How To Make Pepper Spray At Home

by Jarhead 03

make your own pepper spray

In the event of an economic collapse or other unknown situation where you can no longer purchase pepper spray, you may come upon a situation where the firearm is not needed, conserve ammo, keep animals and pests away from plants or you just don’t like guns. You may have to make it yourself and thankfully it’s easy to make the best pepper spray at home.

Please note: Making your own pepper spray involves risk of injury so don’t accidentally spray yourself and use caution. If you have breathing difficulties have someone else make it for you or make it in a well-ventilated area.

Making your own pepper spray can be as simple as stocking up on dried pepper/chili or growing your own and a delivery system. You can make it to carry on your person or make a wide dispersal device for groups. You can buy them at most department stores, nurseries, garden centers or on Amazon and do a search for any of the following peppers/chili.

Selecting the Pepper/Chili:

The following are types of peppers/chili recommended and the rating heat index of each pepper/chili:

The Scoville Heat Unit is the rating or “hotness of peppers” that measures on a scale of mildest to hottest. I am going with the hottest and easiest to acquire. If you know a hotter pepper/chili and where to get it please let me know.

The lowest heat index recommended is the Red Cayenne pepper at 30,000 SHU to 60,000 SHU.

The middle heat index is the Thai or Thai Bird Chili at 50,000 SHU to 150,000 SHU.

At the top of the are the Scotch Bonnet chili and the Habanero chili at 100,000 SHU to 350,000 SHU, the Red Savina Habanero at 350,000 SHU to 650,000 SHU and the Ghost Pepper or Naga Jolokia Pepper which is considered the hottest at 800,000 to 1,500,000 SHU.

The 10% Capsaicin pepper spray issued to LE can vary from 2,000,000 SHU to 6,000,000 SHU compared to store-bought pepper spray containing 2% to 10% Capsaicin vary from 500,000 SHU to 2,000,000 SHU.

You are capable of using the oil you could deliver a greater amount of Capsaicin but what I’m presenting is an effective means of delivery without having to own a pepper farm.

Delivery System:

Homemade delivery systems can be effective although you may not get the same results as the LE brands I’m showing you how to make.

Delivery systems are as simple as a one to three-ounce spray canister you get in the travel section for toiletries and up to 32-ounce spray bottles reminiscent of the glass cleaner bottles where you squeeze the trigger in a spray mist or stream. You can also make a delivery system with Garden hand pump pressure sprayers as well as the one to four-gallon hand pump pressure sprayers used for gardening, pest control, and weed control. Of course the larger the container the more pepper/chili you will need.

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.

Step 2. What you need.

  • Six peppers or chili’s, the hotter the chili or pepper the better. You can use more pepper/chili if you like to get it as potent as possible.
  • Garlic, two medium or one large-sized bulb or two tablespoons of minced in a jar or powdered if you don’t have it (the odor repels some bugs and people)
  • A method of drying the pepper/chili (dehydrator, stove, solar oven or sun-dried)
  • Rubber gloves (to handle the pepper and oils)
  • Safety glasses (to keep it out of your eyes)
  • N95 mask or another respirator (prevent inhalation especially if you are sensitive)
  • Vegetable chopper or knife and cutting board to break it down.
  • Blender, grinder or coffee grinder (crush the pepper/chili and garlic)
  • Two sealable containers (I used a 32 oz. sports drink bottle and a16.9or 20 oz. bottle)
  • Strainer or cheesecloth (to remove the pits and seeds that will block the flow to spray)
  • Funnel (allows it to flow in the container saving as much as possible and prevent a mess)
  • A well-sealed container for storing unused pepper spray. Keep it in a cool place or fridge.
  • Vinegar or Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (this is used as the delivery system and it keeps the pepper and Capsaicin intact longer than water would as well as already contains an irritant to the senses)
  • Baby oil or mineral oil (this is used to latch on to the body or clothes)

NOTE: If you are using this around plants, trees, and vegetables to fend off pests and animals or don’t have it, you can substitute the vinegar, alcohol and baby oil with water. If you are running low on vinegar or alcohol you can add water to make up the difference in measurements.

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.

Step 4. Cleaning the container and blender/grinder after use.

A solution of bleach and water will counter the oils left behind in the container. Mineral Oil and soap and hot water can be used to clean out the blender or grinder. Use caution when cleaning the containers by wearing safety glasses and gloves.

NOTE: You can make pepper spray with powdered/ground pepper instead of home-grown or store-bought dried peppers/chili but the intent is to get the maximum use of the pepper/chili and garlic. If you do store Cayenne or hotter pepper/chili powder here are the instructions:

  1. Take eight tablespoons of Cayenne pepper or four tablespoons of habanero pepper and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle
  2. Take two tablespoons of powdered or minced jars garlic and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
  3. Add two tablespoons of baby or mineral oil and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
  4. Add 14 ounces of alcohol, vinegar or water and pour it into a 32 ounce or 1L bottle.
  5. Shake bottle well and let it sit overnight in a cool place to react and increase the effectiveness of the solution.
  6. With a funnel and cheesecloth or towel, you can pour it into the 16.9 oz. to 20 oz. water bottle and you are ready to store or place it in your dispenser.

