There is a lot of pepper spray information and facts available but not all information is based on facts and sometimes copied from other sources without checking for accuracy. I have tried to dig a little deeper and did a lot of reading to find out more information about pepper spray.
What is pepper spray
Pepper spray is what is official called a lachrymatory agent. the word Lacrimae means tear in Latin and that is why it is also called tear gas.
A lachrymatory agent is a chemical compound that irritates the eyes and causes them to tear, be painful and cause temporary blindness.
The product was used first in law enforcement to be used as a less lethal form of protection for police officers to restrain a person easier. Then there was the use as an animal repellent as a defense against dogs and even bears.
The pepper spray is basically a non lethal product although there are rare cases that it might have been a contributing factor in a death.
What is the difference between pepper spray and mace
Many people think that it are two different types of pepper. Mace is however a brand name and is a pepper spray.
We sell them in our store under the Mace pepper spray category if you would like that particular brand. This also answers the question which is more effective Mace or pepper spray since they are the same product.
How is pepper spray made
The main ingredient in pepper spray is called Capsaicin and this is chemically derived from plants in the Capsicum family and this includes chili’s.
Most of the time the pepper is finely grounded and and than ethanol is used to extract the capsaicin from it.
The ethanol is then evaporated and what is left is the oleoresin capsicum and after that it is most of the time called OC.
How is the pepper spray heat measured
Here we get in a little shady area. There is no official regulated method to describe the strength of the pepper spray you buy. Every company has its own claims and do not use the same method.
For example there are six different type of capsaicinoids that all cause a different level of irritation.
There are several methods that are used to tell you how hot the pepper spray is.
- OC percentage
- Scoville heat
- Major Capsaicinoids
What does Oc Percentage stand for
Like I mentioned OC stands for oleoresin capsicum and it is believed that a higher percentage hurts and burns more.
It basically measures the percentage of active ingredient in the pepper spray.
Problem is that there are more and less potent peppers and thus a 10% can be hotter than a 20% depending on the used peppers and the level of hotness of them.
This scale is used to measure the heat of chili peppers and is also used to measure the heat of pepper spray. It was invented in 1912 by a pharmacist called Wilbur Scoville to measure the amount of capsaicin in a pepper. Capsaicin is the chemical that that provides the heat.
Problem with this test it that it is based on the humans that samples this diluted solution. This makes it not very accurate.
This seems to be the most accurate test for the hotness of pepper spray and is done in a laboratory with the use of a chromatography testing device. Since the price for these test are high and it is not regulated most companies do not use this but refer to OC and Scoville heat.
How much heat should you go for
Like I mentioned it is my opinion that the amount of OC or Scoville is not that important. Have you ever had something burning in your eyes like pepper? Did you care how hot the pepper was? Probably not. All you cared about was how to get it our of your eyes I guess.
Higher OC or Scoville will probably burn even more, but a lower rating used in the right way will cause more discomfort than a higher rating used wrong.
Pepper spray effects
A common question is what happens if you get sprayed with pepper spray and how long the effects last.
Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent and in general will make you shut your eyes immediately and gives you a runny nose and difficulty breathing. The effect of this usually will last between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the strength of the pepper spray. Before all the complaints are gone might however take several hours.In general pepper spray has no long term effect on your health unless you are exposed to it repeatedly then it might damage the cornea of they eye.
Treatment for pepper spray
There is not a whole lot you can do after being sprayed with tear gas as people also call pepper spray.
Stay calm, don’t touch your eye and flush them with water is probably the best first thing to do.
I read that milk takes out some of the burning sensation and another tip I read was to use 1 part Dawn liquid dish soap and 4 parts water.
If you wear contact they should be removed with clean fingers and be thrown away.
Try not to swallow, rinse your mouth with water and spit
Clothes that are effected have to be removed and washed.
Video of real pepper spray use
Best way to use pepper spray
in case of a real emergency there is no time to think about how to use a pepper spray the best way.
all you do is get your pepper spray out and press the release button to spray as effective as possible.
Don’t overthink this and practice as much as you can without really using your pepper spray. Take it out of your purse, pocket, holster or any place you hide your pepper spray and practice to get it as fast as you can. This should be such and automatic response that you don’t have to even think anymore.
