Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 11, 09, 8:12 am   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 115
tsa & bar soap

Hi, I did a search, but didn't find the answer to my question. I know bar soap is allowed in carry on, but does anybody know if it looks like explosives on the xray?

Last week I flew out of ORD with a pound of fudge in my carry on and found out that it resembles explosives on the x-ray. Triggered a bag check and delayed me for a few minutes. No big deal except TSA guy took my bag out of my line of sight to run it back through the x-ray sans fudge. I now have some bar soap that I'd like to carry on my flight tonight, but I'll leave it behind if it's going to cause the same hassle. (I'm not checking a bag.)
Thank you!
Virginia
Airline_Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 8:16 am   #2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 32,409
The small hotel-sized bars of soap, even several stacked together, have not triggered a bag check for my carry-on bag.

As I always end up returning home with more soap than I left with, I can say that bar soap does NOT cause any problems with the TSA.
__________________
GO HOKIES
exerda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 9:21 am   #3
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10,036
You're basically running into one of the numerous shortfalls the TSA x-ray equipment has.

Bars of soap are large, opaque items (as well as fudge). I regularly bring my own soap with me, and what I have learned through trials and tribulations is to isolate the bar of soap away from your other toiletries and especially away from wires in your bag (cell phone chargers, for example).

My suggestion to you is to put the bar of soap in an exterior compartment/pocket of a rollaboard (or your other carry-on luggage). Again, isolation with those opaque items is key.
LessO2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 10:46 am   #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Midwest
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1K, US SIL, Marriott Plat Prem/LTP, Hyatt DIA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 917
Whatever you do, don't drop the soap.
nachosdelux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 11:25 am   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Orlando, FL, US
Programs: DL-Dirt Medallion;US-Cast Iron Preferred; HH-Gold; Avis First
Posts: 3,363
I carry a full size bar of soap, and have never had it trigger a bag inspection.
__________________
"It's alright to lose your heart, but never lose your head."
djk7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 12:19 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Posts: 878
A bar of soap triggered a bag check once in SEA for me. The screener said it was something organic, if I remember correctly. Happened a year ago.
Jebby_ca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 12:36 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 115
Thanks for the quick replies. I'm still not sure if I'm going to bring the soap. It's 3 bars still in their packaging, so I suppose I could take it out of my bag & put it in the bin next to my shoes & kippie bag. That way if it looks suspicious on the x-ray they wouldn't need to re-run my bag. On the other hand I may just leave the soap here. I'm visiting my parents so it's not like I'd be throwing it away and it's not some rare expensive soap either.

The fudge was an interesting experience. The image on the x-ray required 4 different screeners to look at it and they all became a bit tense. One asked who's bag it was, I identified myself & told the guy it was probably the fudge. I told him where in the bag to find the fudge and he took it out and visually inspected it. It was in it's original package and clearly marked fudge. He didn't test it in any way other than visually. Didn't open outer box. He put it separately in a bin and told me my bag would have to go through the x-ray again. He then took my bag out of my sight to put it back through the x-ray. I wasn't happy with that because I had put my purse inside my carry on to consolidate things. He waited for a couple of other bags to go through before putting mine in so it was out of my sight for about 5 minutes. Bag and fudge came through x-ray and the guy said I was clear to go. Nothing was taken from my bag, but still makes me nervous to have my things out of my view. I don't ever travel with excessive valuables, but I did have a bit of cash and of course credit cards in my purse.

I arrived here in FLL and gave Dad the fudge and told him I hope it's good because it's the last time I'm bringing him any!
Airline_Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 12:40 pm   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: AA EXP/Marriott Plat/Hertz PC
Posts: 12,726
It should be fine until someone in the chain of command watches Fight Club.
whirledtraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 12:43 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: LAX/CWA/TOA/AUW
Programs: Mileage Plus, SW Rewards, WorldPerks, Barnes and Noble Frequent Buyers
Posts: 368
Fudge and peanut butter show up as suspect items because of the density. I never saw soap triggering anything but then it's been a while since I was at an x-ray machine.

