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Publication numberUS20050000050 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/870,015
Publication dateJan 6, 2005
Filing dateJun 17, 2004
Priority dateJun 18, 2003
Publication number10870015, 870015, US 2005/0000050 A1, US 2005/000050 A1, US 20050000050 A1, US 20050000050A1, US 2005000050 A1, US 2005000050A1, US-A1-20050000050, US-A1-2005000050, US2005/0000050A1, US2005/000050A1, US20050000050 A1, US20050000050A1, US2005000050 A1, US2005000050A1
InventorsDebra Galvin, Mary Youngerman
Original AssigneeNhoconnections, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for cleaning surfaces
US 20050000050 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates to synthetic fleece, and in one aspect polyester fleece, as a material that can be used by itself, or in a variety of configurations, for a variety of cleaning tasks. Configuration into such things as dust clothes, sweeper pads, scrubbers, and other embodiments, to present at least a surface or part of the surface of the piece of material to a surface to be cleaned.
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Claims(73)
1. A cleaning apparatus for cleaning surfaces having an open pouch compartment formed therein comprising:
a first layer comprising a fleece material;
a second layer comprising a fleece material;
wherein said first and second layer are stacked and fastened together on at least two sides to form a dust cloth having an open pouch compartment.
2. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein said first and second layer are the same size.
3. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein said first and second layer are different sizes.
4. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein the stacked layers are stitched together.
5. The cleaning apparatus of claim 4 wherein said stitch is a blanket stitch.
6. The cleaning apparatus of claim 4 wherein said stitch is a zip-zag stitch.
7. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein the edges are pinked edges.
8. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein the dust cloth is adapted to fit a human hand.
9. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 wherein said fleece material is polyester fleece.
10. A method for making a cleaning apparatus comprising:
providing a first layer comprising a fleece material;
providing a second layer comprising a fleece material;
stacking said first and second layer, thereby forming a plurality of layers; and
fastening together at least two sides to form a dust cloth wherein said dust cloth has an open pouch compartment.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein said first and second layer are the same size or different sizes.
12. The method of claim 10 wherein the stacked layers are fastened together proximate a periphery of the dusting cloth.
13. The method of claim 10 wherein the stacked layers are stitched together.
14. The method of claim 10 wherein said fastening is a blanket stitch.
15. The method of claim 10 wherein said fastening is a zip-zag stitch.
16. The cleaning apparatus of claim 10 wherein the edges are pinked edges.
17. The method of claim 10 wherein said fleece material is polyester fleece.
18. A dust cloth made by the method of claim 10.
19. A cleaning apparatus comprising:
a first layer comprising a fleece material having a larger dimension than a second layer of fleece material;
wherein said second layer is stacked on said first layer along the middle and fastened along the periphery of the second layer to form a sweeper pad.
20. The cleaning apparatus of claim 19 further comprising a rectangular plate-like head upon which said sweeper pad securably attaches.
21. The cleaning apparatus of claim 19 further comprising a handle.
22. The cleaning apparatus of claim 20 wherein said sweeper pad is secured to said head by mounting sockets.
23. The cleaning apparatus of claim 19 wherein said first layer has a notch cut along at least one marginal side of said first layer.
24. The cleaning apparatus of claim 23 wherein said notch is 3 inches wide and cut to a depth of ½ inches.
25. The cleaning apparatus of claim 19 wherein said fleece is polyester fleece.
26. A method for making a cleaning apparatus comprising:
providing a first layer comprising a fleece material having a larger dimension than a second layer of fleece material;
stacking said second layer is stacked on said first layer along the middle; and
fastening layers along the periphery of said second layer to form a sweeper pad.
27. The method of claim 26 further comprising providing a rectangular plate-like head upon which said sweeper pad securably attaches.
28. The method of claim 26 further comprising a handle attached to said rectangular plate-like head.
29. The method of claim 27 wherein said sweeper pad is secured to said head by mounting sockets on said head.
30. The method of claim 26 wherein said sweeper pad is used on dry surfaces.
31. The method of claim 27 wherein said sweeper pad is used on wet surfaces.
32. A sweeper pad produced by the method of claim 26.
33. A cleaning apparatus comprising:
a plurality of stacked layers of fleece wherein the plurality of stacked layers are fastened together to form a scrub pad.
34. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein the plurality of stacked layers are stitched together.
35. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein the plurality of stacked layers are fastened together proximate a periphery of the scrubbing pad.
36. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein the scrubbing pad is adapted to fit in a human hand.
37. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein a middle core layer located intermediate to the outermost layers of said scrubbing pad comprises at least 2 fleece layers fastened together along the middle of said layers.
38. The cleaning apparatus of claim 37 wherein said middle core layer comprises at least 3 fleece layers.
39. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein at least 2 layers outer layers are fastened together around the entire surface area of said scrubbing pad.
40. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein at least 4 layers are fastened together around the entire surface area of said scrubbing pad.
41. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein said plurality of stacked layers are fastened using a cotton covered polyester thread.
42. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein said scrub pad has pinked or straight edges.
43. The cleaning apparatus of claim 33 wherein said fleece is polyester fleece.
44. A method for making a cleaning apparatus comprising:
providing a plurality of layers of fleece wherein said plurality comprises a top and bottom layer and a middle core layer;
inserting between said top and bottom layer said core layer; and
fastening said plurality of layers together to form a scrub pad.
45. The method of claim 44 wherein said middle core layer located intermediate to the outermost layers of said scrub pad comprises at least 2 fleece layers fastened together along the middle of said layers.
46. The method of claim 45 wherein said middle core layer comprises at least 3 fleece layers.
47. The method of claim 44 wherein at least 2 layers are fastened together around the entire surface area of said scrub pad.
48. The method of claim 44 wherein at least 4 layers are fastened together around the entire surface area of said scrub pad.
49. The method of claim 44 wherein said plurality of stacked layers are fastened using a cotton covered polyester thread.
50. The method of claim 44 wherein said fleece is polyester fleece.
51. A fleece scrub pad made by the method of claim 44.
52. A cleaning apparatus comprising:
a plurality of fleece layers wherein said layers are cut across the longitudinal periphery edge to a depth that maintains an uncut midsection wherein said layers are rolled substantially upon themselves thereby forming a bundle; and
a fastener forming a pom pom duster.
53. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 further comprising a handle.
54. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 wherein said uncut midsection is approximately one inch in width.
55. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 wherein a fastener is wrapped around the uncut midsection of said bundle.
56. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 wherein a band of fleece material is wrapped around said fastener wrapped.
57. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 wherein said plurality of fleece layers are 12″×60″ fleece pieces stacked and folded together in half.
58. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 comprising approximately 90 strips cut longitudinally on each side.
59. The cleaning apparatus of claim 52 wherein said fleece layers can be the same or like colors.
60. A method for making a cleaning apparatus comprising:
stacking a first surface of a first fleece member on a surface of a second fleece member;
folding together said members in half to form a plurality of layers;
cutting across said layers so that a folded edge is left intact;
unfolding said members;
rolling said members according to a desired design; and
securing bundles generated by said rolling of said members with a fastener around the uncut midsection forming a pom pom duster.
61. The method of claim 60 wherein rolling said members together in a straight line gives a mixed effect.
62. The method of claim 60 wherein rolling said members in an accordion style-like manner gives a mixed effect.
63. The method of claim 60 wherein rolling one member completely then a second member around said first member gives a bull's eye effect.
64. The method of claim 60 comprising wrapping around said midsection a strip of synthetic fleece material to cover said fastener.
65. The method of claim 60 comprising providing a handle by cutting a strip of synthetic fleece material in a non stretch direction and inserting said strip under said fastening means and tying together.
66. The method of claim 60 wherein said first fleece member and said second fleece member is the same or different colors.
67. A fleece pom porn duster produced by the method of claim 60.
68. A cleaning apparatus comprising:
a plurality of synthetic fleece strips having opposite ends and sides, wherein said strips of fleece are created from a larger single piece of synthetic fleece; and
a fastener tied around at least one end of said strips so that an opposite end of said plurality of strips is free thereby forming a form a pom pom duster.
69. A cleaning apparatus comprising:
a piece of synthetic fleece material having perimeter dimensions and a linkage point on said piece for linking at least one of another piece of fleece material or attachment member.
70. The apparatus of claim 69 wherein said linking point is adapted for stitching or attaching another piece of synthetic fleece material.
71. The apparatus of claim 69 wherein said linking point is an attachment member.
72. A method for making a cleaning apparatus comprising:
providing a piece of synthetic fleece material having perimeter dimensions and a linkage point on said piece for linking at least one of another piece of fleece material or attachment member.
73. The method of claim 72 wherein said linking point is adapted for stitching or attaching another piece of synthetic fleece material.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/479,544, entitled Apparatus and Method for Cleaning Surfaces and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/479,533, entitled Products Made with Strips of Fleece Material, filed Jun. 18, 2003, which are incorporated by reference in its entirety.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/479,544, entitled Apparatus and Method for Cleaning Surfaces, filed Jun. 18, 2003 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/479,533, entitled Products Made with Strips of Fleece Material, filed Jun. 18, 2003 are incorporated herein by this reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field Of The Invention

