Planes are only tidied and spot cleaned between flights. The lavatory might get a more thorough cleaning but there simply isn’t time to clean everywhere.
Overnight there is a more complete cleaning of the aircraft including hard surfaces like armrests and tray tables.
Also, airlines usually do a deep clean every 4 to 6 weeks that includes scrubbing down the walls and ceilings.
What is means is that it’s likely that your plane seat and the surrounding area hasn’t been cleaned since the last passenger was sitting in your seat. It probably hasn’t been cleaned all day.
That’s why you might want to bring cleaning products on a plane so you can disinfect your own seat area to help protect yourself against viruses such as cold, flu and coronavirus.
This post is all about what cleaning products and supplies you can bring on a plane in your hand luggage.
Be sure to read until the end to discover the best cleaning product to bring on a plane for killing germs.
TSA Rules For Cleaning Products And Supplies
It’s actually not very easy to see on the TSA website if cleaning products are allowed on planes. That’s because cleaning products is too broad a category. There are many different types of cleaning product and not all are treated the same by the transportation security administration.
To find out if a specific cleaning product is permitted through airport security you need to look more closely at the rules.
For a start, many household cleaners are liquids and you will remember that liquids are restricted by the 3-1-1 rule.
So the 1st rule that applies to cleaning products is the liquids rule. You can’t bring any liquids over 3.4 oz in your carry-on luggage.
Furthermore, not all liquids are equal. There is a reason though that you don’t find travel size bottles of bleach on the store. Not every liquid that is in a 3.4 oz bottle is permitted on to planes.
Bleach, for example, isn’t allowed in carry-on or checked baggage regardless of container size. Here’s the rule on the TSA website:
Fidele got the same answer from the TSA on twitter:
Bleach alone isn’t flammable but if mixed with other chemicals it can become explosive and highly dangerous on a plane.
Which brings us to the second rule that impacts cleaning products.
Flammable Cleaning Products Are Banned From Planes
You can’t bring any cleaning product that is flammable into the cabin.
You can usually find out if a cleaning product is flammable by reading the label on the back.
Usually, all aerosols are flammable so aerosol cleaning products are not allowed on planes.
So the question is can you bring a non-aerosol, non-flammable cleaning product on to a plane?
Lots of pump-triggered disinfecting sprays are non-flammable.
We asked the TSA on Twitter:
So you CAN bring non-flammable cleaning liquids on to planes if they are in small travel size bottles. You might need to decant them into small 3.4 oz containers and you will need to pack them in your quart size toiletries bag.
You can also bring non-flammable cleaners like liquid soaps too.
The Best Cleaning Product To Bring On A Plane
Okay, as promised, here is the best cleaning product to bring on a plane.
The reason why might be unexpected.
Despite wipes being wet they are not treated as a liquid so all the rules above don’t apply.
You can bring as many wet wipes on a plane as you can fit in your carry on bag.
This means that disinfecting wipes like Clorex are easily the best cleaning product to bring with you to clean your seat area.
The Bottom Line
Flammable cleaning products are banned.
The only flammable products that are allowed on planes are either toiletries or medical supplies.
That’s why hand cleaning products like hand sanitizer or medical disinfecting products such as rubbing alcohol are permitted. They can potentially be used as a cleaning product but they are designed to be used on human skin.
Now there is nothing to stop you using that rubbing alcohol to wipe down your tray table once you are on the plane. But a flammable cleaning product that is sold and marketed for cleaning toilets or kitchen surfaces won’t make it past the security checkpoint.
Non-flammable liquid cleaning products are permitted in carry-on luggage if they are in bottles under 3.4 oz or 100 ml. The potential issue with non-flammable products is that they might not be strong enough to kill the germs.
Check the product you are considering packing carefully.