remove special characters from a string in PHP

In this article, we will learn how to remove special characters from a string in PHP.

Special characters are characters that are not letters, numbers, or punctuation marks. They are symbols that have a specific meaning or function in a computer system, programming language, or application.

Some examples of special characters include:

  1. @ – used in email addresses to separate the user name and the domain name.
  2. – used in social media platforms to indicate a hashtag or topic.
  3. $ – used to indicate currency or monetary value.
  4. % – used to indicate a percentage.
  5. & – used in HTML to indicate an HTML entity or to concatenate strings in programming languages.
    • used as a wildcard character in file searches or as a multiplication symbol.
  6. ^ – used to indicate exponentiation or to indicate a superscript in text.
  7. ~ – used in URLs to indicate a user’s home directory or in programming languages to indicate a bitwise NOT operation.
  8. | – used in programming languages to indicate a bitwise OR operation or in Unix-based systems to indicate a pipe or redirect.

Sometimes, in your PHP code, you don’t want certain characters to make it to your database because they have a tendency to cause code malfunction or just flat out disorganise your database.

Well, there’s a way to do that in PHP.

The str_replace() method is used to remove all the special characters from the given string str by replacing these characters with white space (” “).

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// PHP program to Remove
// Special Character From String

// Function to remove the special
function RemoveSpecialChar($str){

	// Using str_ireplace() function
	// to replace the word
	$res = str_replace( array( '\'', '"',
	',' , ';', '<', '>' ), ' ', $str);

	// returning the result
	return $res;

// Given string
$str = "Remove<the>Special'Char;";

// Function calling
$str1 = RemoveSpecialChar($str);

// Printing the result
echo $str1;

In the str_replace() method, we pass an array of the special characters we want to look out for, adding some bit of flexibility to our logic.

We can also use the str_ireplace() method as well. The difference between the str_replace() and str_ireplace() is that str_ireplace is case insensitive.

With this method we have demonstrated how to remove special characters from a string in PHP.

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