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  #1  
Old 12 October 2012, 07:54 PM
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Vanishing Magic Eraser can erase fingerprints

Comment: The new word on the street is that Magic Erasers can remove your
fingerprints - from your fingers. Apparently criminals could do this
before committing a crime and the prints the police lift would be useless.
I checked with my local pharmacist and she had heard nothing and her store
sells them. This rumour has been heard in Moncton NB Canada and came to
me but I dont know where it came from to there.
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  #2  
Old 12 October 2012, 08:02 PM
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If it could erase your fingerprints from your fingers, trust me you would know that it was happening. The only way to do that would be to cause massive scarring. You would have big caustic burns on your fingers.


Since I have used the Magic Eraser many times, and never felt the slightest chemical burn, I doubt it would work. Bleach would be better (although still not effective.) Your best bet is to stick all of your fingers and infact your entire hand (they can pick up palm prints, too) on a very hot stove top, and let them sizzlefor a few. By the time your hands heal, you will be able to commit crime with no fear. If, that is, you manage to keep the use of your hands.

Pro Tip: Just wear gloves.
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  #3  
Old 12 October 2012, 08:16 PM
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Pro Tip;
Elmer's Glue

- P
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  #4  
Old 12 October 2012, 08:22 PM
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I love the idea that a pharmacist would know this because her store sells magic erasers. And geminilee has it--if it were true, then a) it would happen all the time to people using magic erasers, and 2) there would be huge warnings on the package saying you needed to wear protective gloves while using the product--if it could be sold at all.
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  #5  
Old 12 October 2012, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaDiddle View Post
Pro Tip;
Elmer's Glue

- P
Well, quite... on a temporary basis all you need to do is coat your fingertips in something that fills in the ridges.

If that's too much trouble, why not just wear thin gloves? (And it probably would be too much trouble, as opposed to just wearing thin gloves).

If you can't afford thin gloves, then why would you be able to afford the glue or chemicals or procedure? Why not just steal the thin gloves?

This seems all very Sherlock Holmes, as in late 19th Century just as people had worked out fingerprints in the first place. People weren't stupid then either, so they would have thought of everything we've thought of, without much delay.

(eta) And having been burgled, and having had the police apparently check the place for fingerprints, they're unlikely to find any usable ones anyway. Fingerprints became the equivalent of "DNA testing" or "security camera pictures" very quickly. They were pretty much responsible for the whole idea. They're equally as fallible as the others, probably more so.

(eta again) Hooray for Paul Simon! I've seen them all again; they're all the same.

Last edited by Richard W; 12 October 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12 October 2012, 11:46 PM
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I have poor fingerprints, apparently, especially on my right hand. I was asked if I read a lot (yes, and I also habitually rub the pages as I read). Apparently that wears down the ridges. But I don't clean a lot.
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  #7  
Old 12 October 2012, 11:59 PM
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Some people never leave fingerprints, some people always do. It depends a lot on the depth of your ridges and the oiliness of your hands.
Some surfaces will never take a usable print, and some do so quite easily. It is not as cut and dried as the TV shows make it out to be.
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  #8  
Old 13 October 2012, 12:28 AM
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Also,as someone pointed out after "Se7en," leaving mutilated fingerprints is only a protection against matching prints already on file. If they catch you, chances are that your particular pattern of scarification, etc., will be unique enough to identify you.
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  #9  
Old 13 October 2012, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
If they catch you, chances are that your particular pattern of scarification, etc., will be unique enough to identify you.
I have a scar which shows up whenever I get fingerprinted (for purposes of performing government background checks, I assure you ). And every time I get fingerprinted, the officer doing it mentions how quickly I'd get caught because of it.
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  #10  
Old 13 October 2012, 04:32 AM
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Don't know if Magic erasers will remove fingerprints or not (and I'm not trying!) but they definitely will "burn" your skin.

