If you’ve ever been working in your polymer clay studio and realize you’ve gotten fingerprints on your finished clay, you’re not alone. Fingerprints on polymer clay is a common mistake crafters often overlook. The good news is, it can easily be avoided and fixed! 

How to Keep Fingerprints off Your Polymer Clay 

Getting fingerprints on your clay creations — whether those are beads, dolls, easy crafts or home decor items — can be frustrating. To avoid unwanted fingerprints, try these tips:

  • -Make sure your polymer clay is firm before you start crafting: Soft clay is one of the biggest culprits of showing fingerprints. To firm up polymer clay that’s gone soft, you can put the clay in the freezer or leach out some of its plasticizers.
  • -Wear gloves: Prevent fingerprints in your clay by wearing gloves throughout your entire creative process.
  • -Use cornstarch or water: Rub the surfaces of your fingers and palms with cornstarch to avoid fingerprinting your clay.
  • -Smooth fingerprints away with oil: Rub only a couple of drops of mineral or baby oil on polymer clay with your finger to erase any fingerprints. 
  • -Work with cool polymer clay: Warm polymer clay is more prone to absorbing fingerprints. If you’re making beads, always let them sit for a while before piercing them with bead wire or doing a final roll. You can also try putting them in the fridge for a while to firm them up. 
  • -Avoid gripping your polymer clay: Hold your creations lightly and avoid squeezing them to avoid leaving fingerprints on polymer clay.

Use Acetone to Remove Fingerprints From Polymer Clay 

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you cannot avoid leaving fingerprints on your clay creations. It happens to the best of us! Luckily, acetone works great for removing fingerprints from polymer clay. 

The acetone found in nail polish removers may not be strong enough for removing fingerprints. Your best bet would be to find 100% acetone in automotive finishing departments or even some paint stores. Dip a Q-tip into the acetone and start rubbing away any flaws on your clay. The acetone will smooth out the surface by melting the plastic on the surface of the clay. 

Don’t worry if you notice smear marks while doing this — they will disappear once you bake the polymer clay. Because acetone is highly flammable, keep it away from heat sources and use only in well-ventilated areas. Use with caution and always keep acetone away from pets and children.

Place Your Sculpey® Order Today

Create professional-looking designs with ease — and avoid leaving behind fingerprints in the process! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or visit our website. We love helping clayers of all skill levels with their creations. Order high-quality polymer clay today and enjoy the most innovative brands on the market.