Cleaning up the Python object can be useful for memory management and smooth execution of the program. The objects can be cleaned with the destructors. Destructors are more common in C++ language than in Python as it contains a garbage collector intended to manage the memory automatically. Although the memory gets free when the object is destroyed, the resources need to be released too like cleaning up the cache, opening the files, and more, and for that destructors play an important role in the cleanup process.

How do I Correctly Clean up a Python Object?

The __del__() is a destructor in Python which is called when all the references to the object are no longer found. This happens when the object gets garbage collected. Destructor has an opposite context to the constructor which is used for initialization purposes. The cleanup process is done before the object is destroyed like file handling or closing the database connections. Desructructors are especially useful when an issue of memory leak occurs.

Let’s see how we can clean up a project by the __del__() method.

class Car:

# Initializing
def __init__(self, brand, model):
self.brand = brand
self.model = model
print('Car created:', self.brand, self.model)

# Deleting (Calling destructor)
def __del__(self):
print('Destructor called, Car deleted:', self.brand, self.model)

car1 = Car('Toyota', 'Corolla')
del car1

In the above code,

  •  A class “Car” is declared.
  • __init__ is the constructor in Python. It is called automatically when a new object is created. It contains the parameter self, referring to the instance of the object being made. It initializes the attributes of the object which are brand and model. 
  • The values are passed as the arguments and the result is displayed while it prints the message representing the car and model of the new car object.
  • The __del__() method is the destructor in Python. It is called automatically when the object is destroyed. It displays a message showing that the car object is deleted while showing the brand and model of the car.
  • car1 = Car(‘Toyota’, ‘Corolla’) creates an instance car1 which takes the values of Toyota and Corolla as the brand and model of the car.
  • del  car1 deletes the car1 object. When the line executes, Python automatically calls the __del__ method displaying the message, Destructor called, Car deleted: Toyota Corolla.


Benefits of Using Destructors in Python for Efficient Object Cleanup

Some of the advantages of using destructors for cleanup purposes are:

  • Destructors automatically clean up the resources when an object is no longer required. This is beneficial when the resources are restricted or memory leaks are probable due to inefficient cleaning.
  • Destructors make sure that the object is adequately cleaned up despite its usage and the time it is destroyed. This can help to remove any bugs or issues that can occur.
  • __del__() method defines the destructors in Python and has a simple implementation.
  • Destructors can be helpful in debugging.


A Python object can be correctly cleaned up with the __del__() method that deletes the object thus performing the cleanup process. __del__() is the destructor that deletes the Python object. Cleaning up involves a range of processes like handling different files or terminating the database connections. The destructor is called when the references to the objects are deleted. Hence, in this article, we have learned how we can use the __del__() method to correctly clean up a Python object.