Get ready to carry-on liquids: the 4-1-1 on 3-1-1

carry on liquids

Travel season for leisure travels is upon us. If you are not a frequent flier, here is an overview and possible update on the TSA carry-on liquids restrictions. Also check the latest updates

The Formula: 3-1-1


All carry-on liquids that you bring on is limited to 3.4 ounces (100ml) in size. For most, 3.4 ounces of a single liquid product is enough for one trip. Most travel-sized products available at retail stores and hotels are one ounce or less, which can go a long way for one person’s use.

Keep in mind, the TSA will only allow bottles that are marked 3.4 ounces or less. This means, you cannot bring a partially used regular tube of toothpaste guessing it has less than three ounces of product left in it. All containers, disposable or refillable, must have a measurement printed clearly on it.


One quart: this is the size of the plastic bag or tote that you must put all your 3.4 ounce carry-on liquid containers in. It also must have a zip-top. You can use a quart-sized food storage bag that is clear or purchase a TSA approved bag that typically has an expandable bottom to accommodate more containers.


You can only have one quart-sized bag and you must place is on the x-ray conveyer belt when going through the security checkpoint. It must be removed from your purse or carry-on.

Is it a Carry-on Liquid?

You might be surprised on what is considered a carry on liquid. Check this list before you pack, you may want to check them in your bag or remove them from your purse and put in your quart-sized bag if they are less than 3.4 ounces.

-peanut butter



-hair gel and foaming mousse

-aerosols (deodorant, hairspray)

Exceptions to the Rules

Some items can be brought on if they don’t conform to the 3-1-1 rule IF you present them to a security office at the front of the checkpoint; baby formula (if traveling with an infant), medications larger than 3.4 ounces, life support and life sustaining products, liquids for those with a diabetic or other medical condition, implants (augmented breasts or prosthesis), frozen items.

For full rules on what you can bring when you travel by air, including carry-on liquids, check