The present invention relates to cleaning surfaces including residential and business areas, and in particular to apparatus and methods to clean hard surfaces such as floors, counters, tables, furniture, and the like.

B. Problems In The Art

Cleanliness and hygiene are important wherever people are present. Whether in residential, business, or other settings, a significant amount of labor and resources are expended towards that end. A huge market exists for cleaning supplies and devices. Consistently there are claimed improvements to help with cleaning chores.

One approach has been to market new or improved cleaning tools, such as mops, brooms, and brushes. Claimed improvements in clothes, wipes, and pads have been marketed. Another approach has been alleged new or improved cleaning substances, such as detergents, dusting sprays or liquids, disinfectants, and other chemicals or compounds.

Because many of these attempts are targeted for certain cleaning tasks or issues, one can end up with a relatively large number of cleaning tools and chemicals for a single residence or area to be cleaned. This increases expense, waste, and storage burden. It also takes time to switch between tools and chemicals during cleaning.

Using a conventional dusting cloth scatters dust and other debris into the air. Adding a furniture polish or spray cuts down on the problem of allergens floating into the air. However, constant use of chemicals pollutes the air and causes build up on hard surfaces. Therefore, there is a need for a dusting cloth that eliminates allergy causing problems and makes household air cleaner.

Current advertised products on the market today do not pick up an adequate amount of debris from hard surfaces. Though they do not scatter as much debris into the air, the conventional products have limited pick-up ability (the cloths would max out quickly on its pick up capability) and much of the debris still has to be shaken from the cloth or a new cloth put into service.

Most of these products are disposable adding to the ground fills and pollution. The products advertised as reusable either have special washing instructions or are not as durable and have a short “life”. Special washing instructions include “wash separately from other articles,” “wash by hand,” “do not wash with other Tinting products,” “do not use fabric softener.”

The current products when used and washed do not hold their shape or are not thick enough to pick up the maximum hard surface dust and debris. Another disadvantage of the current products is that many of them are treated with chemicals. In both cases, disposable and reusable, the current products need to be disposed of, shaken or washed after one use or washed often. While chemically treated products do not shake the dust loose, they run out of pick up space.

If a vacuum cleaner is used to clean the cleaning surface, the cloths become frayed or distorted on some products. In many cases these products have surged edges. If the surging becomes loose the products fray. One package on the market sports a caution “surge edges may scratch some delicate finishes, test in inconspicuous area.” For the most part, the current products on the market are thin or single layered or had flat finishes.

The following current products on the market were tested: 3M High Performance Duster, One-Wipe Ultimate Duster by Lily Industries, Inc., EverCare by Helmack Product Corp., Swiffer Dry clothes, Pledge Grab-It pads by S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.

Using a broom scatters dust and other floor debris. Using sponge mops, causes build-up in corners. Therefore, there is a need for a floor sweeper that eliminates allergy causing problems and makes household air cleaner. Current advertised products on the market today do not pick up an adequate amount of debris from hard surfaces. Though they do not scatter debris into the air, conventional products have limited pick-up ability (the pads would max out quickly on its pick up capability) and much of the debris still has to be sweep or vacuumed. Most of these products are disposable adding to the ground fills and pollution. The products advertised as reusable either have special washing instructions or are not as durable and had a short “life.” Special washing instructions include “wash separately from other articles,” “wash by hand,” “do not wash with other Tinting products,” “do not use fabric softener.” The products we have used and washed have not held their shape or are not thick enough to pick up the maximum floor debris. Another disadvantage of the current floor mop products is that many of them are treated with chemicals. In both cases, disposable and reusable, the current products need to be disposed of, vacuumed or washed after one use or washed often. If a vacuum cleaner is used to clean the cleaning surface, the pads become frayed or distorted on some products. In many cases these products had surged edged. If the surging becomes loose the products fray. One package sported a caution “surged edges may scratch some delicate finishes, test in inconspicuous area.” For the most part, the current products on the market are thin or single layered or had flat finished. In either case, the cleaning mechanism is not effective on textured surfaces or surfaces with crevices like tile.

The following current products on the market were tested: 3M High Performance Pad, One-Wipe Ultimate Duster by Lily Industries, Inc., EverCare by Helmack Product Corp., Swiffer Wet and Dry clothes and Swiffer Wet Jet clothes by Proctor & Gamble, Lysol Pre-Moistened Floor Clothes, Clorox Ready Mop Pads by Clorox Co., Pledge Grab-It pads by S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Two products that were found on the internet were from Germany. One was a synthetic sheep fleece cleaner, the other was described as a “disposable fleece-like fabric and was used for cleaning RV's and boats.

Using a scrub pad can scratch surfaces. Current advertised products on the market today do not “pick up” soap scum and other residue from hard surfaces without excessive scrubbing or the use of abrasives or harsh solvent cleaners. Most of these products breakdown easily or are disposable also adding to the ground fills and pollution. The products advertised as reusable either have special washing instructions or are not as durable and had a short “life.” The conventional scrub pad products do not hold their cleaning properties, have fall apart, rust or retain an odor. The products are often made of abrasive materials that can hurt the skin. Many of them are not comfortable to hold making cleaning awkward or are not thick enough to pick up the maximum hard surface debris. Another disadvantage of the current scrub pad products is that many of them are treated with chemicals. In both cases, disposable and reusable, the current products need to be disposed of or washed often. The abrasive cleaning pads unraveled or rusted depending on the material used. In many cases these products had surged edged. If the surging becomes loose the products fray. These products may scratch some surfaces.

The following current products on the market were tested: SOS, generic sponges, Chore Boy.

Therefore, room still exists for improvement in this area. There are many factors that are relevant to cleaning, and which may come into play when considering improvement.

For example, time savings for the cleaner is important. Despite advances in cleaning substances and chemicals, and in cleaning tools, manual work (sweeping, mopping, dusting, scrubbing) still plays a predominant role. Any apparatus, substance or method that reduces total time spent cleaning is usually desirable. One way to save time is to provide the cleaner with a tool that is more effective with the same amount of work. Greater effectiveness can result from a single cleaning tool that is better at picking up dirt, dust, and undesirable materials. Greater effectiveness can also result from a single cleaning tool that is more comprehensive it what it picks up. An example is dog hair. Many conventional cleaning clothes, even sprayed with or dipped in cleaning solution, are not very effective to pick up dog hair.

