Homemade Pepperspray

Written by kristy ambrose
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Homemade Pepperspray
The hot cayenne pepper is a crucial ingredient in homemade pepperspray. (sliced cayenne pepper image by Simone van den Berg from Fotolia.com)

Pepperspray is an effective, non-lethal method of self-defence against humans and animals. It can neutralise a threat without you coming too close to it, and since it inhibits the attackers vision and breathing, it allows you ample time to escape. While it's possible to buy pepperspray at a variety of locations, a cheap and convenient alternative is homemade pepperspray. The ingredients are simple, basic and can be purchased virtually anywhere.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 3 tablespoons finely ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (regular vinegar can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 stainless steel or ceramic bowls, one with at least a 4-cup capacity
  • 1 steel whisk
  • Goggles and rubber or leather gloves
  • 1 spray bottle
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • Funnel

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    The Mixing Process

  1. 1

    Put on the goggles and the gloves before you begin. Start by carefully spooning the ground cayenne pepper and ground black pepper into the smaller bowl. Slowly fold in with the fork until both are thoroughly mixed.

    Homemade Pepperspray
    Eye protection is highly recomended during the mixing process. (skiing goggles image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Add water to the larger bowl. Slowly add the lemon juice and vinegar, stirring carefully with the whisk until the liquids are blended.

    Homemade Pepperspray
    Lemon juice compliments the effect of the cayenne pepper in homemade pepperspray. (lemon image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Make sure that your goggles and gloves are secure before moving on to this step. Carefully blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using the spoon. Do this slowly to avoid any splashing.

    Homemade Pepperspray
    Ground black pepper affects the eyes, but it's primary role in this mixture is to irritate the sinuses and throat. (Condiment/ container of salt & black pepper image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    When all of the ground pepper is immersed in the liquid, carefully use the whisk to mix it. Tilt the bowl slightly away from you to ensure the mixture does not touch your face.

  5. 5

    When the mixture is blended, it should be a dark brownish-yellow. Use the funnel to pour the pepperspray into the spray bottle of your choice. Ensure that the outside of the bottle is wiped clean and does not have any homemade pepperspray on it.

  6. 6

    Wash and rinse the materials thoroughly with soap and hot water when you are done. Do not remove your goggles or rubber gloves until the clean-up process is complete. Remember that the goggles and gloves must also be washed.

    Homemade Pepperspray
    Use soap and hot water during the cleaning process. Be especially thorough with plastic utensils and containers. (dishwashing time image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Homemade pepperspray causes extreme pain and temporary blindness, but its effects wear off in 30 to 45 minutes. Cool water can be splashed on the eyes and face to relieve the symptoms. To strengthen the mixture, lessen the amount of water or substitute water for rubbing alcohol. However, the mixture should be at least 15%, or one sixth of the active ingredients (ground pepper, vinegar and lemon juice), to have the desired effect.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes or your face during the mixing process. If you must do so, turn away from the bowl and remove your gloves. Please note that although homemade pepperspray uses common household items, it still has the same effects as over the counter pepperspray. Windy or wet weather can also lessen it's effectiveness.

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