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Action View Sanitize Helpers

The SanitizeHelper module provides a set of methods for scrubbing text of undesired HTML elements. These helper methods extend Action View making them callable within your template files.


Instance Public methods

sanitize(html, options = {})

Sanitizes HTML input, stripping all but known-safe tags and attributes.

It also strips href/src attributes with unsafe protocols like javascript:, while also protecting against attempts to use Unicode, ASCII, and hex character references to work around these protocol filters.

The default sanitizer is Rails::HTML5::SafeListSanitizer. See Rails HTML Sanitizers for more information.

Custom sanitization rules can also be provided.

Please note that sanitizing user-provided text does not guarantee that the resulting markup is valid or even well-formed.


  • :tags - An array of allowed tags.

  • :attributes - An array of allowed attributes.

  • :scrubber - A Rails::HTML scrubber or Loofah::Scrubber object that defines custom sanitization rules. A custom scrubber takes precedence over custom tags and attributes.


Normal use:

<%= sanitize @comment.body %>

Providing custom lists of permitted tags and attributes:

<%= sanitize @comment.body, tags: %w(strong em a), attributes: %w(href) %>

Providing a custom Rails::HTML scrubber:

class CommentScrubber < Rails::HTML::PermitScrubber
  def initialize
    self.tags = %w( form script comment blockquote )
    self.attributes = %w( style )

  def skip_node?(node)

<%= sanitize @comment.body, scrubber: %>

See Rails HTML Sanitizer for documentation about Rails::HTML scrubbers.

Providing a custom Loofah::Scrubber:

scrubber = do |node|
  node.remove if == 'script'

<%= sanitize @comment.body, scrubber: scrubber %>

See Loofah’s documentation for more information about defining custom Loofah::Scrubber objects.

To set the default allowed tags or attributes across your application:

# In config/application.rb
config.action_view.sanitized_allowed_tags = ['strong', 'em', 'a']
config.action_view.sanitized_allowed_attributes = ['href', 'title']

The default, starting in Rails 7.1, is to use an HTML5 parser for sanitization (if it is available, see NOTE below). If you wish to revert back to the previous HTML4 behavior, you can do so by setting the following in your application configuration:

# In config/application.rb
config.action_view.sanitizer_vendor = Rails::HTML4::Sanitizer

Or, if you’re upgrading from a previous version of Rails and wish to opt into the HTML5 behavior:

# In config/application.rb
config.action_view.sanitizer_vendor = Rails::HTML5::Sanitizer

NOTE: Rails::HTML5::Sanitizer is not supported on JRuby, so on JRuby platforms Rails will fall back to use Rails::HTML4::Sanitizer.

# File actionview/lib/action_view/helpers/sanitize_helper.rb, line 100
def sanitize(html, options = {})
  self.class.safe_list_sanitizer.sanitize(html, options)&.html_safe


Sanitizes a block of CSS code. Used by sanitize when it comes across a style attribute.

# File actionview/lib/action_view/helpers/sanitize_helper.rb, line 105
def sanitize_css(style)

Strips all link tags from html leaving just the link text.

strip_links('<a href="">Ruby on Rails</a>')
# => Ruby on Rails

strip_links('Please e-mail me at <a href=""></a>.')
# => Please e-mail me at

strip_links('Blog: <a href="" class="nav" target=\"_blank\">Visit</a>.')
# => Blog: Visit.

strip_links('<<a href="">malformed & link</a>')
# => &lt;malformed &amp; link


Strips all HTML tags from html, including comments and special characters.

strip_tags("Strip <i>these</i> tags!")
# => Strip these tags!

strip_tags("<b>Bold</b> no more!  <a href='more.html'>See more here</a>...")
# => Bold no more!  See more here...

strip_tags("<div id='top-bar'>Welcome to my website!</div>")
# => Welcome to my website!

strip_tags("> A quote from Smith & Wesson")
# => &gt; A quote from Smith &amp; Wesson
# File actionview/lib/action_view/helpers/sanitize_helper.rb, line 122
def strip_tags(html)