Carry On Luggage: Liquids, Aerosols and Gels

Carry On Luggage: Liquids, Aerosols and Gels

Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Stacey Levesque

*Updated March 2015

What liquids are allowed in your carry-on bag?

We are often asked about what size carry on luggage liquids are allowed. To answer, containers of liquids, aerosols and gels must be 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less, and should fit into one 1L clear, resealable bag per passenger. These zip-lock bags are often available for free at the airport — but it can be a pain trying to organize all your liquids right there at the counter, so try to get it all done before you go. Approximate dimensions are 6 in. by 9 in. (15.24 cm x 22.86 cm) or 8 in. by 7 in.

At the screening point, be sure to have your bag of liquids and gels separate from your carry-on bag and ready to place in the bin. Containers over 100 ml can be stored in your checked luggage in advance.

The following items are also considered liquids and gels, and must fit into the appropriate size containers.

  • Liquid foods such as yogurt, pudding, jello, peanut butter, etc.
  • Drinks, including your current bottle of water, coffee or tea, pop — whatever you are drinking in that moment must go if it’s bigger than 100ml.
  • Creams, lotions and liquid make-up items, nail polish & remover, hairspray, gel, mousse, etc.

Exceptions to these liquid limits include:

  • Contact lens solutions, and other necessary prescription and non-prescription medications like cough syrup and eye care products
  • Formula, milk, juice, baby food, and so on, in reasonable quantity for the itinerary, for infants under 2 years of age
  • Gels and ice packs if needed to treat an injury or refrigerate baby food
  • Liquids and gels for diabetes

It isn’t necessary to bring documentation for your medical needs, but if you feel better having it just in case, bring it along and present it to the officer during screening.

Liquids Aerosols and Gels Infographic - Government of Canada

Infographic from the Government of Canada.

Travel tips for carry-on liquids:

  • Buy travel-sized supplies of toothpaste, hairspray, gel, body lotion, etc. Consider buying solid antiperspirant, too, as the gel varieties might be considered liquid.
  • Buy a travel kit of small plastic containers and fill them with shampoo and conditioner etc. These are a good idea as they generally have less leaks than normal containers.
  • Consider skipping cologne and perfume, unless you can get small bottles of it. Maybe you can pick up some small testers before you go, they’re the perfect travel size.
  • Put your liquids in a zip-lock bag in case of leakage, and then again in a toiletry bag.
  • Try to position your bag of liquids at the bottom of your suitcase when the case is upright, and place some clothes over top to avoid a “direct hit” to the suitcase.
  • Drink your water before you get in line to clear security. It’s OK to carry an empty water bottle, you can refill it on the other side when you head to your gate.
  • Make sure the makeup bag in your purse doesn’t contain liquid foundation – if it does, remember to bag it and put it in your carry on bag.
  • Planning to give yourself a complete manicure on the plane? Think again! You can’t carry sharp nail files or little scissors of any kind on board. Stick to soft files only.

For more information about carry on luggage liquids, you can refer to this government website.

Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below!


  1. Can I put a large electric make up mirror in my carry-on?

  2. Can I bring a 900 g container of powdered formula for my child in my carry on , along with cereal and snacks or can I pack it in my luggage and check it .

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