Python Tutorial



Python Tutorial

Strip in Python


In this tutorial, we delve into Python's strip() method, an indispensable tool for string manipulation. Aimed at mid-career professionals, this guide will reveal the intricacies and subtleties of strip(), exploring its basic functionality and its profound implications in real-world applications. As we navigate the vast world of Python, understanding these nuanced methods becomes pivotal. Especially in data-centric domains where string purity can dictate quality, strip() in Python stands out as a beacon. For those on the path of mastery in Python, this deep dive into strip() is an essential stepping stone.


strip() is more than just a string manipulation function in Python. In the world of data, where cleanliness equates to quality, the strip() method emerges as a sentinel, effectively sanitizing strings by removing unwanted characters from their boundaries. In this comprehensive tutorial, we will understand the nuances of working with strip() in Python.

Why Is the Python Strip() Function Used?

Python strip() utility goes well beyond the elementary removal of whitespaces. Let's delve deeper into the profound purposes it serves:

1. Whitespace Removal: The initial, and perhaps most common use of strip(), revolves around removing leading and trailing whitespaces. Especially in data preprocessing, where consistency and precision matter, ridding strings of these unnecessary whitespaces is paramount. Such tidying up is crucial in scenarios like file reading, where often data fetched contains unwanted spaces, which, if not addressed, could skew analyses or lead to erroneous operations.

2. Data Cleaning: In data science and analytics, the quality of datasets is paramount. Irregularities or inconsistencies can lead to biased results or outright analytical failures. Here, strip() becomes indispensable. By methodically stripping unwanted characters or even certain patterns, it ensures datasets are clean, consistent, and ready for analysis. This not only elevates the reliability of the data but also streamlines the analytical processes, reducing the risk of unexpected issues.

3. Input Validation: Another crucial area where strip() shines is in input validation. In applications where user inputs are requested, ensuring these inputs conform to expected formats is crucial. By employing strip(), developers can efficiently clean and standardize inputs, safeguarding against potential input-based errors or malicious attempts. This ensures that downstream processes or operations receive data that are both safe and in the expected format.

Python strip() Syntax

The strip() method in Python is used for removing leading and trailing characters (whitespaces by default) from a string. Its syntax is as follows:


In the above syntax,

  • string: The original string from which you want to remove characters.

  • characters (optional): A string specifying the characters to remove. If not provided, it removes leading and trailing whitespace.

Examples of Using strip() in Python Strings

We can use text.strip() for removing leading and trailing whitespaces, text.strip("#") for removing '#' characters from both ends, text.strip() for removing leading and trailing spaces and text.strip() for removing leading and trailing newline characters.

Let us check out some examples using these four methods to understand the practical applications of the strip() function.

Simple Demonstration of Python strip() function


text = "   Hello, World!   "

stripped_text = text.strip()  # Removes leading and trailing whitespace

print(stripped_text)  # Output: "Hello, World!"

Remove Character from a string in Python

text = "##Python##"
stripped_text = text.strip("#")  # Removes '#' characters from both ends
print(stripped_text)  # Output: "Python"

Remove Spaces from a String In Python

text = "  Remove  spaces  "
stripped_text = text.strip()  # Removes leading and trailing spaces
print(stripped_text)  # Output: "Remove  spaces"

Remove NewLine from String in Python

text = "\nPython Programming\n"
stripped_text = text.strip()  # Removes leading and trailing newline characters
print(stripped_text)  # Output: "Python Programming"

Working Program in Python Using strip()

Here's a Python program that uses the strip() method to clean up a text file by removing leading and trailing whitespace from each line. The program also removes empty lines and then saves the cleaned text to a new file:

# Open the input file in read mode
input_file_path = 'input.txt'
output_file_path = 'output.txt'

    with open(input_file_path, 'r') as input_file:
        # Read all lines from the input file
        lines = input_file.readlines()

        # Create a list to store cleaned lines
        cleaned_lines = []

        # Iterate through each line, strip whitespace, and filter out empty lines
        for line in lines:
            # Remove leading and trailing whitespace using strip()
            cleaned_line = line.strip()

            # Check if the line is not empty after stripping
            if cleaned_line:

        # Open the output file in write mode and save the cleaned lines
        with open(output_file_path, 'w') as output_file:

    print(f"Cleaning completed. Cleaned text saved to '{output_file_path}'.")

except FileNotFoundError:
    print(f"Input file '{input_file_path}' not found.")
except Exception as e:
    print(f"An error occurred: {str(e)}")

We start by specifying the paths for the input and output files (input_file_path and output_file_path). Inside a try block, we open the input file (input.txt) in read mode using a with statement. This ensures that the file is fully exited when we are done with it. We read all the lines from the input file into a list called lines.