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14 Responses

  1. Greg M. says:

    Jarhead 03, Thanks for a good article.

  2. JP in MT says:

    Jarhead 03:

    Good info. Thanks.

  3. patientmomma says:

    This is close to the recipe I use and it works really well. WORDS OF WARNING: ALWAYS label any container which holds this hot sauce/spray. Put a skeleton head on it with the words Warning Not For Animal or Human Use and a Keep Out of Reach of Children label or drawing. Be safe and put washing instructions on it just in case it gets in someone’s eyes or on skin. If your kids get a hold of it and try to spray their opponent/friend or any of your animals you will have a hefty doctor or vet bill and possible law suit from angry neighbors.

    Try to use a glass container because the plastic containers cannot be reused for anything else once sauce is made or stored in them. Use a glass blender container or an immersion blender.

    • Mamabear says:

      Thanks for the extra tips Patientmama – We always have lots of sprays around, so definitely will label it well. Yes, glass is always the best choice.
      Thanks Jahead 03 for this great recipe-will save a hey of a lot of $$$.
      Gonna make this for the people who are near and dear to me.

    • Florida Prepper says:

      Patient Mama,

      Warning: Never touch private parts after touching hot peppers. I learned the hard way.

  4. Jack says:

    Jarhead 03, thank you for the recipe. Peppers grow well in all areas of the Philippines so this project is a go.

  5. Thanks so much for this, I had seen a recipe several years ago but couldn’t find it again. Been wanting to try and make some of this.

  6. Nolan says:

    There is a hotter pepper–the Carolina Reaper.

  7. mom of three says:

    I’d like to make it to keep racoons, that wonder in our yard away they are becoming more aggressive and they don’t shy away from yelling or throwing stuff at them.. One racoon, chased everyone inside and in their car, he is a huge vermit it killed two kittens, in our neighbors yard time to take action.

  8. Per/Norway says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4sR3Ph8MBk
    much better recipe on how to make it in video, i have made it.
    only thing i changed was letting it steep for longer and not letting it evaporate to much, add the oil when you pour it into the container, it will decrease the release of capsasin into the rubbing alcohol or other high alcohol liquid.
    you can even make your own pressuriesd spraycans, yt is a goldmine in how2 vids:) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doLPFPeJ6JE

    it works, i have a few of those too;)
    (i live in Norway, guns are a big no no here sadly… even pepperspray is illegal as is most self defense tbh)

  9. Thor1 says:

    Mot, bear spray…..

    I have eaten most of these peppers on wing sauces. Mmmmmm

    Good article

  10. Florida Prepper says:

    Thank you Jarhead. There have been many improvements to your recipe since you first published it.

  11. Gold Nugget says:

    Ironically it was yesterday I happened to come across an old YouTube video of Dog the Bounty Hunter where they encountered an aggressive pitbull and had to spray it multiple times using their commercial grade spray. The dog kept attacking, the spray had little effect.

    Up here in the Canadian Rockies we make our own spray for mere pennies but we are also armed to the teeth with shotguns and rifles when out in the bush. A can of commercial bear spray can cost anywhere between $40-55 (Canadian) for a mere 225 gram canister depending on the brand and strength. The max we get here is a mere 1% mixture with most being even less than that! Certainly not worth the hefty price tag.

    A recent story here about some hikers training in northern Alberta for an endurance race told how they encountered a Grizzly with cubs that came at them. Both had bear spray on them and both emptied their canisters during the encounter firing multiple bursts. They were not harmed but before the encounter ended they literally had to start throwing rocks at the bear since they were out of spray. The only good thing I can say about bear spray is it can be quicker to deploy than a shotgun and it should buy you a few extra moments to ready your gun.

    Here’s how we make our own spray and delivery systems:

    1) We get small, used fire extinguishers from our neighbor who is a Fire Systems Inspector. He doesn’t have time to refurbish the many expired ones he gets so he gives us the extras. If they are still usable (but expired) we discharge their contents to depressurize them, unscrew the top and clean them out.

    2) Next we remove the hose from the handle (some don’t have the hose, just a metal nozzle) and tap out the hole to screw in an air compressor fitting which acts as both the spray nozzle and air intake for pressurizing it. I use a small 2.5 gallon air compressor to charge it up to 90psi which you will find more than adequate. I carry the compressor in my truck along with extra ingredients to make more spray. I run the compressor from a 1500 watt inverter hooked up to my truck battery.

    3) The mixture we use can vary but it mainly consists of the hottest chili (or other powder) we can find in bulk bags along with vinegar and baby oil for a carrier. You need an oil additive so the spray will “stick” to the target. Any oil will do as a carrier (even old engine oil) but stay away from food-type oils. Experiment with your mixtures and use what works for you. Lastly, never fill the extinguisher more than half full with your mixture or you won’t have enough air pressure in it to empty the canister.

    A few final thoughts. Bear spray may be fine to carry in more popular hiking areas with lots of people around but you’d have to be crazy to go into the remote bush without firearms. It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to get a non-restricted (shotgun & rifle) license here. You take one day firearms course and mail in your application to the RCMP (takes them 2 months to process it) for a total cost of about $160. Add the cost of a cheaper shotgun with some ammo and you can be fully licensed and armed for about $600 all in (again, Canadian $$$).