My apartment is filled with Mace!
November 14, 2009 7:14 PM   Subscribe

My lovely husband has just accidentally set off pepper spray in our one-bedroom apartment. We're now hanging out in the building lobby, and have all the windows open and the fans going. Is there anything else we can do to make it so we can go back in the apartment tonight?
posted by EmilyFlew to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Runnin the exhaust fans isn't really all that good an idea. It shoves the air into a shared air duct with other apartments, and often comes into them. (That's why you can smell it when one of your neighbors is cooking.)

The fans are helping to get rid of the pepper spray in your apartment, and that part's good. But it's moving some of it into your neighbors' apartments, and that isn't.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:17 PM on November 14, 2009

Maybe you can go to the grocery store and buy a lot of baking soda packages? That absorbs bad odors really nicely in your fridge.
posted by Groovytimes at 7:25 PM on November 14, 2009

Best answer: An answer from my husband, a police officer familiar with pepper spray: The airborne particles will dissipate pretty quickly, so you're definitely safe to return to your apartment tonight. But, be careful about the residue. If the spray landed on countertops or furniture you'll want to wipe it down (plain water and paper towels, then throw away the paper towels).
posted by amyms at 7:25 PM on November 14, 2009

But, be careful about the residue.

Yeah, a top-to-bottom wipe-down is probably the only way to guarantee the safety of your eyes and sensitive bits in the next few days. If you touch a surface misted with spray and then touch your eye, you'll be really sorry.
posted by hermitosis at 7:58 PM on November 14, 2009

According to this scientist, baking soda doesn't do so well at absorbing odours (I've also heard this stated in other places.) Active charcoal is better at odour absorption. And to cover up smells, there's a product called that has worked well for our pet smell problems. That might help if the spray smell lingers.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2009

Best answer: 2nd amyms. The smell will go away in a bit, but you'll still want to do a wipe-down of frequently-touched surfaces, like the kitchen countertops, fridge, microwave, etc. and minimize touching your face with your hands for a while. If it got on any linens that are going to touch your skin, definitely wash them. The residue can be an irritant for quite a while. If you have upholstered furniture, you may smell the faint pepper spray smell when you rough it up for a while. Maybe not, though for normal commercial-type pepper spray. The military/police stuff is pretty foul.

If it got on your skin, keep your eyes closed in the shower the first time :)
posted by ctmf at 10:01 PM on November 14, 2009

You're definitely going to want to wipe things down.

Can you please do me a personal favor and set the stage here with a little back story?

"See, honey, you point it like this and then--"*shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*"OH GOD GET OUT! RUN!"
posted by disillusioned at 11:40 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, wash your hands before going to the bathroom.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 7:52 AM on November 15, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the speedy and useful advice! The smell did dissipate pretty quickly, thank goodness, and we will do a full wipe down very soon now.

disillusioned, see, funny story there. It was after a party at our house and he found a small black canister on the bed where people's coats had been (must have fallen out of someone's pocket) and pushed the big button on top to see what it was. Now we have learned that that is not the best way to find out what small black canisters are.
posted by EmilyFlew at 7:53 AM on November 15, 2009 [4 favorites]

« Older Why does my Asus occasionally behave as if it has...   |   Failing this, does anyone know a good cobbler in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.