Environmental concerns are important. It is generally desirable to reduce the amount of chemicals used, including in cleaning. The tendency is to use more and more chemicals to try to speed up cleaning. Additionally, to the extent possible hypo-allergenic or environmentally inert or friendly materials and substances are preferable. Still further, it is environmentally beneficial to be able to produce cleaning tools or substances from recyclables.

Preferably the cleaning tool or substance is relatively economical. Relatively inexpensive materials to make the cleaning tool or substance would help. But also, longevity (e.g., durability, reusability, long life) would increase economy. The ability to use a single cleaning device or substance for a variety of cleaning tasks would also assist its economy, as well as its time efficiency.

Flexibility and adaptability can be important. The ability to adapt a cleaning device or substance to different task adds to its attractiveness as a cleaning aid.

It can therefore be seen that room for improvement exists in the art. Improvement can be in one factor relevant to cleaning and/or to a combination of factors relevant to cleaning. It is believed desirable for improvement which favorably impacts as many of the factors relevant to cleaning as possible in one cleaning aid.

Therefore, it is a primary object, feature, or advantage of the present invention to improve upon the state of the art.

It is a further principle object, feature, aspect, and/or advantage of the present invention to present an apparatus and method for cleaning surfaces which improves upon or solves problems and deficiencies in the art.

Other objects, features, aspects, and/or advantages of the present invention include an apparatus or method which:

    • a. Increases cleaning efficiency for the cleaner, in terms of resources including but not limited to time, money, and effectiveness.
    • b. Is environmentally beneficial.
    • c. Is economical.
    • d. Is flexible and adaptable for different cleaning tasks.
    • e. Is durable, reusable, washable, and long-lived with continued effectiveness.
    • f. Uses essentially a single principle but can be used in many different forms and for many different tasks.

Other and further objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the following description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention generally pertains to utilization of what is called for purposes of this application “synthetic fleece”, and in one aspect polyester fleece, as a material that can be used by itself, or in a variety of configurations, for a variety of cleaning tasks. Conventionally used for clothing and apparel items, configuration into such things as dust clothes, sweeper pads, scrubbers, and other embodiments, to present at least a surface or part of the surface of the piece of material to a surface to be cleaned, results in one device that can be used for a wide variety of cleaning tasks and which is fairly comprehensive about what it picks up from the surface. This saves time and increase efficiency. It can be used with or without chemicals, such as dusting sprays, polishes, cleaning preparations, and the like. It is durable, washable, and reusable and does not lose its effectiveness over a substantial amount of use.

Synthetic fleece has been found to have similar qualities to wool, and thus has been used for a variety of apparel items, particularly cool or cold weather clothing because of its insulating properties and ability to resist water. It is believed, however, that because it is advantageously and famously used for clothing and is a somewhat “fluffy” simulated fleece, it has not been considered effective for such things as cleaning clothes and pads.

In its broadest embodiment, the present invention provides an apparatus for cleaning surfaces comprising a piece of synthetic fleece material having perimeter dimensions and a linkage point on said piece for linking at least one of another piece of fleece material or attachment member. The attachment includes, but is not limited to, a handle, Velcro, netting, another piece of fleece material or strip of fleece material of same or varying dimensions.

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a dust (or polishing or cleaning) cloth made out of a fleece material. When the specially designed fleece is rubbed over a surface, the electrostatic properties have a magnet effect on dust and other particles.

In another aspect of the invention, a sweeper cloth or pad made from 100% polyester fleece is provided. The specially designed cloth can be is attached to the head of a Swiffer™-type products and used according to Swiffer™-type instructions. Swiffer™ is a trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio (USA).

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a specially designed scrubber pad made out of several layers of 100% polyester fleece. The specially designed pad fits comfortably in the hand and works with any gentle or abrasive cleaning solution, waxes or polishes on the market without breaking down the integrity or usefulness of the product.

One or more of these and/or other objects, features, or advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the specification and claims that follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a first piece of polyester fleece used with a second identical piece to form a dust cloth according to a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an assembled dust cloth of the first exemplary embodiment.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are plan views of two different sizes of polyester fleece used to form a sweeper pad according to a second exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of an assembled sweeper pad of the second exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 6 is top plan view of one example of a sweeper head to which the sweeper pad of FIG. 5 is removably attachable.

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a sweeper pad similar to that of FIG. 5.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are plan views of three different sized polyester fleece pieces used to create a scrub pad according to a third exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is an end elevation view of the long sides of a combination of pieces from FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, showing how they would be layered to create the scrub pad.

FIG. 12 is an end elevation view of the short sides of the pieces of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a top plan view of an assembled scrub pad from the pieces of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is an assembled long side elevation view of the assembled pad of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is an assembled short side elevation view of the assembled pad of FIG. 13.

FIG. 16 is a top plan view of interior layers of the scrub pad of FIG. 13, showing how they are assembled prior to final assembly of the scrub pad.

FIGS. 17, 18, and 19 are plan views of a variation of the dust cloth of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 20 is an exploded perspective view of a variation of the sweeper pad of FIG. 5.

FIGS. 21-29 illustrate a variation of the scrub pad of FIGS. 8-16.

FIGS. 30-38 illustrate a variation of a dust cloth, and in particular, a “pom-pom” type duster comprised of tassels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

For a better understanding of the invention, illustrative examples will now be described in detail. It is to be understood that these examples are given only to show some of the forms the invention can take, and are not intended to be comprehensive of all forms. The following exemplary embodiments illustrate the invention can be used with or without ancillary structures. One ancillary structure is a sweeper head that is connected to (or connectable to) an elongated handle to allow the user to be upright when cleaning a floor, wall, or ceiling.

