How To Clean Up Pepper Spray


Here are the top five pepper sprays of 2022:

  1. Sabre Red Pepper Gel: Best overall
  2. Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for Runners: Best for runners
  3. Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray : Budget pick
  4. Fox Labs Mean Green: Best marking dye
  5. Mace Brand Triple Action: Best for pockets


Best Practices for Pepper Spray Usage


Do be sure of your aim. Accuracy indoors will be incredibly important. Accuracy is always important, but indoors even more so. Indoors you want to minimize the potential risks involved accidentally spraying someone innocent who may be trying to help. You also want to minimize the impact on your indoor environment.

Do Not

Do not ‘test’ your pepper spray indoors. Training is incredibly important, and it makes sense to ‘test’ or train with it, but never do it indoors. Take it outside on a nice calm day, in an area where you won’t affect anyone or anything.


Do whatever it takes to protect yourself. If your life is in danger, do not worry about ruining a carpet or a rug.

Do Not

Do not stick around after you spray someone indoors. If you do, you will experience low to mid level air contamination. This is not a pleasant experience and could put you in more danger. After you deal with the threat, escape, and call the police.

One of the biggest benefits of a pepper spray gun, such as the SALT Pepper Spray Gun, is the extra range and power behind it. High pressured pepper spray guns like the SALT, Kimber Pepper Blaster, and JPX are less likely to be diverted, and that extra range makes accidental exposure a lesser issue.

The SALT Pepper Spray Gun by far has the longest range and gives you over 150 feet of effective range. The SALT Pepper Spray Gun also fires a projectile versus a stream. This means there is less of a chance spraying a wild stream of spray that covers the floor, rugs, walls, or couches. The only thing affected is where the projectile strikes. When it does strike something hard, it explodes and sends a 4-foot cloud of gas outwards.

Pepper Spray

Chemical makeup: The active ingredient in pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). OC is not a man-made chemical, it is created from the active compound in hot peppers, capsaicin.

Delivery methods: Pepper spray has 5 delivery methods: stream, cone mist, fogger, foam, and gel.

  • Stream: The stream method has the largest range, which enables you to keep a significant distance between you and your attacker. Apex Self Defense Products compares the stream method as similar to that of a garden hose — “a lot of pepper spray being forced through a small opening in short amount of time.”
  • Cone mist: The cone mist method dispenses pepper spray in a wide circular range, similar to that of a hair spray aerosol can.
  • Fogger. Similar to the stream method, the fogger creates a spray pattern. However, the spray pattern used in a fogger is made up of finer droplets that can linger in the air longer.
  • Foam. Pepper foam looks like shaving cream and can completely cover the face of your attacker. Its range is around 8 to 10 feet.
  • Gel. Similar to pepper foam, pepper gel is used to cover an attacker’s face. The consistency is sticky and glue-like.

Physical Effects: Uncontrollable watering of the eyes, extreme burning of the eyes and nose, temporary blindness, nasal and sinus discharge, burning of the skin, increase in blood pressure. In most cases, the symptoms of pepper spray last no longer than 45-60 minutes.

Is it legal to carry pepper spray?

In the United States, each individual state has its own laws surrounding pepper spray. A great many allow it to be purchased over the counter and bought online with no other regulation. But some states (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin), have specific regulations in place. Most of the laws surround the amount you’re allowed to carry, where you can buy it, and the concept of “reasonable use”. To get a better overview, read this article on Wikipedia that briefly covers each state where laws are in effect.

In other countries, carrying pepper spray may not be legal for civilians at all. Countries like Canada, Brazil, and Denmark (among others) have made it illegal for private citizens to have it. Other countries require licenses for obtaining and using it. Still others have very little regulation surrounding the buying and use of pepper spray. Again, know your local laws–and when traveling, know the laws of the country you are entering.

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You were pepper-sprayed: now what?

Most of the time, pepper spray is not used to control a crowd, but to deter or incapacitate a person in a one-on-one situation. The weapon’s sole purpose is to stop an attacker by inducing an almost-immediate burning sensation on their skin and in their eyes, nose, and mouth.

It’s similar to how you may feel when you’re chopping onions—your eyes immediately become irritated and you start to tear up. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to actually touch your eyes after slicing up a hot pepper, you’ve probably experienced another common pepper spray reaction—a blepharospasm.

