Most passengers will likely want to bring an aerosol with them when they fly, whether that be deodorant, hairspray, shaving cream, or something else, so it’s important to know what the rules and regulations are when bringing aerosols on a plane.

In short, according to TSA regulations, every passenger must follow the 3-1-1 rule, which means that aerosols can be packed in both your carry on and checked luggage, though some restrictions will apply.

TSA Guidelines for Aerosols

Carry On Bags

The TSA have a rule in place called the 3-1-1 rule that stands for 3.4oz per passenger in a 1-quart sized bag.

This means that aerosols must not exceed 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on, and each aerosol container must also be placed in a 1-quart sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag as you go through airport security.

Checked Bags

If you want to pack aerosols in your checked baggage, there are still restrictions, though they are far looser.

According to the TSA:

“The total aggregate quantity per person cannot exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces). The capacity of each container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).”

Flammable & Prohibited Aerosols

Several aerosols are prohibited from being packed in either your carry or checked bags.

Prohibited aerosols that are flammable or otherwise hazardous that cannot be brought onto a plane include:

  • Spray paint
  • WD-40
  • Cooking spray
  • Aerosol laundry products
  • Insecticides that aren’t sprayed onto skin

Will Aerosols Explode on a Plane?

Under normal circumstances, aerosols will not explode on a plane in either the cabin or cargo hold.

Only in exceptional instances, such as if the aerosol is exposed to extreme heat, will there be a possibility of the aerosol exploding.

Due to the higher likelihood of some highly flammable and hazardous aerosols exploding, some are forbidden to be taken on a plane, as mentioned above.

How to Pack Aerosols for Flying

There are a few important things to note if you want to bring aerosols on a plane.

Carry On

  1. Make sure each aerosol container does not exceed 3.4oz/100ml.
  2. Place the aerosol container in a 1-quart, clear, resealable plastic bag.
  3. Due to a limit of 1-quart (32 ounces), you’ll likely be able to fit no more than 7-8 100ml containers in the bag.

Checked Bags

  1. Make sure the capacity of each aerosol container does not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).
  2. Make sure the total aggregate quantity of the aerosols you want to bring do not exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces).

How to Prevent Aerosols From Leaking or Spilling

Aerosols can be prevented from leaking or spilling by following TSA guidelines, such as ensuring that any aerosol canister is protected by caps or other suitable means to prevent accidental release of the button/nozzle.

Do Different Airlines Having Different Regulations?

Whether you’re flying with Southwest, JetBlue, United, Delta, American Airlines, or any other major or regional airline domestically or internationally, such as with British Airways, the same rules apply.

So, aerosols must be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml if packed in your carry on, and the total aggregate quantity per person cannot exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces), with the capacity of each container not exceeding 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

Can You Bring Liquids on a Plane?

The 3-1-1 Rule applies to liquids and gels, as well as aerosols.

So if the container contains either a liquid, gel, or is an aerosol, it must be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.

Remember, the 3-1-1 rule applies to the size of the container, so it doesn’t matter if you have a 200ml container than only contains 50ml of liquid – it still wouldn’t be allowed in your carry on.

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).