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Guest writer: Kyle is a self-defense blogger and enthusiast. Webmaster and writer at PepperSprayInfo.com.
The internet is a space dominated by trends. Ideas and articles can be distributed to thousands of people with the push of a button. Most trends are as harmless as a funny cat video. However, I've found one recent trend that needs to be addressed. Within the pages of search engine results and social media boards you will find many homemade pepper spray recipes. In this post I will take a closer look at the dangers of homemade or DIY pepper spray.
The first clear danger of DIY pepper spray is the composition. I often refer to it as "pepper soup." Most recipes call for several ingredients usually found at home. These ingredients include but are not limited to: Cayenne pepper flakes, black table pepper, water, rubbing alcohol, olive oil, and food dye if you want to be stylish. Often times people use jalapenos, or any pepper they think is hot. Most mixtures online call for different amounts of each ingredient. There is no real way to judge the effectiveness of these brews. Just because an ingredient is spicy doesn't mean it will be an effective self defense tool.
Professional companies like SABRE use highly potent extracts. Their formulas are specifically made in an exclusive high performance liquid chromatography laboratory (HPLC) to guarantee maximum heat. This is a big deal when you consider 30% of pepper spray industrywide fails on the basis of heat inconsistency. If the product made by manufacturers without an HPLC laboratory is this inconsistent, imagine the risk you’re taking when you trust a homemade, amateur product.
The delivery systems for these homemade mixtures are not much better than the canister’s contents. Most homemade sprays are put in squirt bottles or empty aerosol cans. They want you to pressurize your own can! I don't know about you, but I see red flags everywhere. Neither of these options protect you from blowback.
Companies like SABRE use highly pressurized cans. Their nozzles are designed specifically for delivering pepper spray. Streams of short powerful bursts deliver their product from your hand to the target with accuracy.
How long does DIY stay effective? That's a question nobody can answer with confidence. It's possible that the homemade spray was never effective to begin with. You can't mix a random variety of ingredients and expect it to work perfectly. However, I do know how long SABRE sprays stay effective. It's clearly marked on every product and guaranteed. You can expect your SABRE spray to stay potent and effective up to four years after production!
It's clear to see that some things should be left to the professionals. Everyone likes to test their ingenuity from time to time, and many DIY projects are fun. So, feel free to bond with your family and friends while making dream catchers or bracelets – but when it comes to matters of self-defense and safety, don't risk it. Real pepper spray is extremely affordable, and readily available. Trust the people that make your safety their profession.