Hotels and AirBnb’s usually provide guests with toiletries, but you might be wondering if you can travel with your own bar of soap on your next flight, too.
According to TSA regulations, you can bring a bar of soap on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
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Bringing a Bar of Soap in Your Carry on Bag
The TSA has a rule in place called the 3-1-1 Rule that prohibits passengers from bringing any liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers larger in containers that exceed 3.4oz/100ml.
While this can limit a substantial number of toiletries that you can bring, thankfully this doesn’t apply to bar soap.
This is because a bar of soap is solid, so it doesn’t fall under the 3-1-1 Rule.
Bringing a Bar of Soap in Your Checked Bag
There is also no problem bringing a bar of soap on a plane in your checked bags.
You can pack as many bars of soap that you want.
Domestic vs. International Flights
Sometimes domestic and international flights have different regulations because the TSA does not have any authority when you are flying from another country into the USA or between countries outside the USA.
Fortunately, regardless if you’re flying domestically or internationally, you will be able to bring a bar of soap on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
Again, you won’t have any problem with any regional or major air carrier if you want to pack bar soap in either your carry on or checked bags.
All airlines follow TSA regulations.
No Quantity Restrictions
There is no limit to the number of bars of soap that you can bring on a plane in either your carry on or checked bags.
However, if you are flying with liquid, gel, or aerosols, you will only be able to fit seven to eight 100ml/3.4oz containers in a 1-quart bag as required by the TSA.
Be Careful When Bringing Liquid Soap
As liquid soap is obviously a liquid, the 3-1-1 Rule applies.
So, this means that you can pack liquid soap in your carry on in a container that is no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
When packing liquid soap in your checked bags, there is no limit to how much you can bring.
Other Types of Soap/Cleaning Products
- Laundry Soap (Liquid): Must be in a container no larger than 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on. No limit if packed in your checked bag.
- Laundry Soap (Solid): No restrictions apply when packed in either your carry on or checked bags.
- Medicated Soap: If medicated soap has been prescribed to you, the 3-1-1 Rule does not apply. So you can pack any medicated soap in both your carry on and checked bags, though you must declare them to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection.
- Shower Gel: Must be in a container no larger than 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on. No limit if packed in your checked bag.
- Shampoo: Must be in a container no larger than 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on. No limit if packed in your checked bag. If medicated shampoo has been prescribed by a doctor, the limit in carry on bags does not apply.
- Dry Shampoo: Must be packed in a container no larger than 3.4oz/100 ml if packed in your carry on.
- Hand Sanitizer: Due to the Covid pandemic, the TSA allow each passenger to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces in carry-on bags until further notice. There are no restrictions when packed in checked bags.
- Detergent (Liquid): Must be in a container no larger than 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on. No limit if packed in your checked bag.
- Detergent (Powder or Pellet): Allowed in both your carry on and checked bags. If powder detergent is greater than 12 oz. / 350 ml, it must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening if packed in your carry on.
How to Pack Bar Soap for Travel
One of the best things about bringing soap on a plane in your carry on bags, is that you don’t need to place it into a quart-sized bag as you do for other toiletries.
So, this means that you can just throw the soap in your bag and be done with it.
However, if the soap isn’t brand new and sealed, then you will want to:
- Make sure that the soap is completely dry and not mushy
- Place the soap in a ziplock bag or in a plastic soap case
This applies to packing bar soap in either your carry on or checked bags.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).