I will be going to the US and from what I've heard, caustic soda is quite expensive plus you have to drive long distances to get it. I'd like to engage in some personal 'pain and pleasure' with my partner and I sometimes used corrosive substances.

I was thinking if I could just bring a plastic bottle that I get from Tesco and pop it in the checked-in bag. Will there be any issues? I see it might raise some concerns but honestly it's not flammable.

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    I don't know where you're looking to find "quite expensive", but caustic soda in a 32 oz bottle is about $15 at your local hardware store in the US. I'm sure you can find smaller containers. Don't bring it with you, that's ridiculous. Aug 22, 2017 at 0:13
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    I'm not sure you can legally bring caustic soda into airplane (this includes checked in bags) because of its corrosive nature. And it is widely available online, you can buy 5lbs on Amazon for $20: amazon.com/Grade-Sodium-Hydroxide-Micro-Beads/dp/B00YPKD3Z0
    – George Y.
    Aug 22, 2017 at 0:36
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    I only searched on one large home improvement store website. I'm sure you can find it cheaper. If you're spending the money to fly overseas, you surely don't want to try to optimise the cost of a few dollars of a commonly available chemical, for the risk of carrying corrosive materials on board a plane. Just don't bring it with you. Problem solved. Aug 22, 2017 at 2:26
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    It can be flammable if it interacts with the wrong material. There are other chemicals anyway which are funner, more intense and less likely to damage or scar, and less frightening in baggage. Tiger balm or mentholated Heet comes to mind, but I'm sure there are websites with better advice. To check USA prices on stuff, check target.com and give zip 60611 (Chicago) if it asks. Aug 22, 2017 at 4:00
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    I wonder how you can think it pleasant to douse your partner with a toxic, corrosive, scarring, substance or how your partner can like being so doused...
    – jwenting
    Aug 22, 2017 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


No, you are not allowed to bring sodium hydroxide, neither in checked-in or carry-on luggage. In Table 2.3.A Provisions for Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew (Subsection 2.3), IATA lists dangerous goods that are allowed under special circumstances. Nowhere in that document are corrosive or alkaline substances mentioned (nor acidic, for that matter).

From previous questions I see that you're flying Ethiopian Airlines. On their restricted items page, they write the following:

For safety reasons, dangerous articles as defined in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, such as those listed here below shall not be carried as, within, or as part of passengers’ baggage.

And in the list that follows they explicitly mention

Corrosive materials (such as acids, alkalis, mercury and wet cell batteries).

I'd recommend you to follow the advice given in the comments. I can't imagine it being particularly difficult nor expensive to buy sodium hydroxide once you're in the U.S.


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