Pepper spray can be a great self defense tool to carry and use when necessary. It’s non-lethal but can still get the job done! If you’re an avid jogger or simply like the idea of having extra protection as you run errands around town, pepper spray can be a great option for you. However, if you accidentally spray yourself while using or testing your pepper spray, you’ll need to know how to remove it from your skin, eyes, clothing (fabric) or the air around you. Knowing this information before you’re sprayed is important so you’ll immediately know how to react if you come in contact with it.

To begin, no matter what antidote you need to remove pepper spray from the first thing to remember is to stay calm and avoid rubbing the exposed area. Move yourself into an area with great ventilation or fresh air. Sometimes cardiac or breathing problems can occur so while removing the pepper spray you might need to call for emergency medical assistance.

Skin
Most accidental exposure to pepper spray occurs on the skin. Start by applying whole milk to the affected area via a spray bottle or simply splash it on the area affected. You can then saturate a towel in milk and lay it over the skin area that was affected. The milk can help take the burn away but it won’t remove the oil from the pepper spray. After the burn starts to subside, be sure to use dishwashing liquid (Dawn) and water to remove the oils from the pepper spray. Be sure you use cold water and wash the area at least 8-10 times.
The first few times you use the soap and water, don’t rub the area. Simply soak the infected area in the soapy-water mixture or pour it over the affected area. After a few times of doing this, you can start lighting rubbing the area with the soapy-water mixture.

Eyes
If you get pepper spray in your eyes, be sure to immediately flush your eyes with cool water. If you have contacts in your eye, take them out immediately and throw them away. You won’t be able to get the spray residue off the contacts. Excessive blinking can help wash the pepper spray out of your eyes, as well. You can also try using saline solution to flush the eye area, but expect discomfort for up to 2 hours or more.

Fabric
Be sure to wear rubber gloves if you’re dealing with clothing exposed to pepper spray. You can then apply your facial cold cream to the affected area with a plastic spoon. Using the spoon, rub the cream into the fabric and let it sit for 20 minutes. Because it’s not an oil based cleanser, the cold cream will help remove the oily pepper spray residue.
Next, wash the cold cream off under cool water and place the piece of clothing in a bucket full of cold water and laundry detergent. Let it soak for 30 minutes and then launder as sual.

Air
If your pepper spray leaks or gets into your car or home, you’ll need to rid the air of it. You can start by opening the doors and windows. Next, turn on any ceiling fans or exhaust systems you have. If there is a foul smell in the air, use an air freshener to help get rid of the smell.