Chapter 20. Lab IV-3 Revealing Latent Fingerprints Using Ninhydrin

Equipment and Materials

You’ll need the following items to complete this lab session. (The standard kit for this book, available from, includes the items listed in the first group.)

Materials from Kit

  • Goggles

  • Magnifier

  • Ninhydrin powder

  • Zinc chloride solution

Materials you Provide

  • Gloves

  • Acetone

  • Bottle, small storage

  • Paper towels

  • Scanner and software (optional)

  • Spray bottle, fingertip (optional)

  • Steam iron or oven

  • UV light source (optional)

  • Specimens: paper with latent fingerprints

  • Specimens: paper with fumed fingerprints


Acetone is flammable. Ninhydrin is irritating. Zinc chloride is toxic and corrosive and emits hydrochloric acid fumes when wet. Wear splash ...

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