CLEAN function

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Removes all nonprintable characters from text


Removes all nonprintable characters from text. Use CLEAN on text imported from other applications that contains characters that may not print with your operating system. For example, you can use CLEAN to remove some low-level computer code that is frequently at the beginning and end of data files and cannot be printed.

Important: The CLEAN function was designed to remove the first 32 nonprinting characters in the 7-bit ASCII code (values 0 through 31) from text. In the Unicode character set, there are additional nonprinting characters (values 127, 129, 141, 143, 144, and 157). By itself, the CLEAN function does not remove these additional nonprinting characters. For an example of how to remove these additional nonprinting characters from text, see Remove spaces and nonprinting characters from text.



The CLEAN function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Text    Required. Any worksheet information from which you want to remove nonprintable characters.


Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to show results, select them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you need to, you can adjust the column widths to see all the data.

=CHAR(9)&”Monthly report”&CHAR(10)
Formula Description Result
=CLEAN(A2) Removes the nonprintable characters CHAR(9) and CHAR(10) from the text string in cell A2. Monthly report