The dust cloth as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 has the purpose of providing consumers a cleaning tool that both collects dust without any solvent or polish, and can also be used with liquid solvents or polishes. In addition, when the specially designed fleece cloth is rubbed over a surface, the electrostatic properties have a magnet effect on dust and other particles.

The newly designed dust cloth picks up dirt and other debris better than current products. It is made of recycled material, works with or without polish or dusting spray and has a long reusable life.

The characteristics of polyester are perfect for this product because fleece is extremely durable, needs no special care to maintain its integrity and has electrostatic properties.

By referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the general features of a dusting, polishing and/or cleaning cloth are illustrated. The dimensions are one example only. Different sizes are, of course, possible. The shown dimensions are felt to work well for the hand size of most people, and for the type of cleaning involved (e.g., dusting, polishing, cleaning counter tops, table tops, furniture, blinds, stairway rails and spindles, and other items where access by hand is relatively easy or movement of the cloth relative the thing being cleaned is advantageous).

As indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, two identically or equally sized 9″ by 9″ pieces 10 of material are sewn together to make the cloth 12. One part “A” is shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 2 illustrates how the two equal sized parts can be sewn together by ¼ inch blanket stitch seams on at least three sides, leaving one side open 14. The user can insert his/her hand into the open end 14 to have material on both sides of the hand, or could grab it on either side.

For operation, the user can hold the cloth in the palm of the hand or insert the hand into dust cloth like a glove (not shown) and make contact therewith to the desired surface. Preferably, for the very best cleanup, this cloth is moved along a countertop or other surface in 2 or 3 quick motions, which increases the electrostatic properties of the dust cloth. The more the cloth is passed over a surface the greater the static properties become causing the product to pick up more debris than other products on the market. The fiber structure and fuzzy surface also enhance the cleaning results. Minimal lint is left behind. Results are excellent even without this quick motion. The dust cloth described herein has the purpose of providing consumers a cleaning tool that both collects dusts without any solvent or polish, and can also be used with liquid solvents or polishes or spray. Similarly the dust cloth disclosed herein cleans glass with or without glass cleaner and is safe for any polishing or washing need.

To clean the dust cloth or pad between washings, shake or vacuum. The cloth can be turned inside out for extended use.

After a dry use a consumer or the like can wash the cloth or pad by placing it in the washing machine with other laundry on any setting. This product will not fray or bleed. The product is made to be used over and over again and can be washed repeatedly with no compromise to the integrity of the product composition, shape or usefulness. Follow cautions for washing when polish, spray or other solutions are used.

In most applications, it is anticipated that the dusting and polishing cloth will be adapted to collect particulate matter on any hard surface for dry or wet cleaning, polishing, and dusting.

In a preferred embodiment, the dust cloth is constructed of 100% polyester fleece made from brushed polyester and non-pilling, between approximately 330 and 380 grams per square yard (or 12-14 oz./yd2). This material is available from a wide variety of commercial sources. Two are Baum Textiles Mills of Jersey City, N.J. (USA) and Alexandra Farr, Inc. of Los Angeles, Calif. (USA).

The material can be colored or printed with designs (e.g. by wet rotary printing or other methods). It can be made of recycled material (e.g. PET).

For the dust cloth, the water repellant side of the polyester fleece is positioned outwardly.

The 100% polyester properties of fleece overcome shortfalls because fleece is extremely durable, washable, long lasting, color fast, wears well, anti-pilling and holds its shape after 100's of washes. It can be washed and dried in any cycle or temperature range using any detergent or fabric softener without compromising the integrity of the fabric. Even better it can be washed with any color or type of clothes as the fleece does not fade or bleed. Polar-style fleece is easy to touch (won't pull or stick to dry skin) and is comfortable in the hand. These qualities and the universal appeal of fleece among male and females of all ages fit the modern lifestyle. In addition, the thickness and the electrostatic properties overcome the remaining disadvantages of the current products on the market. The magnetic like properties, thickness and finish attract more debris and maneuver easily into corners, around rungs and decorative pieces. The dust cloth of the present invention has no added chemicals and does not need added chemicals to accomplish the desired results. It is even dyed with water based ink. A further advantage of the dust cloth of the invention is it works with or without polishes, and dusting sprays. Not only does it cut down on household allergens, the cloth itself is hypoallergenic. The thickness, finish and electrostatic properties allow the product to be used for extended periods of time on large surfaces. The cloth can be used on four sides by inverting the cloth or on two sides if the user wishes to place the cloth on the hand like a glove. A further advantage is the fabric does not fray, eliminating the need to surge the edges and can be successfully used to wash and wax automobile finishes, polish silver, copper and brass, clean glass, dust wood surfaces, and clean enamel, porcelain and plastic finishes with no adverse effects to the product or the surface. Solutions used for polishing and cleaning do not break down the properties.

A second embodiment of the present invention provides a reusable sweeper cloth device (see FIGS. 3-5) made out of 100% polyester fleece that picks up more floor dust, animal dander and hair, and other particles better than similar traditional products on the market.

