How to Make Tear Gas

September 11, 2014 by | 8 Comments

Tear gas can be  a valuable tool to keep crowds away from your home during civil unrest. At the moment, it can be legally purchased, but during a grid-down scenario or in the event that laws are changed, that may not be an option so learning how to make your own can be a valuable skill.

Everything you need to make tear gas is available at any grocery store, and with these instructions, it’s easy to make.

1.) Start with about one pound of hot peppers—the hotter the better. Your best option is the habanero, which can be found in any grocery store in red, orange, yellow and green varieties. This evil little fruit is one of the hottest peppers available and very well may have originated right from Satan’s shorts.

2.) Next you’ll need to dry the peppers. Put on rubber gloves (trust me on this or your next trip to the bathroom will be the most excruciating experience in your life) and cut the peppers in half, then place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at the lowest temperature you can set. (Usually around 150°.) Leave the door cracked and keep an eye on the peppers—it will take a few hours for them to dry.

3.) Once they’ve dried, chop them up with a knife, blender, or food processor, transfer them to a large container, and pour in enough ethyl alcohol (Vodka will work perfectly) to cover the peppers. You can heat this on the stove, but the alcohol can easily catch fire, so I prefer to just place the container in the sun for a few days. Then filter the peppers from the alcohol, and evaporate it down to about 100mL.

4.) Finally, mix the solution with mineral oil at a ratio of 5% pepper oil to 95% mineral oil. The finished solution can be dispersed any way you see fit, such as a spray bottle, Super Soaker, or even mixed into a smoke grenade to produce a cloud of tear gas.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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8 Comments

  • anonymous helper. says:

    eye protection if your cutting chillies – always.

  • Jaxson says:

    How long does this stay good for and what temp should it be kept at?

    • Jeremy Knauff says:

      It should last at least a few years. I don’t think the temperature is much of an issue, but I would store it in your home, rather than your garage, just in case.

  • Travis Riley says:

    5% of which?

  • I was at a tea shop earlier and found a bag of powdered ghost pepper. That would be perfect in there!

    • Jeremy Knauff says:

      Absolutely! Ghost pepper kicks ass, but it’s a little tough to come by. I had planned on growing some of my own, but haven’t gotten around to it.

  • Mesquite_Thorn says:

    If you mix the resulting capsaicin oil you get from alcohol extracting hot peppers into a potassium nitrate and sugar smoke device, you can clear a city block. I found this out on accident a couple years ago while researching pepper spray… luckily, I live in a small town where people doing stuff like this isn’t that unusual. Homemade fireworks are still an acceptable hobby around here, so a little smoke wasn’t that strange…….. until it makes your eyes feel like someone just jammed a burning stick in each eyeball, followed by a lit brazing torch shoved down your throat. Just a whiff was PAINFUL, and my closest neighbors (a bit further spacing than normal city housing) did not appreciate it. It was pretty potent.

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