That’s when your eyes shut tight and you have no control over your eyelids, so you can’t open them up. This is an automatic bodily response that aims to protect your eyes from whatever is irritating them, but it’s a bit counterintuitive—your eyes produce tears to wash away the irritant, so not being able to blink makes it harder to flush out. And that’s not the only problem.

“You can’t keep your eyes open, which often causes disorientation and agitation,” says Rohini Haar, an emergency physician and a research fellow at the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Wearing tight swimming goggles or even big ski goggles may help protect your eyes, but recent videos from the protests against police brutality show law enforcement getting really close to demonstrators. Some officers have even pulled down protective equipment such as face masks or glasses before they spray. If this happens to you, goggles may not help, but they might redirect some of the spray or give you an extra second to duck.

Even if the spray doesn’t go directly into your nose and mouth, the agitation will make you breathe harder. This will make you inhale the spray, spreading the irritation and burning sensation into your airways and lungs. You will start to cough and your nose and mouth will produce extra saliva and mucus as your body tries to get rid of the OC. This might trigger a suffocating feeling that can lead to panic.

“The whole point is to get people to disperse,” says Harr. “But getting pepper sprayed has never caused people to calmly and safely disperse.”

Because OC spray is an oil, it’s hard to wash off and its effects last longer. The best way to eliminate it is to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Baby shampoo is a less-irritating alternative, says Harr. Milk has also been reported to help with symptoms, but there’s no scientific evidence to back this up. Also, oil repels milk, so dumping dairy on your face won’t help get OC spray off your skin.

If you ever get sprayed, first find help from somebody who can be your eyes and then immediately move somewhere safe where you can wash your face. Afterward, stay in an open space and wait it out—the air will help you recover. Psychologically speaking, having a particular goal or task in mind has been proven to help people fight through the effects of pepper spray despite the discomfort. Just keep thinking about the next step you need to take—to find water or get to a quieter place—and focus on that.

Sadly, once your skin, eyes, and airways are irritated, there’s not much you can do about it. Soap, fresh air, and even commercially available pepper spray relief will help prevent further contamination but won’t soothe your pain. Ingesting pepper spray affects your body differently, but you’ve still got to wait out the effects.

Rohini says she’s had to treat pepper spray victims in the ER. Those who were sprayed directly in the mouth experienced severe gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain that lasted hours—sometimes days. Unfortunately, there’s not much doctors can do to stop the source of those problems, she says.

“I could give you something for your nausea and something for your pain, and some fluids,” she says. “But it’s just to treat your symptoms. You can’t fix that irritation.”

It might be hard not to scream while you’re being pepper-sprayed, but you should try to keep your mouth closed as much as you can to prevent ingestion. The less OC there is in your digestive system, the better.

No matter where the spray hits you, seek medical attention if any symptoms last for more than 45 minutes or if you find the situation is unbearable even before that time.

Tear Gas Vs. Pepper Spray: The Aftereffects

The only thing more terrifying than being tear gassed or pepper sprayed is being tear gassed or pepper sprayed in your own home or place of business. When it comes to the aftereffects of a CS, CN, or CO attack, one thing is true for all: you will need professional help to clean up the mess.

Even after the physical effects to your body have worn off, the physical effects to your property will still require remediation. Sites that have not been properly cleaned after a tear gas spray or pepper spray incident can harbor CS, CN or CO and cause ongoing symptoms for current or future residents.

Aftermath uses state-of-the-art technology and strict control procedures to carefully wash affected surfaces, and remove damaged walls, floors, and surface coverings to restore your property to a healthy state.

For more information on how Aftermath approaches tear gas removal, contact us anytime!

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How does pepper spray work?

We’ll keep the science simple here. If you’ve worked with jalapeños before (or any hot pepper for that matter), at some point you’ve likely touched your eyes after handling them. As you know, it causes an unpleasant burning sensation in your eyes. And that’s putting it mildly. The hotter peppers can have the same effect on your skin, even when you are wearing protective gloves. It’s the capsaicin in the pepper that causes these reactions.

Now imagine a liquid containing 500 times the heat of a jalapeño being sprayed on your face. That’s pepper spray. Yeah, it works really well as a deterrent.

