Rules for Flights in the USA
On flights within the US, laundry detergent pods are allowed in hand and checked luggage. When placed in carry-on luggage, pods that contain liquid laundry detergent must be placed in a transparent, 1 quart-sized, sealable bag. In fact, all liquids in hand luggage need to be in containers of volume under 100 ml (3.4 oz), but because laundry pods have only 20-30 ml of liquid in each one, this isn’t a problem. Liquids, pastes, clays, waxes, and gels, are all considered liquids.
If, however, the pods contain powder laundry detergent, there aren’t any major restrictions for hand or checked luggage.
It’s also worth noting that laundry pods that contain bleach, will not be allowed either in carry-on or checked luggage. That’s because bleach is considered a corrosive substance, which is prohibited on planes.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Europe, the United Kingdom, and China
The European, UK, and Chinese flight authorities have pretty much identical rules to the US – there aren’t any restrictions for powder laundry detergent pods and liquid pods in checked luggage. Liquid laundry detergent pods in hand luggage must be packed together with all of your other liquids in your resealable bag of toiletries. Also, pods containing liquid bleach are banned in hand and checked luggage.
Canada and India
In Canada and India liquid laundry detergent pods are allowed in checked luggage without any restrictions. In hand luggage, they must be placed in a single, resealable, 1-liter bag of toiletries.
Powder laundry detergent pods are allowed in hand and checked luggage, but in hand luggage, the total volume of all powders is limited to 350 ml or less. Because each powdered laundry pod contains about 20-30 ml, this should amount to about 12-18 powdered laundry detergent pods in total.
Pods that contain bleach are completely banned.
Australia and New Zealand
On domestic Australian and New Zealand flights, liquid and powder laundry pods are allowed in hand and checked luggage without restrictions, except for ones that contain bleach, which is banned on planes.
On international flights originating from or arriving in Australia or New Zealand, powder laundry detergent pods must not exceed 350 g in total weight, which would amount to about 12-18 pods. Liquid laundry detergent pods must be placed in your 20 x 20 cm resealable bag of toiletries.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring laundry detergent pods onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Laundry Pods on Planes
Can I bring any liquid laundry detergent pods on planes (Tide, Persil, Kirkland, etc.)?
The rules are identical regardless of the brand. Typically, most countries would allow liquid laundry detergent pods in checked luggage, but hand/carry-on luggage comes with restrictions. For hand luggage, it would be treated like a toiletry item similar to things like toothpaste or shampoo. These would typically need to be placed in a container under 100 ml in volume, and placed in a re-sealable, 1-liter plastic bag which can be presented at the security point.
Can I take dry powder laundry pods on board planes?
It depends on which country you’re traveling to. Most commonly, dry powder laundry pods are fine for checked luggage in any quantities, but hand luggage comes with some restrictions. Quantities larger than 350 ml / 350g in total need to be stored in checked luggage, or require additional inspection, depending on your destination. Usually, each dry powder pod contains about 20 – 30g of laundry detergent, so if you want to stay under 350 g, that amounts to about 12-18 laundry pods.
It’s also worth noting that usually, dry laundry pods don’t need to be stored in your bag of toiletries in hand luggage because they aren’t considered a liquid or a gel.
Can I take laundry pods that contain bleach on planes?
Liquid bleach is banned on planes in most countries, but bleach-containing laundry pods are a gray area. Generally though, if the laundry pod contains only a small portion of bleach (for example, the Tide Power Pods), it’s allowed, but it depends on the security agent. If, however, you’d like to bring bleach pods, such as the Clorox bleach packs, they most likely wouldn’t be allowed either in hand or checked luggage.
Do I need to take out laundry detergent pods when going through security?
If you’re carrying gel laundry detergent pods, then you’ll need to remove them from your bag and place them in a separate bin when going through security. That’s because laundry detergent is considered a liquid, so the same rules for liquids in hand luggage apply. The 3-1-1 rule states that all liquids in hand luggage must be in containers less than 3.4 oz (100 ml), they all must be stored in a resealable, 1-liter-sized bag, and each person can carry only 1 bag (hence, the 3-1-1). Furthermore, this bag of toiletries needs to be placed in a separate bin when going through security.
Laundry pods usually contain 20 – 30 ml (for example, tide pods are 24 ml) of liquid laundry detergent in each one, so they’re well below the 3.4 oz (100 ml) container limit.
Should I pack laundry detergent pods in hand or checked luggage?
It’s best to pack laundry detergent pods in checked luggage, as this is allowed in most countries. Carrying them in hand luggage comes with potential delays and risks in your journey, such as issues with X-ray machines (for powder pods) or containing chemicals that are banned in hand luggage (e.g. organic peroxides in the UK). This could subject you to extra screenings at security, which could cause delays.
Will Tide and other laundry detergent pods explode on a plane?
No, it is highly unlikely for tide pods to explode or burst on a plane due to changes in air pressure. The air pressure level in a plane is similar to that of habitable mountainous areas, so your tide pods will be fine on board. The only real danger is that they get punctured by other things in your luggage, so it’s a good idea to wrap them in soft clothes. If you want to be extra safe, you can store them in double Ziploc bags to avoid leakage.
What’s the best way to pack laundry detergent pods in my luggage?
When packed in hand luggage, gel and liquid laundry detergent pods must be packed together with your other toiletries in a single, 1-liter, resealable bag. Ones that contain powder don’t need to stored together with liquid toiletries, so you can pack them wherever you want. There aren’t any restrictions for powder, gel, or liquid laundry pods in checked luggage.
To avoid bursting your laundry pods, you should wrap them in soft clothing, and it’s always a good idea to put them in a Ziploc bag to avoid leakage in case they get punctured. When packed in hand luggage, make sure that they’re stored somewhere accessible, because you’ll need to take them out when going through security.
Can I bring laundry soap bars on airplanes?
Soap bars aren’t considered as liquids, gels, or creams, so you can pack them without any restrictions. It’s actually a really good idea to travel with a single soap bar that can replace laundry detergent because it takes up really little space and you won’t need to concern yourself with the liquid restrictions for hand luggage.
Can I travel with Purex and other laundry sheets on planes?
You are allowed to carry laundry sheets in your hand and checked luggage without any restrictions. Laundry sheets are even neater and easier to pack than soap bars or detergent pods. You can cut them up for each wash and pack them wherever you want. It is not a powder or a liquid, so you are safe from the hassle of undergoing extra screenings. We’ve used the Earth Breeze Laundry detergent sheets and our clothes usually come out smelling just as good as any regular laundry detergent, but they take up much less space and also weigh less.
Can I bring dishwasher tablets onboard airplanes?
Dishwasher tablets are considered as powders, so you must comply with the rules for traveling with powders. Usually, the total amount of non-organic powders each person can bring in hand luggage is less than 350 g / 350 ml. In checked luggage, you’re allowed to bring more. That said, the rules are different for each country. If you want to play it safe, always bring less than 350g in non-organic powders, such as dishwasher tablets. For reference, each dishwasher tab usually contains about 15-25 g of powder inside, so you can pretty safely bring up to 15 dishwasher tablets.
Can I take Tide to Go and other stain removal pens on flights?
Stain removal pens are generally allowed on planes, but they have certain packing restrictions, and some are banned altogether. Ones that contain bleach are usually banned in hand and checked luggage. Ones that don’t contain bleach, such as Tide To Go, are allowed but when packed in hand luggage, must be placed together with your other toiletries in your 1-liter, resealable bag.