Chapter 22. Lab IV-5 Revealing Latent Fingerprints On Sticky Surfaces

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

  • Forceps

  • Gentian violet solution, 0.1% aqueous

  • Magnifier

  • Pipette

  • Slides, flat

Materials you Provide

  • Gloves

  • Camera (optional)

  • Paper towels

  • Plastic sheet, transparent (optional; see text)

  • Scanner (optional)

  • Specimens: sticky with latent fingerprints


Gentian violet solution stains anything it contacts. You can remove stains from your skin and some materials using ethanol or isopropanol. Some fabrics may be stained indelibly. Wear splash goggles, gloves, ...

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