Real Simple answers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated November 02, 2009
Photo album
Credit: James Merrell

Q. What is the safest way to remove fingerprints from photographs?

Anne Faraci

Iowa City, Iowa

A. You couldn’t wait to get your hands on your digital pictures in tangible form―and you have a slew of fingerprints to prove it. Fortunately for you, fingerprints can be wiped clean. If you’re dealing with a heavy residue (say, you were eating greasy pizza before touching your prints), opt for a moist towelette used for plastic and glass lenses and computer screens. “The cleaning solvent lifts grease off the photo without leaving behind remains or scratch marks,” says Russ Muzzolini, an engineer on the research and development team. Just wipe the fingerprints away and set the photo aside so it can air-dry.

Don’t have a towelette on hand? If the marks appear to be minor, grab a dry, 100 percent cotton cloth or T-shirt and softly polish the picture. And in the future, try to keep your paws off. ―Lindsay Funston

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