The History of Mr. Clean

Mr. Clean is a cleaning product made by Proctor & Gamble. Since the 1950s, Mr. Clean has been used in households around the world, and his face is recognized internationally. From the original Mr. Clean formula to newer products such as the Magic Eraser, Mr. Clean has changed a great deal over the years. Mr. Clean's history starts, like so many 1950s advertisements, on the desk of an art director.

Origins and First Commercial

In order to sell the original Mr. Clean liquid cleaner, which was designed to clean hard surfaces, jewelry and laundry, Chicago-based art director Ernie Allen drew Mr. Clean for the first time in 1957. Mr. Clean would later be animated by Hal Mason for television. In 1958, Mr. Clean's first commercial hit U.S. airwaves, and the product quickly gained a loyal following. Mr. Clean was played by actor House Peters Jr.

The Jingle

In 1957, Thomas Scott Cadden recorded the Mr. Clean jingle at his home in Skokie, Illinois. The Mr. Clean jingle was the longest-running jingle on American television, and was sung by Don Cherry and Betty Bryan.

The lyrics for the jingle are: "Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime/ And grease in just a minute./ Mr. Clean will clean your whole house/ And everything that's in it!"

The First Name

In 1962, the company ran a promotion to give Mr. Clean a first name. The name selected was "Veritably."

Changes and Advances in the 1960s

As the company expanded during the 1960s, the brand made some changes and some major advances. Mr. Clean was the first liquid cleaner to be sold in plastic bottles, starting in 1963. Later in the decade, Mr. Clean's new pine scent was released in 1968.

New Formula

In 1985, Mr. Clean was reformulated to provide better cleaning power. One year later, the same reformulated cleaner was made available in a spray bottle.

Brand Expansion

In 1992, Mr. Clean introduced a toilet cleaner/bathroom liquid cleaner. In 1993, Glass and Surface spray was introduced. This product also sported a new scent: Mountain Fresh. In 2003, the Magic Eraser surface cleaning pad was launched. In 2008, the company joined forces with Febreze and launched a new all-purpose spray.

Car Washes

In 2007, Mr. Clean opened a line of car washes, with flagship stores in Deerfield and Evandale, Ohio. Customers who visit the Mr. Clean Performance Car Washes can have gourmet coffee and shop while they wait.