In the 1950s, Linwood Burton ran a successful ship cleaning business with accounts up and down the east coast of the United States. His workers, however, suffered regular injuries from the caustic nature of the cleansers they used. A concerned Burton, using his basic knowledge of chemistry, began formulating a solution that could cut through grime without the danger of injury to his workers. He developed Mr. Clean.
In 1958, Burton sold his invention to consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble. Within six months, it was one of the best selling cleansers on the market. Proctor & Gamble began marketing Mr. Clean as a household cleaning agent. As a part of their advertising campaign, they hired actor House Peters Jr., who had been featured in numerous B Westerns and episodic television, to be the embodiment of the Mr. Clean character. House Peters portrayed Mr. Clean in television commercials for the better part of two decades.