Quote:
I have a scar which shows up whenever I get fingerprinted (for purposes of performing government background checks, I assure you ). And every time I get fingerprinted, the officer doing it mentions how quickly I'd get caught because of it.
Me, too. Unfortunate tangle with a Spaghetti-Os can as a kid and a very very bloody slice across two fingers.
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  #11  
Old 13 October 2012, 04:41 AM
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I have a scar on my right palm right near the index finger (thanks to an encounter with a chow-chow which also gave me multiple other scars) that would probably nail me.

ah just googled- answered my query if fingerprints/palm prints change at all. They don't.
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  #12  
Old 13 October 2012, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Don't know if Magic erasers will remove fingerprints or not (and I'm not trying!) but they definitely will "burn" your skin.
It will burn based on the fact there is an active chemical in there. Of course it isn't the same type of burn that will do much to your prints. You are going to need something more powerful. I saw a show that interviewed someone that tried to burn his prints away (he was an escaped criminal). He said that he used acid and the pain was so unbearable that he aborted the process. I think he used hydrochloric acid.

My take on it, the magic erasures are no worse for your skin than most cleaning products are - which aren't going to damage your skin in most cases. If you think about it, it kinda makes sense, most companies are not going to release a product that is going to cause major burns to your skin - to likely for a lawsuit. They will release stuff effective to do it's job and thats about it.
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  #13  
Old 13 October 2012, 07:13 AM
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Odd, I have never felt a burn from it. On the other hand, I can use undiluted bleach without getting burns, so I may not be a good average to go by.
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  #14  
Old 13 October 2012, 07:20 AM
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The variant I heard, and thought of immediately upon reading the OP, is that the abrasive element of the Magic eraser would temporarily remove the ridge lines.

The variant I heard years ago involved using 1200 grit sandpaper to do the same thing.

Hmmm.
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  #15  
Old 13 October 2012, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Well, quite... {snip}
If that's too much trouble, why not just wear thin gloves? (And it probably would be too much trouble, as opposed to just wearing thin gloves).
I see exactly what you're getting at and will even admit that I'm engaging in a bit of amateur mystery writing. I'm supposing that in my little piece of pulp fiction there's a grainy low-def video of a perpetrator without gloves who touched something he/she shouldn't have. Or for whatever reason the investigation is only focusing on the person in attendance who had a pair on.

Gloves thin or stolen, need a secure means of disposal. Elmer's glue gets washed down the drain.

Please place my Pulitzer on the mantle.

- P
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  #16  
Old 13 October 2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaDiddle View Post
Elmer's glue gets washed down the drain.

Please place my Pulitzer on the mantle.

- P
I see Elmers glue on your fingers (forget your whole hands which do leave marks too) as way too obvious to an onlooker whereas gloves aren't always conspicuous and may even be ignored and can be easily removed and concealed. Glue is also a pain to remove IME. You also suffer tactile feedback with glue on your fingers. Latex gloves can be clear.

Of course of you are going to be stealing something, you aren't going to do it with people around and if there are no people around, being obvious with gloves isn't a concern.
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  #17  
Old 13 October 2012, 06:22 PM
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As someone who regularly wears latex or nitrile gloves, I think they are pretty far from ideal from committing a crime. They tear easily. They are conspicuous (even the clear ones). Your hands have a distinctive smell after wearing them for a while. Hell, they're pretty uncomfortable.

I think one would be better off just going with regular gloves, I'd think.
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  #18  
Old 13 October 2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
I have poor fingerprints, apparently, especially on my right hand. I was asked if I read a lot (yes, and I also habitually rub the pages as I read). Apparently that wears down the ridges. But I don't clean a lot.
My mother used to play a stringed instrument, and she said she had no fingerprints on her left hand (or at least not the fingers, the thumb was presumably unaffected) when she played regularly. Now whether that was due to the ridges being worn down by rubbing against the strings or being obscured by the formation of callouses, I don't know. Also, my mom has a lot of allergy issues, so it's possible that some type of mild allergic reaction to rosin could have played a role as well. The fingerprints grew back once she stopped playing regularly.
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  #19  
Old 13 October 2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahungo View Post
I think one would be better off just going with regular gloves, I'd think.
Not to mention that unless it is warm all year all day and night, they aren't necessarily conspicuous to have around.
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  #20  
Old 14 October 2012, 05:14 AM
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I've been using magic erasers for a few years now, to clean desks and walls at my job. I still have all of my fingerprints. Also, MEs don't hold up all that long. I would think they would crumble away before they could take much skin off your fingers.
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