Will Shaving Cream & Other Aerosols Explode on a Plane?

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Since it’s common knowledge that aerosols can be flammable or even explosive, most people are confused about which of their aerosols they’re allowed to pack in their luggage. Thanks to the advancement in aircraft these days, you can carry shaving cream and other aerosols on planes without risking them exploding in your luggage.

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions, including the possibility of aerosols exploding on a flight, the amount you’re allowed to carry, and the safest methods of packing them.

What Are the Rules for Packing Shaving Cream and Other Toiletry Aerosols in Hand Luggage?

Items such as hair gel, shaving cream, and shaving foam, amongst others, are classified as liquids by the TSA. Since these items fall in the liquid category, it’s important to follow the TSA liquid rules for hand luggage.

The main regulation is called the “3-1-1 rule”. The 3 in this rule indicates that each container can’t weigh over 3.4 oz (100ml). The 1 means you must pack all your liquids in a clear, sealable quart-size bag. And the last 1 implies that you’re only allowed to bring one of these quart-sized bags of your liquids. These rules also apply to other aerosols such as aftershave lotions, hairsprays, body mists, etc.

So to sum up, shaving creams and other toiletry aerosols in hand luggage are limited to 3.4 oz (100 ml) cans, and you must pack them in your bag of toiletries. Furthermore, the nozzle must be secured with a cap to protect it from accidentally activating and making a mess.

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What Are the Rules for Packing Shaving Cream in Checked Luggage?

In case you’ve reached the limit of toiletries in your carry-on luggage, you can put your remaining aerosols in your checked luggage. However, each aerosol can is limited to 18 ounces (0.5 kg) or less and your total toiletry weight can’t be over 70 ounces (2 kg). Also, all of your aerosols must have a lid on them to prevent accidental leaks.

Will Shaving Cream Cans Explode When Packed In Checked Luggage?

The chances of shaving cream exploding in your checked luggage are very slim under normal conditions. Unless there’s a fire or exposure to extreme temperatures on the plane, the chances of your shaving cream exploding in your luggage are very unlikely.

Pressurized toiletry cans nowadays are built in a way that they can’t explode when put under physical force, for example, from other heavy bags laid on top of your checked bag. Instead, the nozzle will break first, and any pressure will be released through there.

What About Other Aerosols – Will They Explode on Planes?

Some aerosols, such as spray paint, cooking spray, and compressed gas cylinders, aren’t allowed in a plane since they are flammable. Other than that, most toiletry and medical aerosols are allowed in your carry-on or checked luggage, including deodorant, spray sunscreen, dry shampoo, perfume, hairspray, lotion, inhaler, and others. And similar to shaving creams, most aerosols that are allowed in your luggage will not explode under the natural conditions of the plane.

Flammable aerosols are prohibited because they can indeed explode when put under the right pressure, which is why they’re prohibited on planes. Hairspray is an exception though, because it is flammable, but not as flammable as spray paint, and it’s usually in smaller containers.

In the Past, Shaving Cream Cans Actually Did Sometimes Explode in the Cargo Hold

The difference in the pressure inside and outside of shaving cream can cause it to explode when it’s in an unpressurized cargo hold. This possibility isn’t only limited to shaving cream cans but can also occur to any other pressurized liquids when exposed to a pressure that’s way lower than the pressure it was packaged in.

This was a common problem in old aircraft where shaving cream would leak or explode due to the difference in pressure between the inside of a can and the pressure in the air surrounding it. However, modern aircraft have minimized this risk by having pressurized and controlled cargo holds. So, as long as you follow the TSA’s liquid rules, there’s no need to worry when packing a can of shaving cream in your luggage.

How to Pack Shaving Cream in Checked Luggage, So It Doesn’t Get Damaged

One way to prevent your shaving cream from leaking during the flight is to tape the lid onto the shaving cream, so it doesn’t fall off while the luggage gets handled roughly. It’s also recommended to spray a little of your shaving cream before packing it in order to release the pressure and gas trapped inside. This can help decrease the small chance of it leaking or exploding, especially if it’s a newly purchased can.

Another way to prevent your shaving cream from getting damaged is by wrapping it up with a towel and holding it in place using rubber bands. This will help keep it in one place and prevent it from getting dented or pierced. It’s also recommended to place your shaving cream in a separate plastic bag with the rest of your toiletries. Finally, it’s important to make sure that there are no flammable objects around it, such as lighters or matches.

Tip: The Packism 3-Pack TSA Approved Toiletry Bag is perfect for helping you keep all your toiletries in one place. You get 2 bags in sizes medium and large, so you can arrange everything you need based on size, use, or days you would need them. The bags are sturdy yet lightweight and come with zips that close firmly to avoid leaking. The transparent design makes it convenient to find what you want quickly and also to unpack in case you are asked to go through enhanced screening.

What’s the Best Shaving Cream Alternative for Traveling?

One of the main purposes of shaving cream is to lubricate, soften body hair, and provide an extra layer of moisture between your skin and the razor. This could help lessen the friction made between the razor blade and your skin and prevent razor burns, redness, and any other forms of irritation. If you’ve forgotten to pack your shaving cream or simply chose to reduce the number of toiletries you take during your travel, several alternatives can provide you with a similar experience to your shaving cream. For instance, you can use the hair conditioner you’ve packed or the ones provided in your hotel room, as its hydrating ingredients will help soften the body hair and provide a smooth shaving experience.

You can also use different oils as they’ll provide a slippery surface, help your razor glide smoothly over your skin, prevent any razor burns, and act as a post-shave lotion. Some oils that you can use as shaving cream alternatives include almond oil, coconut oil, and baby oil. Aloe Vera is also another great alternative for shaving creams. Its consistency is similar to your typical shaving gel, giving you a smooth shave while also moisturizing the skin. Besides being a great shaving gel replacement, it can also reduce the effects of sunburns, promote new cell growth, and help heal any skin irritation.

Finally, if the previously listed items are difficult to find, you can also use soap as a shaving cream alternative. Even though it wouldn’t be as moisturizing as the other alternatives mentioned, it can be your best option if you’re traveling and don’t have any cream or oils on hand. A liquid soap like the Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap or hair shampoo can also get the job done as they have more of a gel-like texture.

Final Words

Although shaving cream and other common toiletry aerosols won’t explode on planes under normal circumstances, they can still make a mess. That’s why you should always keep all of your aerosols in a separate, sealed plastic bag, regardless of where you choose to pack them, to avoid the mess that any minor leaks can cause. Another tip is to always have a plastic cap to protect the nozzle from activating and to use a bit of duct tape to keep it in place.

Also check out: Can you take a razor on a plane?

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