The Internet is full of advice on how to get things cheaper, faster, and just as effective as the original. And while this may work for things like paper clips, antennas, and skateboards, it could yield potentially lethal results when dealing with non-lethal self defense pepper spray.
Self defense pepper spray contains an ingredient referred to as “OC”, or Oleoresin Capsicum. OC is commonly used in horticulture to refer to chili peppers which are known for the “heat” they release. In fact, even under cool water, the heat from chili peppers can be easily detected.
Most online do it yourself pepper spray methods consist of some combination of cayenne, jalapenos, or habaneros (are all common types of chili peppers) and some propellant that thrusts the OC onto the attacker. The thought is that since chili peppers naturally cause irritation and tearing of the eyes, someone could use them to make a home-made pepper spray.
The problem with the do it yourself pepper spray, as compared to a professionally built defense spray, is the uncertainty of the homemade product. We’ll break each concern we have in turn:
Containers – Most pump containers are simply not constructed for the everyday pocketbook, backpack, and key ring bumps (wear and tear) they will endure. The cracks, leaks, and tops falling off of these containers end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Professionally made pepper spray utilize very durable canister which adds longevity and reliability to your product.
Spray Control – Most pump sprays release its contents using a mist. When handling the heat of homemade pepper spray, any wind makes the spray’s mist unpredictable and therefore dangerous to everyone in close proximity, INCLUDING the user. Equally important, it is much easier to use a professional pepper spray which sprays continuously while holding the spray mechanism. Professionally made self defense pepper sprays have a much stronger delivery and greater range allowing you to protect yourself from a distance.
Ingredients – The dangers of mixing your own spicy, eye-watering combination is that you actually have to expose yourself (and those around you) to your spicy, eye-watering combination. The ingredients in a homemade pepper spray can cause excruciating pain if it gets into the eyes or nasal passages. The possibility also exists that a home made spray will be far too weak to stop an attacker.
The making of defensive spray is best left in the hands of the professionals who provide durable containers, easy to use firing mechanisms, greater range and the prevention of exposure to harmful ingredients. In the end, the do it yourself route is not a good idea. Your safety is important. Trust the professionals which make the products used daily by law enforcement officers.