Can You Bring Aerosol on a Plane? Carry On and Checked Bags



Navigating airport security can often feel like a puzzle, especially when it comes to items that may be subject to strict regulations, such as aerosol cans.

Whether you’re a beauty enthusiast with your favorite hairspray, a parent with essential disinfectant sprays, or someone who likes to be prepared, you might wonder: Can you bring aerosol on a plane?

In this post, we’ll uncover the mysteries of airline regulations regarding aerosols in carry-on and checked luggage. We’ll provide you with the latest guidelines so you can pack with confidence and breeze through TSA without a hitch.

Get ready to demystify the do’s and don’ts of flying with aerosol products!

Can You Bring Aerosol on a Plane? Carry On and Checked Bags 1

The Quick Answer: Can you take aerosol cans on a plane? TSA rules allow aerosols on a plane in carry on baggage but they must be in containers that are 3.4 ozs (100ml) or less. They can be packed in checked baggage almost without any size restrictions. Aerosols containing flammable liquids are prohibited in both carry on and checked bags.


Can you fly with aerosols in checked baggage?

Checked baggage really is the best place to travel with aerosols on a plane. The 3.4-ounce rule does not apply to anything containing a liquid, so you will not have to worry about the size restrictions.

Although you can take quite a few aerosols in checked luggage, there is a limit on the size and total amount. The TSA website states that “toiletry aerosols” that are carried in a checked bag must not exceed 70oz (68 fluid ounces) in total, and each container must be 18oz (16 fluid ounces) or less.

Unless you are a traveling aerosol salesman, you will unlikely exceed this limit under normal circumstances.

Many people believe that aerosols may explode in their checked bags – if you want reassurance that they will not, then you may wish to read my post – Will aerosols explode in checked bags?

aerosol cans on planes checked baggage 2024

Can you put spray deodorant in checked luggage?

Can you put aerosol deodorant in checked luggage? Yes, you can. As well as deodorant, you can also put aerosols in checked luggage if they contain the following:

  • deodorant
  • antiperspirant
  • hair spray
  • body spray
  • dry shampoo
  • sunscreen
  • perfumes/aftershave
  • shaving foam or gel
  • tanning spray
  • Fly sprays and insecticides are allowed in checked baggage if they are not labeled as hazardous material (HAZMAT), so look out for the hazard warnings.
  • air fresheners
  • personal protection sprays such as mace and pepper spray – see separate rules later in this post

This passenger is asking the TSA on Twitter “Can aerosol cans go in checked bags”:

aerosol spray on plane

This is the link they refer to –

Restrictions for aerosols in checked baggage

There are a few exceptions, some of which sound strange as, on the face of it, they do not seem dangerous, and others where I wonder why anyone would want to take any with them at all.

Most of these are not banned because they are more likely to explode in checked baggage under normal circumstances than other aerosols. They are banned because they may explode and fuel the fire in the unlikely event of a baggage hold fire.

Most of these are potentially flammable liquids in aerosols, and they include:

  • spray paint
  • spray oils and penetration spays
  • Lysol spray
  • cooking spray
  • spray starch and other aerosol laundry products

Although these items are not always contained in aerosols (but can be) they are not allowed either:

  • CO2 Cartridges
  • Butane
  • Propane
  • Fire Extinguishers and Other Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Recreational Oxygen
  • Canned air
  • Compressed air
  • Tear gas

This is the TSA’s response on Twitter to a passenger asking about taking bug spray in checked bags:

can you bring aerosol bug spray on a plane

The FAA has a very good article that explains exactly what you can and can’t take on board an aircraft. Hazardous Materials are carried by airline passengers and crew members.

Aerosols with flammable gases are prohibited

Can you take an aerosol in carry on?

The rules for taking aerosols in carry on bags are much more restricted than those for taking aerosols in checked baggage, as you will see below.

Aerosol sizes

You can bring aerosols through the TSA checkpoint at the airport, but they are subject to some of the TSA airport security regulations, particularly the liquid rules that apply to hand luggage.

This surprises some people as they often do not consider aerosols to contain a liquid, so TSA agents frequently confiscate them.

How many fluid ounces you can take on a plane depends on the size of the aerosol containers. This is the main issue with being able to take them through the TSA checkpoint rather than the fact that they are aerosols.

Only aerosol cans that are 3.4oz/100ml or smaller in size, regardless of the amount of liquid they actually contain, can go in your carry-on bags. Generally, this means that aerosols should be packed in your checked bags since most aerosols contain substantially more liquid than this.

This is the TSA responding to a passenger’s question regarding can take a 10 oz aerosol can of sunscreen on a plane:

can you bring aerosols on a plane

Can you bring travel size aerosol cans on a plane?

If you can, buy your deodorants and other toiletry aerosols in travel-size cans smaller than 3.4 oz (100ml), like the one on the right in the picture below. Travel-size cans are allowed in carry-on luggage and will pass the security check.

aerosol cans on planes checked baggage 2023
A travel size aerosol can next to a full-size can

To learn more about traveling with liquids, read my full article about the max liquid carry-on rules and the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule.

How to take aerosols through the TSA checkpoint

The Transportation Security Administration rules apply to all liquids, including those contained in aerosols, and state that they must be separated from your carry-on baggage and placed in a transparent, resealable quart-sized bag in a separate bin.

Only one quart-sized liquid bag is allowed per passenger.

Airport security will confiscate all aerosols larger than 3.4 ounces if you try to take them in your carry-on bags.