Then, we create an empty list called cleaned_lines to store the cleaned lines. We iterate through each line in the lines list using a for loop. For each line, we use the strip() method to remove leading and trailing whitespace. After this, we check if the cleaned line is not empty (i.e., it contains content). If it's not empty, we append it to the cleaned_lines list.

After processing all lines, we open the output file (output.txt) in write mode and write the cleaned lines to it using '\n'.join(cleaned_lines) to separate them with newline characters. We handle possible exceptions, such as the input file not being found or any other unexpected errors. Finally, we print a message indicating that the cleaning process is completed and the cleaned text is saved to the output file.

The Deeper Purpose Behind the Python strip() Function

Python, being a versatile programming language, offers numerous built-in functions to streamline and simplify coding practices. Among them, the strip() function holds a unique significance, primarily for its role in data and string manipulation. Let's delve deeper into its purpose:

1. Enhanced Readability: In the vast realm of coding, cleanliness is next to efficiency. The strip() function ensures that extraneous whitespaces or undesired characters are pruned from the beginning and end of strings. Doing so paves the way for more readable and cleaner code, aiding both the developer and any future individuals who might interact with the code.

2. Efficiency: Data processing speed is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of coding. Working with cleaned data, devoid of unnecessary characters, invariably accelerates processing speeds. This, in turn, ensures that applications and programs run smoothly, consuming less memory and CPU resources.

3. Error Minimization: Data anomalies and inconsistencies can be the bane of a developer's existence. With the strip() function, data is standardized, thus reducing the likelihood of errors during manipulation and processing. Whether avoiding format mismatches or ensuring uniformity in data operations, clean data can circumvent common pitfalls, making the development process more seamless.


As we conclude, it's clear that Python's strip() method isn't just a tool; it's a necessity. Such intricate string manipulations, though seemingly minor, can profoundly impact data processing, ensuring quality and accuracy. Especially in applications demanding pristine data handling, like analytics or web parsing, understanding and employing strip() can be a game-changer.

For those determined to hone their Python skills further, upGrad offers myriad courses tailored to elevate your skills and applicability. Remember, in the dynamic world of programming, it's the amalgamation of foundational knowledge, like what we've explored today, and the appetite for continuous upskilling that sets exceptional developers apart.


1. What is rstrip in Python?

The rstrip() method in Python is specifically designed to remove unwanted characters from the right end (or tail) of a string. It's particularly useful when you want to eliminate trailing spaces, newline characters, or other specified extraneous elements without affecting the beginning of the string.

2. How does strip().split() python function work?

The combined use of strip().split() in Python is a two-step process. Initially, strip() removes undesired leading and trailing characters from a string. Following this purification, split() is then invoked to break the cleansed string into a list of substrings based on specified delimiters.

3. Is lstrip Python different from lstrip(), rstrip Python?

Absolutely. The lstrip() method is tailored to cleanse characters solely from the left (or starting) side of a string. On the other hand, when both lstrip() and rstrip() methods are used sequentially, it essentially mimics the comprehensive behavior of strip(), which cleans both ends of a string.

4. What's unique about string.strip() Python 3?

The string.strip() method in Python 3 has been refined with superior Unicode support. This means that it can adeptly handle and process strings containing a vast array of global characters and symbols, making it adaptable and suitable for diverse datasets and international applications.

5. Is direct Python strip of list elements possible?

Python doesn't offer a built-in method for directly stripping all elements within a list. However, with a simple iteration, typically using list comprehensions, one can easily apply the strip() function to each string element in a list, ensuring all individual strings are purified as intended.

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