An email list cleaner is a tool that identifies invalid email addresses in your email list. Marketers use it to save resources and only pay for email delivery to active subscribers.

Why should I use an email list cleaner?

  1. Users may switch to another email provider
  2. Users may create a new account within the same provider
  3. Users may change their place of work
  4. Their domain may run out of service

Even if you use a double opt-in approach to collect email addresses, it doesn’t mean your subscribers will keep their email address active forever. There are several reasons why some email addresses on your list may become inactive and result in email delivery errors:

  1. Users may switch to another email provider. Users mostly register their email addresses with providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. These services differ by design, functionality, and limitations. Some users may abandon their email address and register a new one with another provider for their comfort.
  2. Users may create a new account within the same provider. Initially, a user may have registered an email address for personal usage. If it’s informal, like “,” it’s inappropriate for business needs. In this case, a user may change it for something more official. Usually, it’s their real name, like “”
  3. Users may change their place of work. This is a common problem for a B2B community. For business communication, professionals often use an email address registered on a corporate domain. It means the company’s name alters email providers’ name after the “@” symbol, e.g., “” Typically, people change their job every 3-5 years, so there’s no way for your emails to reach users who changed their place of work.
  4. Their domain may run out of service. All email addresses that are registered on a corporate domain can’t receive emails if it’s closed. It usually happens when the company closes.

You can see that using an email list cleaner is a good idea to identify all invalid email addresses on your email list, remove them, and save money on email delivery. Let’s figure out how this tool works.

How does an email list cleaner work?

  1. Syntax check
  2. Domain existence check
  3. MX record check

An email list cleaner runs three types of verification checks to detect invalid email addresses:

  1. Syntax check. It is the simplest check that scans if the email addresses are written and structured correctly. An email address should be like “,” where “jeffreyblack” is a mailbox name, “@” symbol stands for the domain, and “” is the domain’s name. A syntax check finds email addresses that do not match this structure.
  2. Domain existence check. This process runs the domain address through millions of domains to find out if it exists. When the company closes its domain, an email list cleaner will identify all email addresses registered on that domain as invalid.
  3. MX record check. The Mail Exchanger record identifies which server receives emails on behalf of particular email addresses. It checks whether this server is registered and functional.

Let’s find out how to choose the best email list cleaner to fit your business needs.

How to Choose an Email List Cleaner

You need to compare the functionality, pricing, and free plan availability with various email list cleaners. We’ve compared four popular email list cleaners for you, so check them out.

Functionality. The service runs syntax, domain, and MX record checks, detects disposable and temporarily unavailable domains, identifies catch-all-emails, and duplicate email addresses. It allows you to verify email addresses en masse, one-by-one, or with the help of an email verification API. offers a convenient email finder, verification, and tracking tools with their Chrome extensions. You can also export data with CSV, XLS, TXT, and Google Sheets documents. Besides, you can take advantage of professional email list management tools and send drip campaigns to your cleaned list.

Here’s the verification of 100 emails in It takes just a few clicks to verify your email list.

Free plan. You can verify up to 100 email addresses and detect catch-all emails.

Paid plan. The price for verifying 10,000 emails is $69.


Functionality. Hunter runs syntax, domain existence, and MX record checks in bulk, one-by-one, and via email verification API. It allows you to identify temporarily unavailable and disposable domains, catch-all emails, and duplicates.

Hunter provides three Chrome extensions to search, track, and verify email addresses. You can use CSV, XLS, TXT, and Google Sheets to export your cleaned email list. In addition, you can use email list management tools and send email campaigns.

Here’s the verification of email addresses in Hunter. The service is fast but only allows you to verify corporate email addresses.

Free plan. You can verify up to 50 email addresses.

Paid plan. The price for verifying 10,000 emails is $199.


Functionality. This service only focuses on email verification features. It runs syntax and MX record checks, identifies temporary unavailable and disposable domains as well as catch-all emails. You can also verify emails in bulk, one-by-one, or via API. ZeroBounce allows you to export your cleaned email lists as CSV or TXT files.

Here’s the verification of five email addresses in ZeroBounce. After the operation is over, you can see a table with details about verified addresses.

Free plan. You can verify five email addresses anonymously or up to 100 email addresses after you register your account.

Paid plan. The price for verifying 10,000 addresses is $65.


Functionality. If you use SendPulse for sending email campaigns, you don't need any third-party service to check your list. The service offers Email Verifier. With the help of this tool, you can remove outdated and invalid emails from your list along with the spam traps. You can run single email verification, check an existing list, or upload a new one in several formats. 

After the verification, you'll receive a detailed report with the status of each email on your list along with a separate mailing list that only contains valid email addresses. 

Email verification

Free plan. You can verify 100 email addresses each month.

Paid plan. The price for verifying 10,000 email addresses is $48.

How to Use an Email List Cleaner

  1. Upload your email list
  2. Lunch the verification
  3. Export the cleaned email list

You need to take three simple steps that require no technical knowledge to verify all email addresses on your email list:

  1. Upload your email list;
  2. Lunch the verification;
  3. Export the cleaned email list.

You can also follow some email list management practices to keep your list healthy. Let’s finish this guide by reviewing them.

How to Clean Your Email List

  1. Use a double opt-in method
  2. Send re-engagement emails
  3. Verify emails with an email list cleaner

There are three basic ways to clean your email list from inactive and unengaged subscribers:

  • Use a double opt-in method. If you allow users to subscribe without confirming their email address, the chances are that they will input random addresses just to get a freebie or a discount from your brand. By delivering emails to these invalid email addresses, you will spend extra money sending emails for nothing.
  • Send re-engagement emails. You can send a re-engagement campaign to users that weren’t active for the last 3-6 months. Some subscribers will return to you once you remind them about the value they can get from your company. You can remove those who ignored this campaign from your mailing list because they are very likely to keep ignoring you.
  • Verify emails with an email list cleaner. Neither a double opt-in method nor re-engagement campaigns can prevent users from changing their email addresses. As you already know, it’s a handy tool to detect invalid email addresses, making it the key email list management practice.

Congratulations, now you know that having a cleaned list that consists of verified emails ensures more efficient email campaigns with better email deliverability and engagement.

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If you are interested in an email list cleaner, you might be interested in our email verifier