Liquids In Checked Bags: Is There A Liquid Limit? How Much Can You Take?

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

We all remember that liquids are limited in carry-on luggage.

So it’s perfectly natural to ask ourselves… “how much liquid can you take on a plane in checked baggage? Is there a liquid limit for checked bags?”

This post is about how to pack toiletries and other liquids in your hold luggage.

TSA Liquids Rules for Checked Baggage

The transportation security administration website is great when you want to find out about specific liquids, but it’s not always so easy to discover general principles.

A lot is written about the liquids rule for carry-on luggage. We know that we must pack small travel size bottles in our hand luggage and if our bottles are larger they must be packed in checked luggage.

This graphic is clear about carry-on but it doesn’t tell you how much liquid can you take on a plane in checked baggage.

The reason for this is simple. Generally, there is NO limit for liquids in checked luggage!

Here is Jaynie getting the right information from the @AskTSA service on Twitter:

We don’t limit the size or quanitity of liquid, lotion or gel containers you can pack in checked bags.

@AskTSA via Twitter

But here are some additional rules that apply to specific liquids that restrict how much you can bring in your checked bag as Derek discovered.

Liquids aren’t limited in checked bags if they don’t contain hazardous materials

@AskTSA via Twitter

Here are the hazardous liquids that are prohibited from checked luggage:

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages that are stronger than 140 proof or 70% ABV are completely banned from checked baggage because they are flammable.

Alcoholic beverages (mainly liquor) that are stronger than 24% ABV but less than 70% ABV are limited to 5 liters maximum.

Alcoholic beverages that are less than 24% ABV are not restricted in checked bags and you can bring as much as you can fit.

Keep in mind that liquids are heavy and if you pack too much your case may go over the airline weight limit for hold luggage and incur an additional fee.

Flammable or Hazardous Liquids

  • Chlorine Liquid
  • Flammable paints
  • Flammable liquid fuel
  • Gasoline
  • Lighter fluid
  • Liquid bleach

Aerosols In Checked Luggage

While aerosols come out of the bottle as gas they are pressurized liquids while inside the container. So if you are packing aerosols you are in a sense packing liquids.

So we thought we should mention them here in this context because there are some rules about aerosol toiletries that you should be aware of when you are packing your liquids in checked bags.

You are able to take medicinal or toiletry aerosols in checked luggage in cans less than 18 oz (500 ml). You are permitted to bring a total of 70 oz (2 liters) of aerosol per person.

So you can bring aerosol hairspray and deodorant and other aerosol toiletries but within these restrictions.

The limit is per person not per checked bag so you can’t increase your aerosol limit by bringing two checked bags. If you spray the product on to your skin it’s considered a toiletry and there are no limits to how much you can take.

Non-medicinal or toiletry aerosols are banned from checked luggage.

Non Flammable Liquids That Are Not Toiletries

In case you get the impression that it’s only toiletries that are allowed in checked baggage here is an example of a non-toiletry liquid that you can pack freely in checked luggage.

Kurt was happy to discover that he would pack liquid leaning supplied without restriction in his hold luggage.

How To Pack Liquids In Checked Baggage

You should keep in mind that your checked bag will probably experience a rough ride. Plastic toiletries probably won’t break and if they do the damage will be minimal.

However, it’s still a good idea to pack your large toiletries in a large ziplock plastic bag to protect your clothes from leakage.

If you are packing any liquids in fragile containers like wine or perfume then take extra special care. Many a wardrobe has been ruined by a broken bottle of red wine. Wine protector sleeves can help with this.

The Verdict

Most of your toiletries that are limited in carry ons are unlimited in checked luggage.

You can bring as much shampoo, shower gel, sun cream as you want.

You just need to pay special attention to aerosols and flammable liquids since there are extra rules regarding these products.

If when your bag is scanned anything looks suspicious during the screening process the TSA will open your bag and remove any banned liquids. These liquids will be disposed of.

Also, if you are packing any liquid foods and flying internationally make sure you are permitted to import the foodstuff into your destination country.

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