The rapid transmission of the COVID-19 virus in recent times has helped us re-focus our attention on the most important aspect of our life—our health.
Hence, when traveling, it has become the norm to carry disinfectants and first-aid items such as sterile gauze dressings, bandages, safety pins, sterile gloves, sanitizers, and most importantly—rubbing alcohol.
But the question arises—is rubbing alcohol allowed on a plane even though it’s highly flammable?
Yes, you’re allowed to take rubbing alcohol along with you in both your carry-on and checked luggage. However, you need to know that they are only allowed in limited quantities (more on that later).
Like rubbing alcohol, other first-aid items allowed in limited quantities include sanitizers, antibiotic ointment, insect bite swabs, and hydrogen peroxide.
Meanwhile, there isn’t a restriction on first-aid items such as gauze pads, tape, gloves, pain relievers, moleskin, lip balms, barrier devices for CPR, and triangular, elastic, and adhesive bandages.
How Much Rubbing Alcohol Can You Take in Your Carry-On?
If you wish to take rubbing alcohol along with you in your carry-on, the isopropyl liquid container must be smaller than 3.4 oz or 100 ml.
You’re also required to put it securely inside your quart-sized toiletries bag or first-aid kit box.
How Much Rubbing Alcohol Can You Take in Your Checked Luggage?
If you don’t think a 3.4 oz bottle is enough for you, you can carry more rubbing alcohol in your checked luggage.
To be precise, you can take an 18 oz or 500 ml bottle of rubbing alcohol in your checked luggage.
That amount should be more than enough to help you disinfect and clean hard surfaces in hotel rooms.
However, you need to keep in mind that these so-called “regulations” are simply guidelines.
The final decision, on whether you’re allowed to take rubbing alcohol with you on a plane, depends entirely on the TSA security agent checking you.
If he or she decides against it, it is well within his or her right to do so.
What’s a Better Alternative to Rubbing Alcohol?
If you don’t want the TSA security agent to decide your fate (in regards to taking rubbing alcohol), you should perhaps go for the safer option, disinfectant wipes.
In fact, I would even go as far as to say that disinfectant wipes are better than rubbing alcohol on cleaning surfaces; with wipes, you can scrub hard surfaces better.
Unlike rubbing alcohol, they aren’t too harsh on your hands either.
You see, pure rubbing alcohol can be rough and dry on your hands, which is why it should be diluted. Now, why would you want to bother with that, right?
Though disinfectant wipes are wet, they aren’t categorized as liquid items. So, there isn’t a restriction on the number of wipes you can take along with you on a plane.
Plus, it isn’t compulsory to keep them in your toiletries bag.
Another practice you can adopt to ensure you stay in the pink of health during trips is to clean your hands often with hand sanitizers.
Unlike rubbing alcohol and despite being liquid, you’re allowed to carry up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer. That should be enough for your travels.
What’s the 70% Alcohol Rule?
Alcohol that exceeds 70% alcohol strength is forbidden in both carry-on and checked luggage.
Now, with most rubbing alcohol exceeding the 70% mark, you may be confused as to why they are being allowed.
Well, it’s because the 70% rule only applies to alcoholic beverages, not rubbing alcohol.
In conclusion, you can carry rubbing alcohol with you in both your carry-on and checked luggage.
If you wish to take rubbing alcohol with you on your flight, you should put it inside a 3.4-ounce or 100 ml bottle.
If that amount isn’t enough for you, you can take more in your checked luggage. You can carry 18 oz or 500 ml of rubbing alcohol in your checked luggage.
However, I’d recommend you to skip the potential hassle of carrying rubbing alcohol and go for disinfectant wipes instead.
Disinfectant wipes are just as effective without being as rough on your hands. And, since they aren’t classified as liquid items, there isn’t a restriction on them.