How to Use CLEAN Function in Excel [2 Examples]

In the dynamic realm of Excel functions, the CLEAN function stands out as a versatile tool for ensuring data cleanliness and eliminating unwanted characters. This article will delve into the intricacies of the CLEAN function, providing clear explanations, accurate formulas, and practical examples.

What Does the Excel CLEAN Function Do?

The CLEAN function in Excel plays a crucial role in maintaining data integrity by removing non-printable characters from text. These non-printable characters often go unnoticed but can wreak havoc on your data analysis, causing errors and discrepancies.

What is the Syntax of the Excel CLEAN Function?

The syntax of the CLEAN function is straightforward:


Here, ‘text’ is the input string containing the text with unwanted characters that you want to clean.

What Are the Arguments for the Excel CLEAN Function?

The only argument for the CLEAN function is the ‘text,’ which represents the text string containing the characters you want to clean.

What is the Output Type of the Excel CLEAN Function?

The CLEAN function outputs a clean version of the input text, with all non-printable characters removed. The result is a tidy and sanitized text string ready for further analysis or presentation.

2 Examples of Using CLEAN Function in Excel

Let’s dive into practical examples to illustrate the effectiveness of the CLEAN function.

Example 1: Clean Non-Printable Characters

Suppose you have a cell (let’s say A1) containing a text string with non-printable characters. You can use the CLEAN function to eliminate those characters.


Example 2: Handling Line Breaks

Imagine you have text in two cells (A2 and A3) where there’s a line break between them. You can use the CLEAN function along with the CHAR(10) function to handle line breaks.

Assuming A2 contains “This is the first sentence.” and A3 contains “This is the second sentence”:


Applying CLEAN function to handle line break in Excel

Things to Remember

  • The CLEAN function is case-insensitive, ensuring consistent results regardless of text casing.
  • It exclusively targets non-printable characters, leaving printable ones intact.
  • If no non-printable characters are present, the function returns the original text unchanged.


In the world of data cleanliness, the CLEAN function stands as a reliable ally, ensuring your text is free from hidden anomalies. By incorporating it into your Excel toolkit, you pave the way for more accurate and error-free analyses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the CLEAN function remove all special characters?

No, the CLEAN function focuses on non-printable characters. Printable special characters will remain unaffected.

Is the CLEAN function case-sensitive?

No, the CLEAN function is case-insensitive, providing consistent results regardless of text casing.

How does the CLEAN function handle line breaks?

The CLEAN function efficiently removes line breaks, allowing you to concatenate text without unwanted spaces.

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