Cleero Shampoo

Van Ess Laboratories of Chicago, Ill., introduced Cleero Shampoo in 1924, although their advertising claimed it had been in use privately and in Europe for 20 years. Cleero was a no-rinse shampoo. The company promoted the idea that soap and water were bad for the hair. Cleero did not produce the usual alkaline (soapy) lather, but "snow-white foam" instead. When the shampoo was done working, it would turn grey and the user could simply towel it off. The process was repeated until the foam no longer turned grey.
Suspecting dishonesty in advertising, the American Medical Association analyzed the Cleero formula in 1924. They found it to be ordinary cocoanut [coconut] oil based soap.
The indications or uses for this product as provided by the manufacturer are:
to shampoo without rinsing
Currently not on view
Object Name
hair care product
date made
ca 1924-1938
Van Ess Laboratories
Physical Description
cardboard (packaging material)
glass (container material)
paper (container material)
overall: 13 cm x 5.6 cm x 5.6 cm; 5 1/8 in x 2 3/16 in x 2 3/16 in
overall, box: 5 1/4 in x 2 1/8 in x 2 1/8 in; 13.335 cm x 5.3975 cm x 5.3975 cm
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Hair Care Products
Health & Medicine
Hair Care Products
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
Beauty and Health
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Hair Care Products
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
Beauty and Health
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mary E. and Joseph F. Melfi, Jr., Tupper's Drug Store, Summerville, South Carolina
Additional Media

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