Recently a customer told us that she would rather buy a stun gun but not a regular Mace spray in fear that the Mace leaks.
OMG, I don’t even want to think about some pepper spray leaking into my purse…
Can you imagine that?!?! It’s outright horrendous…
So-o-o, has it ever happened?
Does Mace leak in purses and pockets?
What do you do with pepper spray contamination?
The short answer will be confusing: YES, Mace leaks but NO, it’s not what you think.
Here is what’s happening:
First of all Mace is just a brand name of pepper sprays. So inside most Mace cans is just regular pepper spray.
All such cans, whether made by Mace or SabreRed or PepperShot, have their powerful liquid pepper content locked under pressure.
When you press on the button, that pressure pushes the liquid pepper out as a stream or a fog.
The pressure was created by pumping some neutral gas into the can when the can was manufactured.
It’s a very simple gadget, as you can see.
Now what happens quite often, the pressurized gas – the propellant – finds some microscopic hole in the can and starts leaking out.
The hole is so small that the propellant leaks out ever so slowly, there is no odor, no mist, no trace at all. You can’t see it. The gas that’s leaking is neutral it does not corrode, stain or contaminate anything, it just disappears from the can. In a matter of months you might have a totally useless can of Mace in your purse: full of liquid pepper but “out of gas”.
If you press on the release button of such a can, there will be no stream, spray or fog at all. Instead some gooey yellowish substance, yep, the liquid pepper, will sputter and drip onto your fingers. Pretty useless, huh?
All aerosol cans of pepper sprays, including Mace, leak like that. Only a very small percentage of cans leak but you might have that wicked one. You have to be on top of that. What to do? TEST YOUR PEPPER SPRAY!
Yes, go out where you are alone, stand with your back to the wind, get your spray canister, take the safety off, press on the release button.
If you get a good 6′-8′ stream, your can is still good. If shorter than that, discard of it appropriately and buy a new one.
If you bought your can 10 months ago, don’t even bother testing it — GET A NEW CAN of pepper spray or Mace!
Most likely the old pepper spray can is as useless for self-defense as your mint.
If by now you are asking if there are any better alternatives to this old technology, the answer is YES.
This will be the topic of our next post, so stay tuned…
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