We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bottle expansion and leakage

Christchurch
Level Contributor
1,584 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
Bottle expansion and leakage

The last time I flew, on a domestic flight, one of my lotion or shampoo bottles leaked, presumably due to the air pressure changes. Luckily it was inside a plastic bag but I am wondering how best to prevent bottle leakage on my upcoming international flight.

Should I not fill the bottles to the top to allow for expansion like one does when freezing liquids? When packing the bottles into a plastic zip-lock bag, should I squeeze all the air out of the bag or just close it normally?

The bottles are not the original lotion or shampoo bottles but smaller plastic ones that I purchased for travel. They are not rigid but not unduly flexible either.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
81,424 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Why not buy lotion and shampoo when you get to your destination? There is always the danger that liquids will leak, no matter what you do.

Christchurch
Level Contributor
1,584 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Because I don't want to end up purchasing more than I need for the time that we are away. The bottles that I want to take are compact and convenient sizes, unlike the original shampoo and lotion bottles which are awkward bulky shapes.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,459 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Just make sure the tops are screwed on tight. Unless the bottles are really weak, they are not going to rupture. Pressure changes could loosen the tops, but doubtful.

uk
Level Contributor
3,497 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Good quality screw tops are the best bet.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
31,230 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

The leakage is due to the expansion of the air in the bottle, not the liquid as the expansion of liquid is minmal so you should have full to the brim bottles. Also use screw top bottles rather than flip top bottles. If they are still leaking then it's a problem with the bottle itself.

Arcadia, California
Level Contributor
1,670 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Try wrapping the top part of the bottle in a few layers of Saran wrap, before you screw the cap on and then place it in a plastic bag. Since I began doing this I have not had any leakage, and as Alan said, don't use fliptops..

Edited: 20 April 2012, 15:14
Christchurch
Level Contributor
1,584 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Thank you for the excellent advice everyone. I am now thinking that my leaking bottle may have been a flip top which I am not taking this time. The lids are good quality screw tops but I will try the advice regarding placing wrap on before the lid as well and fill the bottles to the top. The bottles will be packed in zip lock bags also so if they do end up leaking there should be no damage done.

Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Some shampoos are also medicinal. They are difficult to find, particularly in small quantities. The same with certain types of lotions.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
Level Contributor
6,134 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

The other advice I remember regarding this problem is to fill the bottles nearly full, then squeeze to the top & hold it that way while you screw on the cap. I think this follows the same principle #5 mentions. Doing it this way, you eliminate as much air as possible from the bottle.

Agree with others -- the only bottles I've had leaking problems with are flip-top ones ( I don't use those any more) and ones with caps not tightly screwed on.

These little containers work great, even though they have flip caps: magellans.com/store/Packing_Aids___Bottles__…

Edited: 20 April 2012, 22:55
London, United...
Level Contributor
27,178 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Bottle expansion and leakage

Absolutely, this used to really hack me off, and now simply checking all the lids are on tight does the trick, never the less, I always pack toiletries in a plastic bag just in case.