Capsaicin is the chemical that delivers the heat in chili peppers, and simply put: it’s an irritant to human beings and many animals. High levels of capsaicin can cause burning sensations, pain, numbness, eye-watering, and more. When it hits the eyes, the inflammation that occurs forces the eyes to close, causing temporary blindness in the process.

But the effects are typically short-lived and have no lasting effects. This is why pepper spray is so effective and popular. It slowly wears off. So if you are being attacked by a person or an animal (like a bear while hiking for instance), it can give you the time you need to escape and get help. It’s a smart investment for women, the elderly, campers, hikers, runners, bikers, and anyone else who have concerns over safety.

Step 3. Preparing the pepper/chili

I am giving instructions for those with and without a blender or grinder.

  1. Dry the peppers/chili by means of a dehydrator, sun-dried, solar oven or set in the oven at a low temp.
  2. a. Place the peppers/chili in the blender.
  3. b. Cut, chop or grind the peppers/chili as fine as possible then place in a bowl.
  4. a. Place the garlic bulb or bulbs in the blender.
  5. b. Mince, chop or grind the garlic and place in the bowl.
  6. a. Two tablespoons of baby or mineral oil into the blender.
  7. b. Two tablespoons of baby or mineral oil into the bowl.
  8. a. Add twelve ounces of alcohol or vinegar into the blender. Blend on high for two to three minutes until purged.
  9. b. Add twelve ounces of vinegar or alcohol and mash and grind until it’s as close to being as smooth as possible. You can slowly add the alcohol or white vinegar as you blend it to avoid splashing.
  10. Pour it into the larger bottle with a funnel to let it sit overnight in a cool place to react and increase the effectiveness of the solution.
  11. When ready get your funnel, strainer or cheesecloth and water bottle. Place the funnel in the smaller16.9 oz. to 20 oz. water bottle then place the strainer or cheesecloth over the funnel.
  12. Pour the pepper/chili mixture into the water bottle using a funnel and strainer. Any leftover remnants from the strainer can be used in the garden or trash area to keep pests and animals away.
  13. You now have pepper spray and can store it in the refrigerator or a cool place and it’s ready to pour in your sprayers at any time. Since it is sitting in vinegar or alcohol it should last anywhere from a month to three months. I sprayed an opossum in my trash can with a garden pressure sprayer and he darted out of there. I haven’t seen him in two weeks. I used a solution around my garden and the neighbor’s dog won’t go near the fence.

The Process:

Step 1. Container preparation.

Inspect your spray bottle or pressure sprayer for leaks by filling it with water. If the device leaks when tilted, lying on its side or after excessive spraying then choose another container. You don’t want it dripping or leaking in your pack, vehicle, purse or hand.

We will be making enough for a pint of pepper spray.

What do you feel when youre sprayed with pepper spray?

Since it’s an irritant, it will cause burning in your eyes and throat, which leads to watery eyes, a cough, and even gagging.

How much does it hurt? In one study of people voluntarily getting sprayed with pepper spray as part of police or military training found that people rated their eye discomfort between a 9.6 and 9.7 out of 10, but that decreased to between 8.7 and 7.2 in 10 minutes. Pain and irritation lasted 15 minutes or more. Most experts say that you’ll continue to feel the burn for a lot longer than that.

These are the most common effects of pepper spray, although Dr. Glatter also notes that there can be more serious effects—people with asthma or other respiratory issues are especially vulnerable. “People with a significant or prolonged exposure have died after contact with pepper spray,” he has explained to Men’s Health (see our guide to protesting safely). Although the physician authors of Responding to Terrorism write that deaths are rare, usually occurring with severe and prolonged exposure in enclosed spaces.

The Necessary Supplies

The hotter the pepper you use, the more important using gloves, masks, and goggles becomes. I’m not going to be using anything excruciating, so I will just wear gloves and my glasses.

Here is a complete list of supplies you should have on hand for the recipe I am going to make:

  • Red Cayenne Pepper
  • Habanero
  • Empty Spray Bottle
  • Gloves
  • Vodka (optional, can help preserve it longer)
  • Vegetable Oil (optional, can help it adhere to the target)
  • Knife or Immersion Blender
  • Coffee Filter
  • Water
  • Funnel

That list of supplies might make it seem as though the process is complicated. But I assure you, it’s not.

Related: I Used To Cut This Plant…Until I Saw This!