Are wet wipes subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquid Rule?

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No, wet wipes are not subject to TSA’s 3-1-1 rule since it does not come under the category of gels, aerosols, creams, liquids, or paste. The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule applies to all liquid items being carried on the plane. What TSA mainly considers liquid are gels, aerosols, creams, liquids, or paste, and since wet wipes do not fall under any of these segments, they are not subject to TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. 

This means you will not be required to carry a limited amount of wet wipes with you or even place them in separate quart bags during screening. You will also not be required to confine to the 100 ml rule since wet wipes are considered ‘solids’ by TSA.

Are baby wipes, makeup wipes, or sanitizing wipes subject to TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule?

Baby wipes are also considered wet wipes, and since they too do not fall under the category of gels, aerosols, creams, paste, or liquids, they are not considered liquids by TSA. This means you will not be required to carry them in a quart-sized bag or even. 

The same goes for makeup wipes as well as sanitizing wipes. In fact, it is a good idea to carry a handful of sanitizing wipes with you as carry-on instead of alcohol liquid hand sanitizers. 

How many wet wipes can you carry on a plane?

Since wet wipes are not subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule, you can carry as many of them as you like in both your carry-on and in your checked-in luggage. Keep in mind that when carrying wet wipes in the checked-in baggage, the baggage must not exceed the free baggage allowance by the airline.

In practice, it is not likely that you will overload your checked-in luggage with wet wipes, so, technically, you will be able to carry as many wet wipes as you want in your checked-in baggage.

As for hand baggage and carry-ons, as long as they fit the cabin hold, you will be fine carrying as many wet wipes as you want with you.

How to pack wet wipes for traveling?

It is a good idea to pack your wipes near the top of your bag, so you have easy access because you are permitted to pack as many wipes in your carry-on as you want.

Airport security might search your baggage if you have wet wipes.

The view of the airport scans could be blocked by wet wipes, and you might be asked for a closer inspection of your bag.

It is advisable to pack your wet wipes near the top of your baggage so you can remove them from the x-ray machines and be seen by the officer at the airport.

You don’t have to put your wipes in the bag if you want to go through the x-ray scanner without a bag search; you just have to remove your wipes and place them in a bin next to your laptop.

What are the TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule?

The new rule about liquids in carry-on baggage was introduced in 2006 due to increased threats of liquid explosives on flights. The 3-1-1 rule is used by the Transportation Safety Administration to regulate how liquids are transported in carry-on baggage. The travelers, under the 3-1-1 rule by TSA, are limited to:

3: Carrying liquids that are no larger than 3.4 ounces

1: That fit into 1-quart clear, resealable bags

1: With a limit of 1 bag per traveler

There are few exceptions to this rule, and the Transportation Security Administration will check bags for liquids that are not in accordance with these criteria. If you’re unsure if you can take an item without it being subjective to the TSA’s rigid 3-1-1 rule, you might want to check it in your cargo-hold baggage.

What is a Liquid according to the TSA?

Travelers are confused about what a liquid is when they are unfamiliar with the Liquids rule. Anything with liquid, aerosol, or gel-like qualities is considered a liquid according to the TSA. 

Anything that can be squirted out of a bottle or spread on some surface, including your skin, is considered a liquid. 

It also means that a snow globe or even a glow stick, which is not intended for use or consumption, is subject to the TSA 3-1-1 rule. They count, as well as applesauce and toothpaste. Hard spreadable items, like stick deodorization, don’t count under TSA’s Liquids Rule, however. A gel or roll-on would count. 

This is something that makes the rule confusing. It is not possible to say that all deodorant is liquid. You have to consider the form of the item in order to make a decision.

A number of travelers do not understand the whole concept of the TSA 3-1-1 rule. They think that the rule only applies to food and personal care products.

However, anything deemed a liquid is covered by it. It means that medications and vitamins, amongst other things, can be subject to seizure if they are not frozen solid.


  • Medications and medical equipment

The 3-1-1 rule can be difficult to follow, but the Transportation Safety Administration does make some exceptions. People traveling with medical conditions are exceptions to the rule. A person with a medical need can exceed the 3-1-1 rule if they travel with liquid medication or medical supplies. 