The specially designed cloth device is attached to the head of Swiffer™-type products and used according to Swiffer™-type product instructions. Swiffer™ is a trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio (USA).

This newly designed sweeper head picks up dirt and other debris better than current products. It is made of recycled material and has a long reusable life.

The characteristics of polyester are perfect for this product because fleece is extremely durable, needs no special care to maintain its integrity and has electrostatic properties.

The sweeper cleaning pad can be adapted to use with a Swiffer™-type system on any hard surface floor for dry or wet mopping and dusting and for removing cobwebs from corners and ceilings. The product is made to be used over and over again and can be washed repeatedly with no compromise to the integrity of the product composition, shape or usefulness.

To use the product, attach it to the sweeper head of any Swiffer™-type system and mop or dust. The more it is passed over a surface the greater the static properties become causing the product to pick up more debris than other products on the market. The fiber structure and fuzzy surface also enhance the cleaning results.

As shown in FIGS. 3-7, a sweeper pad 20 can be made of two different sized pieces 16 and 18 of polyester fleece. The material can be the same as described with regard to the first exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1-2.

By referring to FIGS. 3-5, the pad is comprised of two parts A & B. All parts are 100% polyester fleece. The pad can be used for wet or dry cleaning.

The dimensions of these examples of Part A and Part B are shown in FIGS. 3-4. Part A has a length of about 10.5 inches and a width of about 8.5 inches. Part B has a length of about 10.5 inches and a width of about 4.5 inches. However, these could vary based on need or desire. Such is contemplated by this invention. It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that this type of material has a direction of highest elasticity or stretch, and that the direction of highest elasticity differs between the pieces. See FIGS. 3 and 4.

FIG. 5 illustrates how pieces A and B are sewn together. A machine stitch 23, preferably of 100% poly thread is used to stitch A and B together.

FIG. 6 illustrates a Swiffer™-type head 22. The dust cloth device comprises a rectangular plate-like tool head or mop head 22. The corners 21 of the assembled pad 20 can be folded back and stuffed, inserted, placed or otherwise attached into the four rubber mounting sockets 26 of the tool head 22 to removably retain the pad on the tool head 22. An elongated apparatus or handle member (e.g., approximately 5 feet long-like a broom handle, a mop handle, or the like) can attach to, as shown at reference numeral 24, or be integral with the head 22, and allow the user to move the pad along a floor or other surface without getting close to the surface. FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a sweeper pad similar to that of FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 7, the assembly is the same however, the sweeper pad has a notch 17 on the marginal side of part A. The notch has dimensions of about 3 inches wide and cut at a depth of 1.5 inches. When the sweeper pad is attached to the mop head 22, the notch 17 faces forward. Ideally, this variation is used for wet systems, e.g., wet cleaning.

To use the product, the sweeper pad as disclosed herein is attached to the sweeper head of any Swiffer™-type system and mop or dust. The more it is passed over a surface the greater the static properties become causing the product to pick up more debris than other products on the market. The fiber structure and fuzzy surface also enhance the cleaning results.

There is no right or wrong side as either side can face the floor or surface. Preferably, for good cleanup, the pad surface is moved along the floor in 2 or 3 quick motions. This enables the sweeper pad to increase its static electrical properties thereby collecting more particulate matter. However, results are excellent even without this procedure.

To clean the pad between washings, simply move the surface of the sweeper along the surface of a mat or rug for easy pickup or vacuum. The pad can also be vacuumed. A further advantage is that the pad is reversible and varied print designs are available to match mood, the decor to a desired room or setting, or for hygienic reasons, such as use for a particular room or purpose, if desired.

To wash, the pad can be removed and placed into the washing machine with other laundry on any setting. The properties and construction of the product enables it to be used over and over again and can be washed repeatedly with no compromise to the integrity if the product composition, shape or usefulness. Beneficially, this product will not fray or bleed.

The 100% polyester properties of fleece overcome shortfalls because fleece is extremely durable, washable, long lasting, color fast, wears well, anti-pilling and holds its shape after 100's of washes. It can be washed and dried in any cycle or temperature range using any detergent or fabric softener without compromising the integrity of the fabric. Even better it can be washed with any color or type of clothes as the fleece does not fade or bleed. Polar-style fleece is easy to touch (will not pull or stick to dry skin) and is comfortable in the hand. These qualities and the universal appeal of fleece among male and females of all ages fit the modern lifestyle. In addition, the thickness and the electrostatic properties overcome the remaining disadvantages of the current products on the market. The magnetic like properties attract more debris and the thickness both holds more debris and gets deeper into crevices. It has no added chemicals and does not need added chemicals to accomplish the desired results. It is even dyed with water based ink. Moreover, the material is available in decorative prints, which add a touch of style to the functional warmth and comfort of fleece material. Such sweeper pads as disclosed herein can be derived from a solid or print design. An advantage of print designs is the variety of print design available. It would be advantageous for the industry to have a varied print design sweeper pad or cleaning device, because the cleaning devices as disclosed herein are nondisposable printed cleaning products. For the consumer the products described herein have can be adapted to have a fun design, be colored coded for various uses, i.e., bathrooms, a babyroom, tackle box, which would meet hygienic needs such as use for a particular room or purpose, if desired. Not only does the process cut down on household allergens, the product itself it hypoallergenic. The product does not have to be washed after each use because one stroke on a mat or carpet removes all the debris in a neat pile that can easily be picked up or vacuumed enabling the product to be used for extended periods of time on large surfaces. The pad is reversible for extended use before washing. The fabric does not fray, eliminating the need to surge the edges and has been successfully used to wash and wax automobile finishes, polish silver, copper and brass, clean glass, dust wood surfaces, and clean enamel, porcelain and plastic finishes with no adverse effects to the product or the surface. Solutions used for polishing and cleaning do not break down the properties.

