Printing with Classic Powder

August 2020

Gloved hand holding a fingerprint brush over a vial of fingerprint powder with the ForensiKit box in the background

The ForensiKit: Printing with Classic Powder box includes
  • One 1-oz. vial black fingerprint powder
  • One 1-oz. vial white fingerprint powder
  • Two fiberglass brushes
  • Two 25-sheet pads of 2×6 flat lifting tape
  • Twenty fingerprint cards, white backing
  • Twenty fingerprint cards, black backing
  • One dust mask
  • One pair of Nitrile gloves
  • One activity insert (Download another copy [PDF])
  • One packing list (Download another copy [PDF])
Contents of the ForensiKit by Crime Scene - Printing with Classic Powder box


💡 Pro Tip: Always wear a mask and gloves when dusting for prints. Fingerprint powder can irritate your respiratory system, and your bare fingers can leave prints on the surface you’re dusting, contaminating the evidence.

Activity – Collect fingerprints from a vehicle

Someone has been messing with your vehicle, and you’re going to lift fingerprints to identify the culprit.

Materials needed:

  • A parked vehicle you can safely access
  • Camera or cell phone to take photos

Steps

  1. Have someone in your group leave fingerprints on the exterior of the vehicle while you’re not looking.
    • Select a specific area like the driver’s side door to save time.
    • To fully test your skills, make sure they touch different surfaces like the glass, the chrome, and the painted areas.
    • 💡 Don’t worry. Follow the cleanup instructions, and all the powder will come off.
  2. Follow the Developing the Print procedure to dust for latent prints.
    • Choose your powder color to contrast with the color of the surface.
    • The white powder works well on chrome surfaces.
  3. Take photos of the dusted prints to document where you found them.
  4. Follow the Preserving the Print procedure to lift the dusted prints with the clear tape and save them on the cards.
  5. Label each card with the information you know about that print — e.g., where it was found, when it was collected, etc.
  6. Examine the lifted prints. Can you exclude your fingerprints and identify the others?
Car Robber with Flashlight Looking Inside the Car
Car photo created by welcomia – www.freepik.com

Tips to protect against car theft

  • Keep doors and windows locked.
  • Roll windows up all the way.
  • Keep the car interior tidy.
  • Store any items in the trunk or out of sight, so there’s less to appeal to a thief.
  • Make sure any electronics, holders, power cords, and adapters are out of sight.

Learn more about How To Lift Fingerprints from POLICE Magazine


Additional Resources


Need another brush?

Fingerprint Brush, fiberglass

Fiberglass fingerprint brush

Need more fingerprint powder?

Fingerprint Powder

Two vials of fingerprint powder in different colors
Want to level up?

Basic 4 Combination Latent Print Kit

Contents of the Basic 4 Combination Latent Print Kit

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