Frequently Asked Questions

We know you might have some questions about our products; here is a list of a few frequently asked questions to help you. If the answer to your question isn’t listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to help!

What is a Pepper Spray?

Pepper Spray is a careful blend of oleoresin capsicum (OC Pepper) in a non-flammable vehicle. Some formulations may contain tear gas and/or an invisible UV dye. Mace brand pepper sprays are formulated to be an effective, less-than-lethal means of self defense.

What are the different Mace Formulas and patterns

Mace Personal Defense, Inc. manufactures several formulas—such as traditional tear gas sprays, blended sprays and OC pepper sprays—in a variety of models and spray patterns. Considering the effects and benefits of each will help you decide which is right for you.


  • OC Pepper Oleoresin capsicum is a naturally occurring substance derived from hot peppers. OC Pepper causes an intense burning sensation to the skin, eyes and throat upon contact. Mace® defense sprays are available in different strengths to satisfy virtually every requirement.
  • Tear Gas Tear Gas is a lachrymatory agent or lachrymator which stimulates the corneal nerves in the eyes thereby causing profuse tearing and pain, an intense burning sensation to the skin and shortness of breath. Common lachrymators include CN tear gas (omega-chloroacetophenone) and CS tear gas (ortho-chlorobenzalmalononitrile).
  • UV Dye As an added defense, many of our formulations contain an ultraviolet dye. The dye will invisibly mark an assailant which may aid in identification
  • Blended Sprays Mace® Triple Action formula combines OC Pepper, CN tear gas and UV dye. The advantage of this formula is that it that you don’t have to hit the attacker in the face; even if you hit them in the chest the tear gas will affect them.
  • Animal Sprays Mace Personal Defense, Inc. also manufactures products for use as deterrents against dogs and bears. Our Muzzle® Canine Pepper Spray and Bear Pepper Mace® are EPA registered products and serve to round out our product line.


  • Gel Pepper Gel® is a patent pending formula, in which the OC pepper is suspended in a sticky gel. The gel formula offers several advantages: it sprays farther and will stick to a person’s face on contact. It is also less contaminating to the surrounding area than other sprays, making it ideal for indoor use or for use in windy conditions. A MK-III unit sprays a distance up to 18 feet.
  • Stream The ballistic stream pattern is the most common in defense sprays and is available in the widest vari¬ety of models. Stream units deliver a blast of active agent in a targeted liquid stream. A MK-III unit sprays a range of between 8 to 12 feet.
  • Fogger Foggers dispense in a cone-shaped pattern to quickly blanket a large area. A MK-III unit will reach up to 8 feet.
  • Foam The thick foam formula discharges in a blast to cover an attacker’s face, making it difficult to see, while the pepper forces the eyes to slam shut. A MK-III unit will spray a distance of 8 to 10 feet.

What are the effects of pepper sprays? How long do they last?

Upon direct contact with eyes, respiratory system and mucous membranes, the active ingredients in the pepper spray will cause eyes to slam shut, coughing, and an intense burning sensation to the skin. Some formulations contain tear gas which causes profuse tearing, an intense burning sensation to the face and disorientation. Effects should lessen in approximately 45 minutes.

What if I accidentally spray myself or someone else?

In case of accidental exposure to the contents of your pepper spray, follow these first aid instructions: Remove contact lenses and contaminated clothing immediately. Flush contaminated area with large quantities of cool water or a diluted baking soda solution and expose the area to fresh air as soon as possible. Do not apply salves, creams, oils or lotions as they can trap the irritant agent against the skin and result in blisters or burns. Consult a physician if irritation persists. Contaminated clothing should be washed or dry-cleaned, as appropriate, prior to re-use to prevent skin injury.

Caution: failure to follow these instructions may result in first or second degree burns, severe skin irritation, depigmentation or other skin injury.

What is the proper way to store pepper spray?

Store your Pepper Spray in cool dry area away from heat, flame or strong light. Do not store it in an environment where the temperature may exceed 120 degrees F (50 degrees C) such as an enclosed vehicle. The Pepper Spray cartridge may leak from over pressurization and fail to function properly. Do not store unit in a cold environment under 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). This may cause depressurization and the loss of effective range.

Can I use the pepper spray after it’s expired?

Mace Defense Sprays have a shelf life of four years from the date of manufacture and each Mace unit is labeled with an expiration date. An expired unit is not likely to have the amount of pressurization needed to spray properly. Expired units should be disposed of in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations.

Can I travel on an airplane with a Mace Pepper Spray?

Under current FAA regulation pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage only. One 118 ml or 4 fl. oz. container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. For additional information, please visit

Is it legal to carry a Pepper Spray?

Though it is legal to carry defense sprays in all 50 States, there are a number of cities and states with specific regulations pertaining to the purchase, possession and use of aerosol defense sprays—it is your responsibility to check with your local police department.

  • NEW YORK: Must be purchased from licensed firearms dealer or pharmacist
  • MASSACHUSETTS: Firearms Identification Card (FID) is required to purchase

Aerosol Defense Sprays are meant for defensive purposes only and can only be sold to or used by persons 18 years of age or older.

Where can I buy pepper sprays and other Mace brand products?

Many large national and regional retail chains carry Mace brand pepper sprays and home protection products, as well as independent retailers including automotive, hunting, hardware, pharmacy and sporting goods stores. Because retailers stock may vary from store to store, we suggest you call ahead if you’re looking for a specific item.


What other self-defense products does Mace carry?

In addition to pepper sprays, Mace carries a variety of personal protection alarms and safety devices, such as The Screecher, Sport Strobe and Safety Flasher.

What is Mace?

Mace is the highly recognized brand name of pepper sprays manufactured by Mace Personal Defense, Inc. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Mace Security International, Inc. In addition to defense sprays Mace is known for manufacturing and marketing high quality security products including home and business surveillance and security.