What is the TSA Rule on Solid Deodorant?

How to Stay Fresh Without Breaking the Rules

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), "deodorant" makes a regular appearance as one of the agency's top searched keywords. That's because the TSA places rigid restrictions on traveling with liquids, pastes and gels, and deodorant comes in many different consistencies—including pretty much all of the above.

But if you're a fan of solid deodorant, you have nothing to worry about. Any amount of stick deodorant is good to go in either checked or carry-on baggage. Powders and crystals are also permitted in any size.

However, deodorants that come in spray, gel, liquid, cream or paste forms are subject to the TSA's liquids rule: If it's going in a carry-on bag, it must be in one of the three 3.4 ounces or smaller-sized containers allowed in a quart-sized resealable bag. Otherwise, you'll have to check it. The only exemptions to the TSA's liquids rule are medications and formula, breast milk and juice for infants and toddlers.

Deodorant isn't the only toiletry that causes confusion for air travelers. Before zipping up those carry-on suitcases for good, you might want to sift through your and your family's cosmetic bags to take stock of the following:

  • Makeup: Mascara, lipstick, lip gloss and liquid foundations count as gels, pastes or liquids and are thus subject to the TSA's liquids rule.
  • Spray cans: Aerosols fall under the TSA's liquids rule, so keep an eye out for hairspray or spray-on sunscreen. These will only be permitted in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller in quart-sized bags.
  • Sharp objects: Tweezers, disposable razors and nail clippers are OK, as are scissors with blades smaller than 4 inches. These should all be sheathed or wrapped, and any other sharp objects are prohibited from carry-on bags.
  • Liquid personal care items: We're talking hair gel, mouthwash, lotion, shaving cream, sunscreen, toothpaste and gel-cap pills—these are subject to the liquids rule.

Fortunately, most common toiletries and cosmetics are available in travel-sized packages at airports and most stores. It could be worth a trip to the travel aisle now to avoid a snafu at the TSA security checkpoint later. But remember—you can pack all the solid deodorant you need.

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