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Is deodorant counted as a liquid?

With airport security being tighter than ever before, it’s important for travelers to understand exactly what items are restricted in carry-on luggage. Liquids, gels, and aerosols have been limited to travel-sized containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) since 2006. But does deodorant fall under these restrictions? Let’s take a closer look at the rules around liquids and deodorants when flying.

TSA Regulations on Liquids

Since August 2006, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has enforced strict rules about the size and amount of liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes that can be carried onto flights within, into, or out of the United States. This change came after a foiled terror plot to detonate liquid explosives on transatlantic flights.

The 3-1-1 liquids rule limits passengers to:

  • Containers with a maximum capacity of 3.4 ounces (100 ml)
  • All containers fitting comfortably in one quart-sized zip-top bag
  • One zip-top bag per passenger placed in screening bin

Any containers larger than 3.4 oz have to be placed in checked baggage. This applies to items like shampoo, sunblock, perfume, toothpaste, hair gel, and drinks like water, juice, and soda.

Exceptions to the Liquids Rule

There are some exceptions to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. These include:

  • Medications
  • Baby formula/milk/food if traveling with a baby
  • Contact lens solution (up to 3.4 oz)

Travelers are allowed a “reasonable” quantity of liquid medications and baby products afterscreening and verification. Other exceptions needing no screening are:

  • Solid deodorants
  • Hair brushes/combs
  • Razors (cartridges ok)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Loose powder makeup
  • Eyeglasses
  • Nail clippers

Is Deodorant a Liquid?

Now that we’ve reviewed the general liquid restrictions, does deodorant fall under these rules? The answer depends on the form of the deodorant.

Deodorant comes in stick, gel, roll-on, and spray formats. Only deodorant sprays are considered liquids and restricted to 3.4 oz containers. Roll-on, gel, and stick deodorants are exempt from the liquids rules.

Stick Deodorant

Stick deodorants are solid substances, so they can be any size and carried on a plane with no issues. Both regular deodorant sticks and natural crystal deodorant stones are allowed in carry-ons.

Gel Deodorant

Gel deodorants are semi-solid pastes that retain their shape. Although they have a “gel” name, TSA classifies them as a solid and they can be brought aboard flights in any quantity.

Roll-On Deodorant

Roll-on deodorants contain liquid substances, but are classified as a solid by TSA due to the ball and socket applicator. Standard roll-on deodorant tubes of any size are permitted on planes.

Deodorant Sprays

Deodorant body sprays, air sprays, and aerosols fall into the liquid category. These must adhere to the 3.4 oz size limit to be allowed in carry-on luggage.

Many travelers opt to bring a small travel-size spray in their liquids bag and pack a larger bottle for use upon arrival in checked baggage.

TSA Screening Process

Understanding how deodorant fits into the TSA liquid restrictions is useful for packing and preparing for security screening.

At the airport, all carry-on bags will be screened by an x-ray machine. Passengers also go through a metal detector. Suspicious bags may be hand-searched by TSA agents.

During screening, you will need to:

  • Remove laptops, 3-1-1 bags, and other items from carry-on
  • Place bags/bins on the conveyor belt for x-ray scan
  • Walk through metal detector
  • Wait for your items to clear screening

If traveling with liquids, place your 3-1-1 zip-top bag full of containers (each 3.4 oz or less) in a bin by itself so the agents can clearly see it meets regulations.

TSA PreCheck members can often leave shoes/jackets on and keep laptops/liquids in bags during screening for quicker processing.

TSA Penalties for Prohibited Items

If you accidentally bring a restricted liquid over 3.4 oz or forget about an item in your bag, immediately notify a TSA officer. They may need to rescreen or inspect the bag.

Possible penalties for prohibited items include:

  • Being asked to remove the item and surrender it before boarding security
  • Bag search and secondary screening
  • Fines up to $13,910 for repeat offenders

However, if you voluntarily give up the item or make an honest mistake, you will typically just be allowed to remove it without penalty. Only passengers who refuse to comply or deliberately break the rules face fines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring perfume on a plane?

Perfume is considered a liquid and must follow the 3-1-1 carry-on rules. Containers up to 3.4 oz are permitted. You can pack larger bottles in checked baggage.

What about hair spray or dry shampoo?

Hair spray and dry shampoo are also subject to the liquids restrictions. Containers over 3.4 oz cannot be carried on.

Can I bring stick deodorant in my carry-on bag?

Yes, stick deodorants of any size are allowed in carry-on luggage since they are classified as a solid by TSA.

How many liquids bags can I have?

Only 1 quart-sized liquids bag per passenger is permitted. But others in your travel group can each bring a liquids bag.

What if my deodorant tests positive on the security scanner?

Deodorants and antiperspirants can sometimes trigger false alarms on the scanners due to their aluminum content. If this happens, you will need to undergo additional screening such as a pat down or bag search.

Can I buy deodorant inside the secure area after security?

Yes, many airports have shops inside the secure terminal area that sell toiletries like deodorant. These do not have size restrictions since they were purchased post-security.

Key Takeaways

  • Stick deodorant of any size is allowed on planes
  • Only deodorant sprays over 3.4 oz are prohibited
  • Place deodorant spray in your liquids zip-top bag if over 3.4 oz
  • You can bring multiple solid deodorant sticks or tubes on a plane
  • Notify TSA if you accidentally bring a prohibited item

Understanding the rules around liquids and which types of deodorant are permitted in carry-on luggage allows travelers to smoothly pass through airport security. Stick, gel, and roll-on deodorants will not be confiscated, while sprays over 3.4 oz should be packed in checked bags to avoid any issues.

Following TSA guidance takes the stress out of going through screening and ensures your flight stays on schedule. With the proper planning and packing, you can arrive prepared and ready for your next adventure.


In summary, only deodorant sprays are considered liquids and limited to 3.4 oz containers for carry-on luggage. Stick, gel, and roll-on deodorants can be any size and brought on airplanes with no restrictions since they are classified as solids or semi-solids.

Understanding TSA’s definitions and screening policies allows travelers to confidently pack permitted items in their luggage. Checking any restricted liquids provides peace of mind that security rules will be followed.

While airport screening requires some adjustments, it helps keep air travel safe in the modern era. Abiding by the liquids regulations is a small inconvenience for the privilege of convenient air transportation. With the right knowledge, packing and flying doesn’t have to feel complicated.