The Carry-On Dilemmas: Liquids, Aerosols & Gels

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has strict rules for what liquids you can bring on a plane. We understand it can be a little confusing at times to know what you can or cannot pack in your carry-on. For starters, here are some supremely important items that you might want to reconsider:

  • According to CATSA, pudding is technically a gel and not allowed. And, even though it’s a gel, it’s not recommended for your hair.  


  • Liquid eyeliner is, amazingly, considered a liquid. But do you really need to bring a value-pack size in your purse?


  • A tub of chocolate spread is a gel. A breakfast-time gel for toast, to be specific.


Serious concerns for sure, and we’re here to help clear up your confusion.


Liquids Rule 101
Ensure your liquids are under 100ml if you are carrying them on the plane

You can carry that

100 ml (3.4 ounces) or smaller sized containers may go in your carry-on and through checkpoint security.

You’re checking that

Larger than 100 ml (more than 3.4 ounces) regardless of the amount, must go in your checked baggage.

But, what is considered a liquid?

The following are some common items that you may be travelling with that are considered a liquid:

Liquids over 100ml need to be checked


  • Coffee (hurry up, you want to drink it while it’s hot anyway)
  • Soft drinks
  • Bottled water (you already knew this one, right?)
  • Maple syrup
  • Shampoo & conditioner (it’s OK, just take the mini ones from the hotel) 
  • Cologne or perfume bottle
  • Liquid soap
  • Liquid-based cosmetics

Aerosol cheese string can is forbidden in your carry-on


  • Hairspray
  • Body spray (no, just no)
  • Sunscreen spray
  • Aerosol cheese strings (yup, we told you this was a thing)

Yogurt and other household snacks are considered a gel and cannot be carried on the plane


  • Lip gloss or any gel-based cosmetics
  • Peanut butter (skip the Skippy)
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese spread (including that herbed cream cheese)
  • Maple spread (clearly different than maple syrup)

Ensure your liquids are under 100ml if you are carrying them on the plane

In some cases, there are exceptions to allowances such as travelling with an infant. If you’re looking for a more detailed list right down to the very last drop, visit