning liquid that you spread on the surface waited until it set and then peeled off like a face mask. Something like this may do the job. If you're feeling brave you could try a small hidden patch with PVA glue. I find it really cleans all the gunk out of my fingertips if I've been using it.

Steve.
Removing fingerprinting powder - update - Red Baron
Fingerprint 'dust', as far as I can remember, is simply very fine aluminium powder.

Yes, soapy water and a fine-bristled, but stiff brush would have done the job.

Acetone or any other strong solvent such as tetrachloroethylene will have dissolved the surface layer of the plastic within which the spread aluminium powder will now be nicely encapsulated.

You might try further gentle abrasion (T-cut or CIF cleaner) but do try it out in an inconspicuous corner first.

Quite why they 'dusted' a highly textured surface I don't know, I'd have thought it unlikely to yield any usable fingerprints.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car