In a third embodiment, the present invention provides a reusable scrubbing pad (see FIGS. 8-16) made out of several layers of 100% polyester fleece that cleans better, wears longer and protects hands and surfaces better than similar products on the market.

The specially designed pad fits comfortably in the hand and works with any gentle or abrasive cleaning solutions, waxes or polishes on the market without breaking down the integrity or usefulness of the product.

The newly designed scrubbing pad is safe for use on virtually any smooth surface: porcelain, plastic, wood, enamel, glass, vehicles, countertops, silver, brass or copper. It is made of recycled material and has a long reusable life.

The characteristics of polyester are perfect for this product because fleece is extremely durable, needs no special care to maintain its integrity and is soft with a fuzzy finish that releases debris from surfaces but does not lint or scratch.

The scrub pad can be made of the same or similar material. Exemplary embodiments are shown in FIGS. 8-16.

The scrub pad is intended for use on any hard surface for dry or wet cleaning, polishing and scrubbing. The product is made to be used over and over again and can be washed repeatedly with no compromise to the integrity if the product composition, shape or usefulness.

Referring to FIGS. 8-16, the scrub pad 38 of the present invention is comprised of five (5) layers, assembled by a sewing machine (see FIGS. 8-12, 14, and 15) or some other means of fastening or bounding the layers together. These include, but are not limited to mechanical fastening such as stitching, stapling, riveting, etc.; thermal bonding, ultrasonic bonding, high pressure bonding, adhesive bonding and combinations thereof. Preferred is the sewing process. All parts of the pad are 100% polyester fleece assembled with cotton covered polyester thread. The pads 28, 30, 32, which make up the scrubbing pad of the invention have the same or different dimensions.

In a preferred embodiment, the scrub pad comprises five (5) layers with ¼ inch seams 40 having a “middle core” (D). FIGS. 11 and 12 shows the stacking order 34 and 36 of the layers. The middle core, which comprises three layers B, C, B (30 and 32) and shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, can be separately stitched together with one stitch 46 down the middle (FIG. 16). The middle core is then sandwiched between outer opposite cover layers 28, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12.

In one configuration, two (2) layers 42 are joined at seams as shown in the 5.5″ side view of FIG. 14. In another configuration, four (4) layers 44 are joined at seams as shown in the 4.5″ side view of FIG. 15.

For operation, the cleaning process is carried out simply, yet effectively by holding the cloth in the palm of the users hand and rubbing, polishing, cleaning or scrubbing the cloth across the surface of the desired surface. The scrub can be used with or without cleaning solutions depending on the task, the surface, and desired results. The scrub pad as disclosed herein cleans glass with or without glass cleaner and is safe for any polishing or washing need. The fiber structure and fuzzy surface also enhances the cleaning results. Minimal lint is left behind.

To clean the scrub pad of the invention, which has been used alone, and not with any additional solvents or cleaners, it can be placed in the washing machine with other laundry on any setting. The scrub pad will not fray or bleed. Follow cautions for washing when polish, spray or other solutions are used.

The 100% polyester properties of fleece overcome shortfalls because fleece is extremely durable, washable, long lasting, color fast, wears well, anti-pilling and holds its shape after 100's of washes. It can be washed and dried in any cycle or temperature range using any detergent or fabric softener without compromising the integrity of the fabric. Even better it can be washed with any color or type of clothes as the fleece does not fade or bleed. A further advantage is in the design of the scrub pad since fleece is available in numerous print designs to match mood, the decor to a desired room or setting, or for hygienic reasons, such as use for a particular room or purpose, if desired. Polar-style fleece is easy to touch (will not pull or stick to dry skin) and is comfortable in the hand. The scrub pad fits in the hand eliminating awkwardness when scouring, washing, wiping or polishing. These qualities and the universal appeal of fleece among male and females of all ages fit the modern lifestyle. Fleece does not retain odors. In addition, the thickness and no fray properties as well as its light weight overcome the remaining disadvantages of the current products on the market. The construction, thickness and finish attract more debris and maneuver easily into corners, around faucets, appliance parts, silver service decorative parts and crevices, rungs and decorative pieces and will not harm delicate surfaces. The fabric does not fray, eliminating the need to surge the edges and has been successfully used to wash and wax automobile finishes, polish silver, copper and brass, clean glass, dust wood surfaces, and clean enamel, porcelain and plastic finishes with no adverse effects to the product or the surface. Cleaning solutions do not break down the properties. Fleece does not shrink, unravel, lose its shape or cleaning properties even after years of washing.

The above-described exemplary embodiments are given by way of example only, and not by way of limitation to the invention. It will be appreciated that the present invention can take many forms and embodiments. Variations obvious to one skilled in the art will be included within the invention.