Travelers who have medications or supplies with them should let the security agents know at the checkpoint. If there is a need for x-ray radiation protection, medications and medical items can be screened by hand. The way that liquid medications are searched is different from the way that pills are searched.

There is no need for a doctor’s note in regards to a medication when it comes to TSA. It is required that the medication is in its regular packaging, whether that is the prescription bottle or the over-the-counter bottle. 

If you are asked to open the container of medication for inspection, and the TSA asks you to limit your medication to a reasonable amount for the duration of your trip, you should preferably do it, or you may not be allowed to board the plane.

  • Food for babies and toddlers

There is an exception for parents traveling with babies. The parents are allowed to bring enough juice, formula, or breast milk for the baby for the trip without adhering to the 3-1-1 rule. These items are subject to inspection, like medications and airplane child seats.

The exception for baby food jars and pouches is the same as for baby food. Parents will be able to bring as many jars or pouches as they want their child to consume on the trip. The parents can use an ice pack without violating the 3-1-1 rule if they have to keep the food or milk cold.

The liquids rule still applies to non-food-related baby equipment. The 3-1-1 rule states that diaper cream, baby lotion, and similar products brought on the plane must adhere to the rule. If the baby has his own seat, parents can carry another carry-on for the child if they are a ticketed passenger.

Do hand sanitizers still come under the TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule?

Many of you will either have already booked a trip or are considering booking one now that travel restrictions are easing. It could be the first time in a long time that you have flown since the beginning of the pandemic, so you will need to be extra careful of your hygiene when traveling. There are questions around what are new rules for hand sanitizers.

The rules haven’t changed much, and hand sanitizers still come under the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. The maximum amount of hand sanitizer you can take is 100ml in a clear plastic bag. 

As mentioned before, wipes do not count as a liquid, so you can take as many as you want. If you want to save money on your liquid allowance, why not take hand sanitizing wipes?

You should be fine if you only take hand sanitizing wipes because many airlines offer a small hand sanitizer onboard.

The 100ml rule for hand sanitizer has been scrapped in the US, and you can now take a whopping 340ml of hand sanitizer. You are permitted to take an extra hand sanitizer if you catch an internal US flight. Extra time to your security checks may be added if you choose to carry a larger liquid hand sanitizer.

It is worth noting that this rule is only valid in the US, and if you are traveling from another country, you will still have to abide by the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule when it comes to liquid sanitizers.

For example, if you are traveling from the UK to the US, you will still be allowed to carry only 100 ml of sanitizer in a clear quart bag since the rule hasn’t been made flexible in the UK.

How to travel with liquids on a plane?

If you want to avoid the hassle at the airport, you should put as many liquids as possible in your suitcase. Make them safe by packing them in tightly sealed zip-top bags since liquids are more likely to leak when there is a change in altitude. 

Carry on only those liquids that you absolutely must have with you in the cabin. Once you arrive at your destination, you should just pick up full-size bottles of your supplies if you are planning not to check in any baggage. 

If you don’t want to spend more money on a travel-sized container, you can buy travel-size liquid containers at your favorite store if you have an item that you need that doesn’t come in a 3.4-ounce container. Place the smaller container in your 3-1-1 bag once you have filled it with the item. The containers have most likely already been measured to fit the 3-1-1 guidelines.

Don’t hesitate to ask before you leave. The MyTSA app can be used to search for frequently asked questions. If there has been a traveler before you who has the same question you have, you can get the answer before you leave. 

The app can be used to contact customer service if you can’t find the answer. When you are going through security, the TSA wants you to get through as quickly as possible. They are more than happy to answer your questions before you leave.

What happens if you carry too much liquid when traveling?

So what happens if you accidentally leave a tube of antiseptic cream in a purse you are carrying and forget to put it in either checked-in luggage. If you make a small mistake, are you subject to intense scrutiny? 

Most of the time, you will be asked to throw out the item if you make sure everything is ready before you enter the security checkpoint. You won’t have to pay the full price of the item, but you will face a small delay and be on your way to the gate quickly afterward. 

The best option is for you to stick to the rule because the agents at the airport can take as much time as they want.

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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