Using wp_unslash to remove slashes from strings and arrays in WordPress

The wp_unslash function is a part of the WordPress core, which is used to clean or sanitize data. It operates by removing the pre-existing slashes from a given string. The function is used primarily to counteract the effects of addslashes().

Its primary role is to ensure the accurate interpretation of string data within the WordPress environment. It functions by removing any backslashes that have been added to escape characters, thereby ensuring that the string is correctly interpreted by the database or other functions within WordPress. This is particularly relevant when handling data that may contain characters which have special meanings in PHP or SQL, such as quotes or backslashes themselves.

By using wp_unslash, developers can ensure that their data is handled correctly within the WordPress environment, regardless of the specific characters it may contain.

Parameters Accepted by the wp_unslash Function

The wp_unslash function in WordPress is designed to accept specific parameters. The following details the parameters that this function can receive:

  • $value (string|array): This is a required parameter. It refers to the string or array of data that is to be unslashed by the function.

Return Value of the wp_unslash Function

The function returns the unslashed $value. The returned value retains the same type as the one supplied to the function, which means it could be either a string or an array, depending on the input that was provided.


Example 1: How to use wp_unslash on a single string

In this example, we will use wp_unslash function on a single string.

$string = "It\'s a beautiful day!";
$unslashed_string = wp_unslash($string);
echo $unslashed_string;

The wp_unslash() function removes backslashes (\) added by the function addslashes(). In this case, it will remove the backslash before the apostrophe in the string “It\’s a beautiful day!”, resulting in “It’s a beautiful day!”.

Example 2: How to use wp_unslash with an array of strings

In this example, we will use wp_unslash function on an array of strings.

$strings = array("I\'m John","She\'s Jane");
$result = wp_unslash($strings);

Example 3: How to use wp_unslash on form data

In this example, we will use wp_unslash function on form data.

if ($_POST) {
 $form_data = wp_unslash($_POST);
 // process form data

The wp_unslash() function is often used to sanitize form data. In this case, it removes backslashes from all the data in the $_POST array before processing it.


The wp_unslash function in WordPress is a PHP function that is utilized to sanitize text fields. This function essentially removes the backslashes from the string that are added by PHP for characters that need to be escaped. It is primarily used when data is being saved to the database, to ensure that the data is stored correctly and can be retrieved accurately. This function is particularly important in the context of handling form submissions and other user inputs, where there is a need to strip slashes from the submitted data.

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