Toiletries tips: When to bring and when to pack your deodorant

TSA rules can be confusing when you travel, especially when it comes to the different types of deodorant. Don't leave your antiperspirant behind or in your checked bag; learn the regulations, and you'll take off smelling like a rose. Here's what you need to know about bringing your deodorant with you during air travel.

Here's the 3-1-1

TSA's 3-1-1 rule regulates non-solid substances that you might want to carry on a plane. Almost anything you can squeeze out, spray out or pour out falls under this liquids rule, deodorant included.

  • 3: Any non-solid that you bring in your carry-on has to be in a 3.4-ounce or smaller container. When it comes to deodorant, you'll find it in sizes from less than 1 ounce to 8 ounces or larger. If it's larger, it needs to go in your checked baggage.
  • 1: Any non-solid you bring with you in your hand luggage not only has to be in the appropriate-sized container, but all those containers must ride together in a 1-quart clear plastic bag with a zip-top.
  • 1: You only get to bring one quart-sized resealable bag filled with products. All airports have different rules, but many make you separate this from the rest of your luggage at their security checkpoints.

Roll-ons in Carry-On Bags

Some roll-on deodorants are 3.5 ounces, missing the TSA security requirement by a measly one-tenth of an ounce. Others are well within the size limit. If you're partial to roll-on deodorant, check the label to make sure it contains 3.4 ounces or less.

You might be wondering: Can I bring my 3.5 ounce liquid deodorant if there's now only 3.4 ounces left in there? The answer is no. Airport security only allows travel-sized containers of 3.4 ounces or smaller in your carry-on luggage, no matter how full or empty they are. Pack that bigger container in your checked baggage, or leave it behind.

Aerosols in the air

If you prefer aerosol deodorant, be sure to look for trial or travel-sized deodorant at the store. While larger sizes can squeak in under 3.4 ounces, you'll have a hard time fitting that can and your other sundries in your liquids bag with the zipper closed. Pack it in your checked baggage if you want to bring a full-size spray can. Just make sure your aerosol spray has a cap to prevent accidental discharge.

Gels and solids

From the outside, gel and solid deodorant look a lot alike. Both have a twist-up feature and have packaging similar in shape and size. There's a big difference at the TSA checkpoint, however. Gel deodorant needs to fit in your 3-1-1 baggie. You can just toss solid stick deodorant into your carry-on baggage, making it your best bet if you're trying to save room in your quart-sized bag.

Restrictions on checked deodorant

Find an amazing sale on your favorite deodorant while you were on vacation? Don't fill up your suitcase just yet. Certain restrictions apply. You'll only be able to bring a total of 68 fluid ounces of any toiletry articles in your checked luggage. That's about 17 cans of spray deodorant or 34 roll-ons.