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Why you should cleanup after render

nicolasamabile profile image Nicolas Amabile ・2 min read

I spent some time today debugging a simple jest test with react-testing-library. I run into some issues and I couldn't easily figure out what was going on.

The problem

For a very simple component I had:

  • Snapshot test
  • Some basic interaction tests that work correctly only if I run them separately πŸ˜’

I created this example to illustrate the idea:

const Google = ({ onSubmit }) => {
  const [text, setText] = useState('')
  return (
        onChange={({ target: { value }}) => setText(value)} />

          onClick={() => {
            if (text) {

And the tests:

import { render, fireEvent } from 'react-testing-library'

describe('Google tests', () => {
  test('It renders corectly', () => {
    const { container } = render(<Google />)

  test('Search with empty value', () => {
    const onSubmit = jest.fn()
    const { container, getByTestId } = render(<Google onSubmit={onSubmit}/>)
    const button = getByTestId('btn')

  test('Seach with valid value', () => {
    const onSubmit = jest.fn()
    const text = 'Example'
    const { container, getByTestId } = render(<Google onSubmit={onSubmit}/>)
    const textbox = getByTestId('textbox')
    fireEvent.change(textbox, { target: { value: text }})
    const button = getByTestId('btn')

If I run this, I get this error:

Clearly, I was sending a function for that particular test ('Search with valid value'). Typo maybe? πŸ€”
My first reaction was to add .only to the test and focus on that particular problem. Guess what, it worked πŸ˜’

I spent some time debugging it until I realize that the failing test was using the component instance I created for the first snapshot test (the one that doesn't have the click handler) 🀯
How the hell did that happen?

From the official documentation:
"Failing to call cleanup when you've called render could result in a memory leak and tests which are not "idempotent" (which can lead to difficult to debug errors in your tests)."

The solution

It was as simple as using cleanup from 'react-testing-library'.

import { render, fireEvent, cleanup } from 'react-testing-library'

describe('Google tests', () => {

Here you have a repl.it with the example.

Hopefully, this will save you some debugging time πŸ‘

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Posted on May 28 '19 by:

nicolasamabile profile

Nicolas Amabile


Software dev, musician, kickboxer & bad joke teller.


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Thank you for sharing your example. This reminds me of when I realized the need of putting someMock.mockReset() in the beforeEach when you’re spying on something with Jest. Because if you don’t you might have false positives when calling expect(someMock).toHaveBeenCalled()