Document Type


Publication Date


MeSH Terms

Body Fluids, Semen, Laundering, Acid Phosphatase, Crime

Subject: LCSH

Body fluids, Crime scenes, Semen, Laundry, Acid phosphatase


Forensic Science and Technology


There has been little research into the effect of fabric type and different laundering conditions on the ability to detect semen stains on washed fabrics. This study aimed to investigate three potential factors affecting semen identification on laundered clothing: fabric type, water temperature during washing, and whether the stain was dry at the time of washing. Following laundering, semen stains on four fabric types (cotton, polyester, denim, and wool) were examined and tested with three common methods used to detect semen; screening with an alternate light source, acid phosphatase press test, and histological staining of spermatazoa. It was determined that semen was difficult to detect if it was still wet when the semen-stained article was washed. There did not appear to be any difference based on the temperature of the wash cycle. It was also determined that synthetic fabrics such as polyester may not effectively retain the components of semen during laundering, making detection more difficult.


Copyright © Schlagetter T and Glynn CL.

Publisher Citation

Schlagetter, T., and C. L. Glynn (2017). "The Effect of Fabric Type and Laundering Conditions on the Detection of Semen Stains." International Journal of Forensic Sciences 2(2).