What is SmartWater® SmartTrace™ ?

SmartWater®  SmartTrace™ offers a unique combination of a brand that is feared by criminals and revolutionary forensic technology that provides robust traceability to your valuables and assets. Our forensic traceable liquid assigns your possessions with their own unique forensic code, allowing them to be traced back to you and criminals back to the crime.

And that’s why criminals fear SmartWater so much.

How to apply SmartTrace™

to your valuables and commercial assets


Shake the bottle for approximately 10 seconds before use.



Ensure that all areas that you plan to mark are clean and dry first. Suitable surfaces need to be uneven or irregular, and not on display.

step 3


Insert the applicator into the bottle, collecting a small amount of liquid and at least one micro- dot.

step 4


Apply a small dab to the item you wish to protect, this will be sufficient for forensic examination, should the item be recovered.



Place the supplied deterrent signage on ground floor windows and doors, as well as marked valuables.



Register at Smartwater.com/ registration to ensure your marked valuables can be identified if lost or stolen.



Once the user has finished applying SmartWater SmartTraceTM, the applicator needs to be rinsed under a tap, stored securely and the lid replaced on the bottle, so that it can be used again if required.

> DON’T dilute your SmartWater SmartTraceTM forensic liquid.
> DON’T write with the liquid.
> DON’T apply to smooth surfaces.
> DON’T apply to items when connected to the mains.
> DON’T apply the liquid in conditions in which frost can form.
> DON’T apply the liquid to functional parts such as electronic ports or displays.
> DON’T apply the liquid to moving parts such as nuts, keys or switches.

Frequently Asked Questions about SmartWater SmartTrace

Simply make a note of the item(s) you have sold and the person / company you have sold it to. You should also provide a receipt for the buyer, so they have proof that they have bought the item. Even if the new owner does not choose to register (transfer) the SmartTraceTM protected item, the forensic code will help Police track down the owner should the goods be stolen and later recovered.
No, once you have surpassed the ‘Use by’ date found on your unique bottle of SmartTraceTM, we are no longer able to guarantee the efficacy of the liquid, when applying to new items. If you wish to dispose of the bottle and remaining liquid, please consult your Application Instructions for further instruction.
No, all SmartTraceTM products instead contain metal-based inert, inorganic compounds, making them significantly more robust than DNA. By its very nature, DNA is extremely fragile and can be easily removed using basic household cleaning products and is destroyed under short term exposure to ultra- violet light. This makes DNA unsuitable for long-term property marking.

SmartWater scientists only require a trace the size of speck of dust in order to recover the unique forensic code and link individuals and items back to a crime scene.

​No. The SmartWater deterrent is powered by our convictions and thus it is essential that the police can place a criminal at a specific crime scene using your unique forensic code. For this reason it is essential that a bottle of SmartWater is registered to just one location. However, if you have a requirement for multi-site protection, please visit our SmartWater for Business page for more info.

No. Although transferable forms of SmartWater do exist, SmartTraceTM is not designed to be removed, and is therefore non-transferable. Although, the messaging used on supplied deterrent signage does not allude to what type of SmartWater product is in use, creating uncertainty in the criminal’s mind and furthering the deterrent.

Yes, SmartWater is made from metal-based materials, and does not contain any DNA, meaning it is extremely robust and will not require regular reapplication. In fact, SmartWater was the first traceable liquid to achieve BSI PAS 820:2012 Grade A External standard, which is guaranteed to last for a minimum of 5 years, even when used outdoors.

When in liquid form (i.e. still in the bottle) the liquid has a shelf life of approx. 2 years from date of manufacture, subject to it being stored in line with the application instructions.

All registration data is uploaded directly to and securely recorded on SmartWater’s ISO27001- accredited database.

No, as the deterrent power of the SmartWater brand and its potential consequences for the offender have been proven to outweigh any inducement the signage may provide, time and time again.

With 98% of SmartWater clients suffering no attacks in 2018 – this is a proven fact.

No, use of the SmartWater brand and trademark is very carefully controlled. Instead you should contact your installer to order additional deterrent signage and labels.
No, providing you follow the Application Instructions, SmartTraceTM  is near invisible to the naked eye once applied. Only a small dab of the liquid is required to mark the item and this should be applied to off-view surfaces in any case.
SmartTraceTM glows yellow-green under UV light, which is how it is detected by the Police.
No, as SmartWater scientists only require a trace the size of speck of dust in order to recover the unique forensic code, the liquid is near impossible to remove. Any effort to ensure complete removal would likely result in singificant damage to the item, rendering it useless and removing the opportunity for the criminal to sell it on.
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