I have recently been researching PEC-12 emulsion cleaner and have read a lot of positive information about it.

Has anyone had any success with removing fingerprints from film and negatives, which have been there for a long time, possibly years, by using PEC-12?

In other words, is PEC-12 effective at removing old fingerprints from film and negatives?

As far as I'm aware, I don't have any fingerprints (as least none of mine) on any of my precious negatives, except for perhaps one or two where I may have touched the corner of one or two negatives. I always wash my hands before handling and always (try) to handle my films by the banners. I shall purchase Polypropylene sleeves together with paper sleeves to store them in as soon as I can. I just want to know if PEC-12 can help if the worst should happen.

I also recently acquired some negatives in a less than ideal state from a generous donor and I am considering sending them off to be cleaned by a professional via a photography store, who to the best of my knowledge uses PEC-12 to clean negatives and slides.

Any feedback regarding your experiences with PEC-12 would be appreciated.

  • what extra info you are looking for if you already "have read a lot of positive information about it"? What is still unclear, what you want to know? Feb 22, 2018 at 1:39

2 Answers 2


I have found nothing better than PEC-12. I have used it to take off permanent marker ink. I think it would take off old fingerprints unless they embedded in the emulsion or the finger oils have caused some kind of chemical change.


The definitive answer as to whether PEC-12® will remove fingerprints is: maybe. The reason depends on two variables: how long they have been on the film and the acidity of the finger oil of the person who left it. It's important to understand that an acidic finger oil almost immediately begins to etch the emulsion and causes irreparable damage. Using PEC-12 will remove the oil but not the damage it caused. Think of a blue ballpoint pen scribbling over the front of a photograp - PEC-12 removes the blue ink but not the etching from the pen. And of course the longer the fingerprint is left on the emulsion the more damage can be caused. On the other hand some people's finger oil is pH neutral and causes very little damage even over time. Using PEC-12 will not cause any harm but by removing the oil it can prevent further damage from any remaining finger oil. Remember to test the PEC-12 on a non-important portion of the print or negative before attempting any cleaning. Full details can be found on our website at www.photosol.com => going to the product tab ==> clicking on PEC-12 and reading the entire section. DMS

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