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Sanitizable concern to sanitize activerecord model attributes the way you like. E.g. very useful if you want to convert empty strings from your form params into nil...


Ruby >= 1.9.3

Rails >= 3.2.0


Add acts_as_sanitizable to your Gemfile:

gem 'acts_as_sanitizable'

Download and install by running:

bundle install


Add the sanitizes method to your model to perform sanitization on specific attributes. You can define what type of sanitization you want to do by specifing a :with option or a block.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base   
  sanitizes :first_name, :last_name, with: :strip
  sanitizes :email, with: [:strip, :downcase]
  sanitizes :biography, with: ->(biography) { biography.squish }
  sanitizes :username do |username|
    # strip leading "@" characters as used in Twitter usernames
    username.strip.downcase.sub(/\[email protected]/, '')

The sanitizes method is aliased as acts_as_sanitizable.

Sanitization is performed before_validation so the sanitized content will only be visible after calling the valid? or save methods on your instance of the model.


You can define when sanitization should be performed via :on. If no :on parameter is specified acts_as_sanitizable will sanitize on both, create and update.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  sanitizes :first_name, with: :strip, on: :create
  sanitizes :last_name, with: :strip, on: :update


class User < ActiveRecord::Base   
  sanitizes :first_name, :last_name, with: :strip
  sanitizes :email, with: [:strip, :downcase], on: :create

If you wish to not sanitize specific attributes on an inherited model you can call skip_sanitization_of. When you have been using a context in the sanitizer definition be sure to specify the same one when using skip_sanitization_of.

class Admin < User
  skip_sanitization_of :first_name
  skip_sanitization_of :email, on: :create


You can return a list of all sanitized attributes by calling:

User.sanitizable_attributes # => [#<Sanitizable::AttributeSanitizer name: :first_name, ...>, ...]

User.sanitizable_attribute_names # => [:first_name, :last_name, ...]

Contributing to acts_as_sanitizable

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.

  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.

  • Fork the project.

  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.

  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.

  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.