If there is a situation that you can predict that there is a possibility that you maybe need your pepper spray then try to get the situation changed in a way that you have the over hand and control where your attacker is coming from.
Try to spray him or her with the wind in your back. also try to make your getaway path in a position that you can stay away from you attacker. Meaning that you can turn around and run to find help or call the police.
If you have sprayed your attacker the right way you will not have any problem running for help. He or she will be totally helpless for a while and this will give you the opportunity to get away.
Can pepper spray cause permanent blindness?
The eyes will be one of the most effected parts of your body if you ever get sprayed with pepper spray. There is nothing you can doe about that. This is a physical reaction to the pepper spray.
There is not enough evidence to support that pepper spray can cause permanent blindness. There are however eye doctors that are convinced that repeated exposure will damage the cornea of the eye.
Is pepper spray legal?
Pepper spray is legal in many states. There are however restrictions in some states and even in some cities or counties.
Before purchasing pepper spray in our store you should check the restrictions in you area.
Read our shipping restrictions to see where we do not ship to.
Best pepper spray for your situation – Our tips.
if you are just in need of an all round pepper spray I suggest that a Wildfire key chain pepper spray is a good choice. Our best pepper sprays for key-chain pepper are a very universal products that can be used in many situations and will always be with you on your keys. They can be taken of the key ring and carried on your hand also. Some of them are small enough to take with you in your pocket or a purse. Very versatile and very hot. for ladies we have several fashionable colors including pink.
Pepper spray for runners and joggers
If you like to do some running and hiking I recommend our Mace dog pepper spray as a the one to use. This one can be carried in your hand while running just like others keep a small water bottle on them. By keeping it in your hand it is ready to use whenever the situation calls for it.
pepper spray for cycling
The average cyclist knows that dogs and other animals can be attracted by you passing by.
If you are riding your bicycle on the road only I would recommend either the pepper spray for joggers we did above or our ultrasonic dog repellent with strobe light. This high frequency sound is something that dogs really do not like to hear.
If you are more into riding a mountain bike in the country there is a change on encountering many animals from bobcat to even bears. In that case we recommend to keep one of our bear sprays on your bicycle in the holder for your water bottle. The most sold one is the Guard Alaska spray since this one also works on a wet bear. It is mentioned as the best pepper spray for bears in many articles and travel guides.
Pepper spray for self defense
This is a question we get a lot and is not easy to answer. It all depends on your lifestyle and many other things. For example if you spend a lot of time on the road in your car I would recommend the sun visor pepper spray to for your car. To be honest I have on in my car also.
If you are a lady and need some more fashionable pepper spray we have a large selection of pepper sprays that can be warn on a key ring and are ready to use at any moment. Our top seller is the pepper spray key chain in pink and red.
As a woman I can understand that you would like to have more choices to use a pepper spray depending on the activity your are planning on having for that day. That is why I created a whole page with pepper sprays for woman in our store for your to choose from.
If you like to go full force the best product to use for self defense and protection is the Mace pepper gun in silver or pink.
With its capacity up to 20 feet and the fact that it even works upside down this is a very powerful self defense weapon. Refillable and practice cartridges available to become proficient in the use of this pepper spray gun.
Pepper spray training
Although it is great having a pepper spray on you all the time I think you should practice with it to make sure you can use it under a stress full situation like an attack.
One way of doing this is to use the inert practice pepper spray in our store.
With this very cheap water filled pepper spray you can practice any situation and make sure that you are an expert in using a self defense pepper spray at all times.
Is bear spray the same as pepper spray?
This is a question we get a lot and it is understandable to think that any pepper spray would also work on a bear, but this is not the case. A regular pepper spray comes with a higher concentration than a bear spray. This might sound strange but a bear nose is way more sensitive and this lower concentration is regulated by law. Bear spray is also larger and has more spraying power and packs more ounces. It needs this to spray the bear on a distance of around 20 – 30 feet. You can have a look at one of our strongest bear sprays through this link. We will probably write a whole article about the bear spray we have in our store.