Flying and Nail Polish

Google, you let me down a bit today.

So I'm getting ready to take a trip.  And you KNOW I have to have nail polish.  Last time I flew with nail polish, I had it in my purse - right there, sitting upright.  No one said anything - I didn't even THINK about it.  I realized it when I got to my hotel and my bottle was a bit bubbly.  Not THAT big of a deal, but it wasn't too fun to wait for the bubbles to all go down (it was a bottle of China Glaze Tickle My Triangle for those interested).

My first search hit from Google was from {link removed due to 404 error} - a website I've never heard of...  Not sure when this page was even posted but their Copyright hasn't been updated to 2011, so yeah it's out of date.  But it said that nail polish and nail polish remover were not allowed into carry-ons but could be placed in your checked baggage.

After some Tweets back and forth about it, I decided to call the TSA.  You know - go straight to the source.  I didn't spend that long on hold - and I listened to their automated menus for a bit before realizing if you don't press ANY buttons, it takes you to a live person (oops).  I didn't catch my agent's name but I did have to give my full name and phone number (joy).  He said that as long as it's under the 3.5 ounce requirement and in a quart sized zip lock bag, you can bring your nail polish (and nail polish remover!) in your carry on bags.  No requirements are necessary for your checked luggage.

Then he told me something kinda awesome (for nerds like me).  On the TSA home page, there is a box on the right side that says "Can I bring" and you enter your keyword and hit search.  Now it's not perfect - it just gave me basically the same information as found on their Prohibited Items list, but it was nice to see that.  I've never had a problem with the TSA to date, and this will be my first time traveling with the new body scanners - and I don't even know if the airports I'm flying to/from have them yet...  regardless.  Pack your nail polish and enjoy!

China Glaze Tickle My Triangle


  1. I flew on a weekly basis for 2 years and traveled with nail polish and never had any issues.

  2. I bought a Del Sol polish on vacation last year and put it in my clear quart sized bag of liquids for my carry on, and it was fine! Thanks for the info!!!

  3. I just took a trip to Denver and my airport had the new scanners....felt like I was getting in a rocket ship or something! :P

  4. Thanks for the info! I'm planning on moving across the country and want to bring my collection. I couldn't find anything about nail polish on the TSA site so this is great information. Of course I would be putting it in checked luggage though.

  5. About saying that nail polish and n.p. remover were not allowed into carry-ons but were OK in your checked baggage, they were talking about the over 3-ounce limit bottles (of remover, since I don't know of any nail polish bottle that contains more than 3 ounces!).

    An FYI about polish, though -- it does not respond well to the pressure changes of flying and may bubble over or even explode. This is why, when mailing nail polish in the U.S., it's considered a hazardous substance, must be declared, and must be shipped by ground transportation unless you have a special permit, as far as I know.