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Can You Take Turpentine on a Plane?

If you love painting, you’ll probably want to take your art materials while traveling. That would include turpentine for oil painters. However, turpentine is a harsh chemical, so you’ll want to know the rules before you try taking it on your next flight.

So, can you take turpentine on a plane? You shouldn’t try to bring turpentine on a plane. These paint thinners are flammable, so the airlines won’t allow you to put them in cargo holds. It’s often better to purchase turpentine when you land.

This article will cover everything you should know about turpentine and airplanes. Let’s keep reading to learn more!

Turpentine on a Plane

You don’t want to bring turpentine on a plane, even if you bring it in a checked bag. Turpentine is a highly flammable liquid, so you’re sure to get stopped. According to the TSA, you can’t bring turpentine in a carry-on bag either. 

If you try to bring turpentine, the staff will investigate you at the airport. Instead, it’s always better to pick up a small amount of turpentine from an art shop when you land. You won’t want to take it back with you, so consider how much you can reasonably use during your trip.

The rules can also differ depending on where you are and where you’re going. Some airlines in other countries might allow small amounts of turpentine under a set limit, as long as they’re in adequately enclosed bags. However, most places won’t allow it. 

Overall, never try to bring turpentine on a flight. The TSA doesn’t allow it, and you’ll only cause problems for yourself. Suppose you’re still unsure about what you can bring. In that case, you can contact the airline to ask for their specific guidelines and rules regarding turpentine.

Is Turpentine Flammable?

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Turpentine is a flammable liquid, so it’s not allowed on board airplanes. It’s a fire hazard and is especially dangerous when on a flight. These chemicals can’t go on most flights.

Plus, if your canister of turpentine makes contact with fire or excessive heat, it can burst. When burned, turpentine produces poisonous gasses, making it very dangerous in confined spaces.

It’s so flammable that even smoking near the turpentine can cause it to catch fire. Sparks are also a huge risk. So, it’s not worth trying to pack your turpentine for a flight. It can be dangerous under the right conditions, so it’s no wonder it’s banned!

If someone does catch you with turpentine, they’ll likely confiscate it and throw it out because it’s a flammable liquid. You don’t want to waste your art materials, so it’s better to leave the turpentine home.

Can You Bring Paint Thinner on a Plane?

You can’t bring paint thinner on a plane. Most paint thinners are flammable, so they aren’t allowed in your checked bag or a carry-on. Like turpentine, airport staff will confiscate your paint thinners and dispose of them according to their guidelines.

Paint thinners include turpentine, mineral spirits, acetone, toluene, and naphtha. You’ll want to check the packaging to determine if the liquid is flammable. If it is, then you should never try to take it on a plane with you. 

Most paint thinners are flammable chemicals. If you want to bring a special paint thinner that’s not flammable, make sure you have the packaging that says what it is. You want the “non-flammable” label to be easily visible to anyone who has to check your bag.

You can try Linseed Oil, which is non-flammable, but always double check the label. While most are safe, not all of them are made to be non-flammable.

In short, if you have paint thinner, you shouldn’t take it on a flight. You’ll want to have a place to buy paint thinner when you land. If possible, you can order it in advance and pick it up when you arrive at your destination. 

Can You Bring Mineral Spirits on a Plane?

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No, you can’t take mineral spirits on a plane. Mineral spirits are another type of paint thinner, just like turpentine. That means mineral spirits are a highly flammable and toxic liquid that can be dangerous in confined spaces. 

For those reasons, airport staff will never allow you to bring it on the flight with you. Even if you only have a very small amount of mineral spirits in your bag, the agents working there will stop you.

Remember, mineral spirits are paint thinners- which most airlines banned. Even if your paint thinner has a slightly different name, it will still not be allowed on the flight. 

Overall, you should never try to bring your painting chemicals on planes! That includes turpentine, paint thinner, and mineral spirits. No flammable liquids can go aboard the airplane.

What Chemicals Are Not Allowed on Planes?

Any hazardous chemical won’t be allowed to go on the plane. These chemicals include:

  • Flammable materials (liquids and solids)
  • Gasses
  • Oxidizers
  • Toxins
  • Corrosives
  • Explosives
  • Radioactive materials 

If you’re planning on bringing art materials with you on the plane, it’s worth noting that spray paint is also banned. The paint canisters contain various gasses that can be dangerous on a flight. You’ll have to throw out any spray paint you have before boarding, so it’s not worth packing them in the first place.

You can pack chemicals that aren’t explosive, flammable, or disabling, like oil paints, acrylic paints and even watercolors. It’s best to put these items in your checked baggage. You should be allowed to have them on board as long as they aren’t dangerous.

If you have specific chemicals you’re considering bringing; it’s a good idea to figure out what the rules are regarding that chemical long before the day of your trip. You can always contact the airline if you have trouble finding the information online.

Can You Bring Oil Paints on a Plane?

Despite not being able to bring paint thinners, you can still take your oil paints with you on the plane. You can also bring as much oil paint as you want, although you must ensure the oil paint containers are no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz).

Plus, you need to make sure that you store your paints in a clear plastic bag. It makes it easier for the agents at the airport to check the paints quickly, and you won’t worry about your oil paint staining everything in your bag.

Check out my other article that talks all about flying with oil paints.

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Additionally, you’ll want to place your paints in a checked or hold luggage bag. While airlines have differing rules, many don’t want you to bring the oil paint into the cabin area. Still, you can always ask the staff about the best way to transport your paints.

Knowing that you can bring your favorite oil paints makes planning your projects while traveling much easier. You can bring brushes and canvas with you too- so all you’ll need to get when you land is the paint thinner.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can’t bring turpentine on an airplane, and you should never try! You’re sure to have it taken away from you. Plus, you might even find yourself in trouble in certain circumstances. It’s not worth it to try.

All flammable liquids are banned, including mineral spirits and other paint thinners. So, just because you don’t specifically have turpentine doesn’t mean it’s allowed. When you land, it’ll be much easier to purchase turpentine from a local store.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure have an easy and great flight! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!