Last Updated on October 18, 2021
Salt is essential for life and saltiness is one of the basic tastes.
But can you pack salt in your carry-on luggage or checked luggage?
TSA Salt Rules
The Transportation Security Administration decides what can and can’t be brought on to planes.
They don’t specifically mention salt on their website.
However, they do say this about powders:
For your convenience, we encourage you to place powder-like substances over 12 oz. / 350 mL in your checked bags. Powders in carry-on baggage may require secondary screening, and powders that cannot be resolved by security officials will be prohibited from the cabin of the aircraft effective June 30, 2018.Transportation Security Administration
Salt is considered to be a powder by the TSA. It’s the same with other ground spices.
It’s not banned from carry-on luggage, but if you have a container of salt over 12 oz you should remove it from your bag at airport security and place it in a separate bin for additional screening.
If you have a container of salt under 12 oz then you can leave it in your bag.
If you have a container with more than 12 oz of salt the TSA officer will inspect it closely. They need to be able to figure out if it really is salt.
If they can’t they won’t let you take it on the plane and they will dispose of it. The final decision is taken by the TSA agents at the security checkpoint.
You can pack salt in checked luggage without restriction, although a suitcase literally full of salt would probably be over the checked baggage weight limits.
Still Unsure? You Can Ask The TSA On Twitter
You can reach out to the TSA on Twitter and they’ll answer any questions you have about bringing salt or salt-related items onto planes.
In case you are wondering…
You can bring pepper on a plane too!
Ground pepper would follow the same powders rule if you were taking large quantities.
Betsy asked about bringing a sea salt scrub in her carry-on luggage:
That salt scrub doesn’t look like it’s dry. Liquids can only be in containers 3.4 oz or less and must be packed in your one quart-size bag.
Saltwater is a liquid and so is limited to 3.4 oz containers.
But if you are traveling with saline salt water for a medical reason you can still bring it even if it’s more than the liquids limit.
Medically necessary liquids are allowed in carry-on bags in containers larger than 3.4 oz.
You don’t need any official documents from the doctor. Just show the TSA officer at airport security your liquid and explain that it is medically necessary.
And there is another exception that allows you to bring salt water:
Apparently, you can bring salt water in quantities greater than 3.4 oz if it is for transporting live coral.
You can bring a Himalayan salt rock lamp in carry-on luggage too.
If your lamp was so big you could use it as a weapon to bludgeon someone then it might be confiscated at the security screening checkpoint.
In case you are bringing salt to use in a bug-a-salt gun:
The salt can be packed in carry-on luggage but any toy gun or anything resembling a real gun can’t be packed in hand luggage. It would need to be packed in checked baggage.
Charlie asked about packing smelling salts in his carry-on luggage:
The TSA replied that “smelling salts are good to go in carry-on bags”.
Jen asked about bringing epsom salts in her hand luggage:
Containers of Epsom Salt under 12 oz can remain in you carry-on during screening.
Containers of Epsom Salt over 12 oz should be removed from your bag and placed in a separate bin for screening.
If the TSA officer can identify the power and doesn’t see it as a threat you’ll be able to bring it on the plane.
But if the TSA is unsure that you really have epsom salts then they won’t let you take such a large quantity on the plane unless you want to convert your carry-on into checked baggage.
You can bring dry salt on the plane in containers less than 12 oz.
If it’s more than 12 oz you will want to pack the salt in a container that can be opened and inspected.
If you are traveling internationally you’ll be fine packing a salt shaker, but packing bags of white powder in your luggage might attract attention at customs that you don’t want.