All about computer, communications and consumer electronics (3C)

Caring for Finger print sensor

Posted by Suntrekker on November 24, 2007

We are using finger print sensors in my workplace main door, server room, etc… and since it is always been touched for almost a thousand times and all the troubleshooting, adding/deleting of fingerprint accounts as well as the software and hardware maintenance was turned over to me… I devotedly scheduled a cleaning time for this little device and I want to share to you some basic steps in cleaning of silicon-based fingerprint sensor if you have one at your home.. hehehe. (yes, there are fingerprint sensors that can be bought that are running on Alkaline 3AA Size batteries and can last for 1 year and a half – the battery). It feels like having one is futuristic and hi-tech.

Sensors are rugged solid-state devices designed to provide years of trouble-free service. In fact, they have been laboratory-tested with over 2 million touches and no measurable wear – as what I read in its old manual. Although maintenance and handling requirements are few in number, observance of a few basics in caring for the sensors will help to ensure a high level of performance over the life of the product.

In a real-world environment, the sensors can become soiled due to repeated contact with users’ fingers or other sources of contamination. Unless this contamination on the surface of the sensor is extremely thick, it will not have any effect on the ability of the sensor to capture fingerprints. However, users may want to clean the surface of the sensor occasionally for aesthetic reasons. It is important to clean the sensor in a way that does not damage the surface or result in discoloration of the finger ring. This specification describes how the sensor surface may be cleaned without causing damage to the sensor.


To clean the sensor surface, perform the following steps:

1. Remove the electrical power from the fingerprint sensor by disconnecting it from power source.

2. Use any type of household kitchen or window cleaner.

Do NOT use chlorine-based cleaners, such as Clorox
bleach,non-chlorine bleach, or chlorine-based bathroom or mildew cleaners. Chlorine ba
sed cleaners will not necessarily affect the functionality of the fingerprint sensor, but they will discolor the finger drive ring and could damage the surrounding enclosure and peripheral components to the sensor.

Do NOT use any solvents, such as acetone, MEK, TCE, paint thinner, turpentine, etc. Solvents will not adversely affect the sensor, but they might damage the surrounding enclosure and peripheral components to the sensor.

3.Wet one end of a cotton swab (not soaking or dripping wet) with one of the
above-mentioned cleaners. Gently rub the sensor surface and finger drive ring with the wet cotton swab, slowly rotating the swab so a new, clean surface of the swab is constantly expose
d to the sensor surface. Do not allow cleaner to drip or run down into the electronics around the sensor.

Do NOT use nylon brushes, scouring pads, or steel wool. These items can cause damage to the sensor.

4. After cleaning with the wet swab, gently rub the surfaces again with a dry cotton swab. Use a clean swab each time the sensor is cleaned. (If a dirty swab is used, it may make the sensor dirty again).

fingerprint touch
The sensor with my officemates’ finger.

2 Responses to “Caring for Finger print sensor”

  1. Hey this is great. I just found what I was exactly looking for. Your knowledge on this is subject is vast and I would love it if u could write more articles on this subject. I m looking forward for more of your articles. I m really impressed with your work. Please keep posting

  2. Alberta said

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
    all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: