If you are planning to travel with any type of aerosol product, you may wonder whether it is safe to pack aerosol cans in your checked luggage or not.
But don’t worry, aerosol cans will not explode in the airplane hold if they are not under pressure, punctured or in direct contact with excessive heat, the airplane’s cargo section is pressurized in the same way as the cabin.
In this post, we will explore the science behind aerosol cans, in what occasion they explode and the safety precautions you can take.
Let’s kick things off.
If you wanted to read more about taking aerosols non carry on baggage your refer to this post.
Will Aerosols Cans Will Explode In Checked Baggage ?
The chances of an aerosol to explode in a normal temperature is relatively very low.
But the risk of an explosion is high when an aerosol is not handled properly, exposed to extreme temperatures or punctured, as the temperature rises, pressure in the can will increase and a temperature of about 120 degrees Fahrenheit may lead to an explosion.
When an aerosol can is exposed to heat for example in a closed environment, the pressure inside will increase, and if the propellant is flammable it will ignite when in contact with a spark or a flame.
The good news is that the temperature in the airplane’s hold is controlled just like in the cabin and always cooler ( where checked baggage is stored and animals are carried ).
Here is an answer from the TSA customer service clarifying that.
” The cargo area of the plane is pressurized in the same manner as the cabin of the aircraft. We recommend reaching out to your airline w/ any concerns you have when packing this type of item in checked bags.“
But even though the chances of an aerosol to explode is low, some added precautions are always needed.
For example, avoid packing aerosol cans with other heat-sensitive items, such as electronics with installed batteries, which may generate heat and increase the risk of an explosion.
Additionally, it’s recommended to take only aerosol cans with lids and caps and avoid aerosols with nozzles as they can leak or spray easily inside your bag.
What Are The FAA And The TSA Regulations?
Some flammable aerosols are not permitted in checked baggage, even though they will not explode on their own.
The TSA and FAA allows only aerosol toiletries and medicinal items ( Anything that touches the body ) as long as they meet certain requirements.
Each container must be no more than 18 oz / 500 ml, and the total of the aerosol must not exceed 70 oz / 2 liters per passenger.
If you have two suitcase or more you still need to not exceed 70 oz / 2 liters in total of toiletries.
Here are some examples of aerosols and their rules.
|Allowed In Checked Bags||Not Allowed In Checked Bags|
|Deodorant (solid and dry)||Spray starch|
|Shaving Cream||cooking spray|
|Spray Sunscreen||Silly string|
|Hair Spray||Disinfectant sprays|
|Dry Shampoo||ironing spray|
|Perfume and Colognes||spray paint|
|Hair Mousse||Lysol aerosol spray|
If you want to learn more details about what to take in checked baggage, you can refer to this post.
How To Travel Safely With Aerosols?
It is always wise to put safety first even if you are not traveling with flammable aerosols.
Here is some safety tips to follow before heading to the airport with your aerosols:
- Follow the TSA and airlines regulations: before packing your aerosols in checked baggage, ensure that you know the exact rules of your item, you can browse the TSA website or search your item in this website and you will find the rule for taking them on airplane.
- Read the labels: read to label to avoid taking flammable and hazardous items in your checked bag.
- Pack wisely: pack the aerosol that are allowed in a pasta bag, separate them from other items, avoid placing them with batteries or any other electronics.
- if possible take them with you in carry-on: I know it is not allowed to take aerosols more than 3.4 oz / 100 ml in carry-on baggage, but if possible try to take any toiletries in your carry-on bag, or you can just purchase them at your destination.
- Place the aerosols in a plastic bag : it is a good idea to place your toiletries and aerosols in a plastic bag in case any aerosols are accidentally activated, thus will prevent your clothes and other belongings from getting messed up.
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The risk of of an aerosol can to explode in checked baggage is relatively low.
So it is generally safe to transport aerosol cans in checked bags but you need to follow the regulations set by your airline and the TSA and take the necessary safety precautions.
Read the labels of your aerosols, pack carefully, and avoid taking any flammables in your checked bag.
FAQ: Will Aerosol Cans Explode In Checked Luggage?
Pepper spray is not allowed on board the airplane as carry-on as it can be used as a self defense weapon, so the only solution is to take it in your checked bag, and do not worry it won’t explode, just ensure that it is well packed and protected.
If you want to take more than 3.4 oz / 100 ml of shaving cream you can place it in your checked baggage and you don’t need to worry about it, it won’t explode, if you have a small container you can take them in your carry on bag.
Bear spray is explosive and some bear sprays are extremely flammable, so they are not allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.
Dry shampoo is safe to bring in checked bags, smaller container of 3.4 oz / 100 ml are allowed in carry-on while large container must be transported in checked baggage
Water is safe to bring in both carry-on and checked bags, but instead of packing water in your check bag, you can refill your bottle after you clear the security, empty water bottle or hydro flasks are safe to place in checked baggage.
Cans of coke and soda aluminum cans will not explode in either carry-on or checked bags, but large cans will not be allow through the security checkpoint, you can purchase coke after you pass the security checkpoint our place large cans in your checked bag, however, it is preferable to avoid packing beverages in checked baggage as they will spill and mess your belongings.
Even though Fake tan or sunless tanning has some chemicals, it is safe to transport in both carry-on and checked bags.
Bug repellent that can be applied for skin is allowed in carry-on but only in limited quantities, large bug spray containers must be packed in checked bags, and you don’t need to worry about them exploding.
We hope that this article is helpful.