This passenger is asking the TSA on Twitter can you take aerosols on a plane if they have this airplane symbol and means this aerosol can be taken in her carry on bag:

aerosol cans on planes checked baggage 2021

What type of aerosols can you take through the TSA checkpoint

You can take aerosol toiletry products containing most types of liquid through the TSA checkpoint, provided they are in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100m) and in a quart-sized plastic bag.

What aerosols are not allowed on planes?

However, the TSA rules for aerosol sprays prohibit the following:

  • Fly spray/insecticide/bug spray
  • Self-defense sprays, including pepper spray, tear gas etc
  • Spray paint
  • Spray oils, including cooking spray, oils and starch
  • Lysol spray
  • Bear spray
  • Aerosol lubricants/spray oil
  • flat tire repair spray

This is a notice from the TSA on Twitter regarding flammable aerosol sprays:

can you take flammable aerosols on a plane

TSA aerosol cans rules

Remember the liquid size rules for hand luggage: containers with liquids should be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml and in a quart-size liquid bag. This table shows the aerosol can TSA rules for both hand luggage and checked bags.

TypeCarry on luggageChecked luggage
hair sprayYesYes
hair mousseYesYes
body sprayYesYes
dry shampooYesYes
suntan lotionYesYes
shaving cream, foam or gelYesYes
air freshenersYesYes
fly spray/insecticidesNoYes (see note 1)
spray oils and penetration sprays, including WD 40NoYes (see note 2)
spray paintNoNo
bear spray and other animal-repellent spraysNoNo
Lysol sprayNoNo
cooking sprayNoNo
spray starchNoNo
bear spray and other animal repellent spraysNoNo

Note 1: Allowed in checked bags as long as they are not labeled as containing hazardous materials (HAZMAT)
Note 2: You are only allowed one container of self-defense spray in your hold luggage, which cannot be larger than 4 oz/118ml. It must be fitted with a safety mechanism or catch to ensure it does not go off accidentally. Sprays that contain more than 2 percent of tear or CS gas are prohibited.

How to take larger aerosol sprays in a carry on bag

aerosol cans on planes checked baggage 2022

In practice, the liquids rule only applies to items taken through airport security in your hand luggage. It doesn’t apply to what can actually be taken into the plane’s cabin.

What I mean by that is, assuming there are stores in the departure area of the airport you are flying from (after going through airport security), then you may buy standard-size aerosol products (bigger than 3.4 ounces) in those stores to take with you on board.

That way, you could take your favorite spray deodorant, antiperspirant, shaving cream or whatever with you, assuming the stores at the airport sell it, rather than trying to find travel-size versions before you go.

Can you use aerosol on planes?

You may use any aerosol spray you can take on the plane while onboard.

Clearly, you would have no reason to use some that are permitted, but you may want to use aerosol toiletry items. Ideally, you should use these in the aircraft restroom to avoid disturbing other passengers.

Can you take flammable aerosols on a plane?

aerosol on planes

You are not permitted to pack flammable aerosol in checked baggage or aerosol spray cans that contain flammable liquid in your hand luggage. These include items in an aerosol, such as oil (WD 40 type and even cooking oils), paint, starch (used in laundry), or Lysol.

So if you are flying somewhere to do street art, you must buy your paint when you arrive.

How to pack aerosol cans for flying

In 40+ years of flying, I have never had any problems with carrying aerosol cans in checked baggage on planes. But if you are still concerned about putting aerosols in your checked baggage, then there are a few things you can do to give yourself some peace of mind:

  • Pack aerosols in a resealable quart-size bag in case it leaks. You don’t want the contents going all over your clothes. This is a much better idea for the non-aerosol liquids in your luggage, which are more likely to leak onto your clothes (which has happened to me).
  • Don’t let them rattle around. Ensure that they cannot move and bang together. Putting them in plastic bags between your clothes or in your shoes helps.
  • If there is a safety mechanism or catch, ensure it is in operation so an accidental release cannot occur.
  • If you really want to be ultra-safe, and they are brand new, then perhaps release a little of the contents, and therefore the pressure, in the can.


In airports worldwide, strict regulations are enforced to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members. One important rule concerns the transport of aerosol spray on planes. These pressurized containers, which emit fine particles of liquid or gas when sprayed, are commonly used for various purposes, such as personal care products, cleaning supplies, or insect repellents.

However, specific guidelines are in place for their transportation due to safety concerns related to the potential flammability and explosion risks associated with aerosols. Passengers are generally allowed to carry aerosol spray on planes, provided the containers do not exceed a certain volume (typically 100 ml or 3.4 ounces) and are properly packed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag.

Additionally, it is crucial to inform the airline staff about the presence of aerosols in one’s luggage during security checks, as their contents need to be inspected and approved for transportation. This rigorous control ensures the safe journey of both passengers and the aircraft, maintaining the highest aviation security standards.

Aerosol FAQs

Can you bring aerosol sunscreen on a plane? 

You can bring aerosol sunscreen in a carry-on container if it is no larger than 3.4 ounces. If it is larger than this, it will have to go in checked bags.

Can you check aerosol bug spray on a plane? 

Aerosol bug spray cannot be carried in carry-on bags. It must be packed in your checked baggage.

Can you bring aerosol deodorant on a plane?

You can bring aerosol deodorant in a carry-on bag if the container is no larger than 3.4 ounces. If it is larger than this, it will have to go in checked bags.

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