How to Remove Fingerprints on a Photo

By Pilar Ethridge ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Moist towelette
  • 100% cotton cloth
It takes only a few minutes to remove fingerprints from a photo.

Glossy photo prints make photography and picture taking worthwhile, but sometimes it is forgotten how to handle photos without getting fingerprints all over them. Whether you're dealing with your own or someone else's moist fingers, you'll want to get rid of the fingerprints in order to preserve the quality of the photo. Fortunately, there's a surefire way to do this and it doesn't require photography expertise.

Lay the photo flat on the palm of the hand that you do not write with. If the photo is too unbalanced on your palm, place on a flat, smooth surface.

Take a look at the fingerprints to assess the damage. If there is any residue on the photo as a result of greasy or sticky fingers, grab a moist towelette that is made for cleaning glass lenses or computer screens. If there are only fingerprints and no residue, get a 100% cotton cloth to use for cleaning.

Gently wipe fingerprints away using the towelette first, if it is needed. Then, wipe the picture using the cotton cloth.


If you have long fingernails, take care not to scratch the photo in the process of removing the fingerprints.

About the Author

Since 2006, Pilar Ethridge has had the pleasure of honing her writing skills as the assistant editor of the newsletter from a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization. Her interests include children's media, film, American pop culture, crafts, and performing arts in general. Based in Southern California, Ethridge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California.