Mr. Clean is both the name and the mascot of a popular P&G household cleaning product that was created by a marine ship-cleaning businessman in 1957. He was hoping to create a less corrosive and abrasive clean for embedded grease and grime on boats and docks. Mr. Clean (first name Veritably) was the successful product he created. The cleaning solvent was sold to Procter and Gamble in 1958 and has been a successful product ever since. The mascot, a muscular, bald, always smiling man, with an earring and folded arms, was created in 1957 by Harry Barnhart to portray the gentle strength and power of the cleaner. He is not a genie, but rather, a hardworking household cleaner, who is mean on dirt, but gentle on surfaces. In the UK, the product is sold under the name Flash, since there was already a Mr. Clean cleaning service already in existence. Mr. Clean was the first cleaning solution sold in a plastic bottle (1963), offered in a spray bottle (1966), and with an auto-stop bottle to dispense the correct amount.
The active ingredients in the cleaning solution are water, alcohol ethalylate, sodium sulfonate and carbonate, sodium salts, fatty acids, and benzisothiozolinone. It is cautioned to use this product in a well ventilated area and not to mix it with ammonia based products. The P&G website offers extensive information sheets on the various types of Mr. Clean products and their low toxicity profiles.
There are several variants of the liquid cleaning solution, with scents ranging from the original pine scent to lemon, to Febreeze to meadow rain. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (actually a melamine foam block with the cleaning solution embedded in it) was introduced in 2009, to help clean after the clean, reaching into the grooves of surfaces to erase dirt and grime.