Happy travels.
__________________
If there is no wind, row.
Japanese Proverb
AirlineBrat53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 12:51 pm   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Marriott or Hilton hot tub with a big drink <glub> Beverage: To-Go Bagô DYKWIA: SSSS /rolleyes ☈ Date Night: Costco
Programs: Sea Shell Lounge Platinum, TSA Pre✓ Refusnik Diamond, PWP Gold, FT subset of the subset
Posts: 12,463
I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who hates those little bars of hotel soap! I always carry a full-size bar with me; it’s never triggered a search (yet). The key is to keep things with mass apart from each other so a screener does not see a big blob of something unidentifiable on the x-ray.
__________________
Twitter | MyWaffleHouseMemory
On the street, they call me Upgrayedd (with two Ds for a Double Dose of pimpin')
N965VJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 3:03 pm   #11
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 32,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
Iím glad to hear Iím not the only one who hates those little bars of hotel soap! I always carry a full-size bar with me; itís never triggered a search (yet). The key is to keep things with mass apart from each other so a screener does not see a big blob of something unidentifiable on the x-ray.
I actually don't mind the hotel soaps; I don't use them myself, but my wife loves them, so I bring a bunch back for her every time I'm on a trip. I know soap's not costly, but it saves buying them, too.

I carry liquid body wash soap in my kippie bag for myself.
__________________
GO HOKIES
exerda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 5:31 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: United Milage Plus 1K. Lots of hotel Gold.
Posts: 299
You see, what you do when leaving Amsterdam is you get a regular size bar of soap, then you get a sharp knife and cut in half. Then you hollow out the inside of the soap and pack as much um, stuff, into is as possible. You then wet the cut edges of the soap and press it back together. You then run your wet finger around the outside of the bar of soap. Now the dogs can't detect your um... non-soap items.
jello2594 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 6:05 pm   #13
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Marriott or Hilton hot tub with a big drink <glub> Beverage: To-Go Bagô DYKWIA: SSSS /rolleyes ☈ Date Night: Costco
Programs: Sea Shell Lounge Platinum, TSA Pre✓ Refusnik Diamond, PWP Gold, FT subset of the subset
Posts: 12,463
Wirelessly posted (Motorola DynaTAC 8000X / NCSA Mosaic v 1.0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
I actually don't mind the hotel soaps; I don't use them myself, but my wife loves them, so I bring a bunch back for her every time I'm on a trip. I know soap's not costly, but it saves buying them, too.
Yeah, I donít like coming out of the shower smelling like a girly-man, and whatís the deal with that soap that has little flakes of oatmeal in it? I hoard those little shampoo bottles, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jello2594 View Post
<SNIP> You see, what you do when leaving Amsterdam is you get a regular size bar of soap, then you get a sharp knife and cut in half.
Iíll have to award you Artful Concealer Gold status for that one.
__________________
Twitter | MyWaffleHouseMemory
On the street, they call me Upgrayedd (with two Ds for a Double Dose of pimpin')
N965VJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 7:15 pm   #14
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 9,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by jello2594 View Post
You see, what you do when leaving Amsterdam is you get a regular size bar of soap, then you get a sharp knife and cut in half. Then you hollow out the inside of the soap and pack as much um, stuff, into is as possible. You then wet the cut edges of the soap and press it back together. You then run your wet finger around the outside of the bar of soap. Now the dogs can't detect your um... non-soap items.
Might work but I'm not willing to risk my freedom giving it a try.

Perhaps a little note to TSA inside just in case they figured it out.

And you do know that Blogdad Bob is going to be in a nervous fright trying to get the word out on "Soap, the next big catch!"
Boggie Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 09, 8:37 pm   #15
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: BOS
Programs: TSA TSO
Posts: 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by LessO2 View Post
You're basically running into one of the numerous shortfalls the TSA x-ray equipment has.

Bars of soap are large, opaque items (as well as fudge). I regularly bring my own soap with me, and what I have learned through trials and tribulations is to isolate the bar of soap away from your other toiletries and especially away from wires in your bag (cell phone chargers, for example).

My suggestion to you is to put the bar of soap in an exterior compartment/pocket of a rollaboard (or your other carry-on luggage). Again, isolation with those opaque items is key.
No. Opaque would be the change in this here example photo from an Israeli company. The soap would be classified as an orangic mass. Like that giant blob of explosive material sitting right next to the change.

And generally, I don't usually have a problem with soap... only once in a while is it hard to tell.
LoganTSO is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 4:34 am.