For example, different types and weights of what is called herein “synthetic fleece” (one primary example being polyester fleece) can be used.

By further example, variation in size and configuration of the cleaning devices is possible.

Still further, different forms of the material can be used by hand. Some forms can be used in combination with tools. Some forms can be used either by hand or with tools (e.g., a user's hand or a tool head could be inserted into the pocket in the dust cloth type embodiment).

Also, a variety of applications for use of the invention are possible in the cleaning context, over and above those specifically mentioned herein.

FIGS. 17-19 show a variation of the dust cloth of FIGS. 1-2. It is substantially the same as the cloth of FIGS. 1-2, but pieces A and B are different sizes and have pinked edges 48 and a zip-zag stitching 50 is used to attach piece A to piece B.

FIG. 20 illustrates a variation of the sweeper pad of FIGS. 3-7. Nylon 52 may be an excellent addition to the Swiffer™-type product. A layer of thin nylon would be placed between the two layers A and B of fleece (see FIG. 20). Nylon is one of the strongest fibers and is used in articles that take a great deal of hard wear. Nylon is lightweight, strong, abrasion resistant, fast drying, machine washable and dryable, resists shrinkage and wrinkling and has electrostatic properties. In fact static is described as a drawback for nylon when used in clothing. It is believe this very property will enhance the magnet effect of swiffer-type products.

FIGS. 21-29 illustrate a variation of the scrub pad of FIGS. 8-16. It is substantially similar but the dimensions vary some and the construction differs as shown. FIGS. 21-23 show a collection of fleece pieces 54, 56, 58 having different dimensions which make up the scrub pad. The scrub pad can have straight or pinked edges. The scrub pad 64 comprises a top and bottom 54, a stabilizer piece 56, and a middle 58. FIG. 24 shows the stacking order 60 of the 5.5″ side view and FIG. 25 shows the stacking order 62 of the 4.5″ side view. In one configuration, two (2) layers 68 are sewn into seams as shown in the 5.5″ side view of FIG. 27. In another configuration, three (3) layers 70 are sewn into seams as shown in FIG. 28. In a preferred embodiment, a straight stitch is used to sew the layered pieces together having a ¼ inch seam. FIG. 26 shows a top view of the assembled scrubbing pad 64. FIG. 29 shows a stabilizing stitch 72 used to stitch together the midsection (3 layers).

Another example of an alternative exemplary embodiment according to the present invention is shown at FIGS. 30-38. It relates to a variation on a duster device.

In an alternative embodiment, the invention provides a reusable tasseled duster (FIGS. 30-38) made out of over one hundred 100% polyester fleece strips that picks up more dust, animal dander, hair, cobwebs, “dust bunnies” and other particles better than similar products on the market.

The specially designed duster fits comfortably in the hand and moves easily over surfaces to pick up dust and other debris.

The newly designed duster is safe for use on virtually any smooth surface: porcelain, plastic, wood, enamel, glass, vehicles, countertops, silver, brass or copper. It is made of recycled material and has a long reusable life.

The characteristics of polyester are perfect for this product because fleece is extremely durable and needs no special care to maintain its integrity. The tassels add a loft and dimension that, combined with the inherent electrostatic properties, attract more dust, lint and debris than other products on the market.

FIG. 30 shows two stacked 12″×60″ pieces 74 of fleece which preferably have the seliage removed from each side (approximately 1″) and folded together in half to make 4 layers, 58″ long and 6″ wide. In a preferred embodiment, a 60 mm rotary blade 75 is used to cut through 4 layers 5.5″ leaving approximately 0.5″ intact at the folded edge 76 (see FIG. 31). This assures no shedding of the tassels. Approximately, 90 strips 78 are cut across 29″. FIG. 31 provides a side elevation view of the cutting process. The uncut midsection 76 is approximately 1 inch wide with approximately 90 strips cut on each side (see FIG. 32). The fleece pieces are unfolded (see FIG. 33) and stacked evenly one on top of the other making sure that the strips are straight (see FIG. 34). The stacked fleece pieces are then rolled according to a desired design. The desired design depends on how the fleece pieces are rolled together. For example, rolling together in a straight line gives a target effect. Rolling accordion style gives a mixed effect and rolling one color completely then another color around gives a bull's eye effect. FIG. 36 depicts the accordion roll.

The bundles 80 are secured with a fastening means 82 around the uncut midsection 76 as shown in FIG. 36. In a preferred embodiment, a 5″ self fastening Secur-A-Tach® Fasteners is wrapped around the 1″ uncut midsection 76. Secur-A-Tach® Fasteners are available from the Avery Dennison Corporation. However, other fastening means having similar properties can be used.

In a preferred embodiment, a strip of fleece material 84, of the same or like color as the rolled bundle 80, is cut into a 1 inch×12 inch strip (FIG. 37). Optionally, a triangular-shaped pattern 85 is cut out of each end at a depth of 0.5 inches. The strip or band 84 is then wrapped around the midsection to cover the plastic fastener (FIG. 37).

Additionally, the pom pom duster construction can include a handle 86, which is cut from a 11″×0.25″ strip of fleece material in the non stretch direction. The strip is inserted under the midsection band 76 and the ends tied together with a knot 87. FIG. 41 shows the assembled pom pom duster 88.

There are many feather dusters which “molt” when dusting. Other synthetic dusters do not hold heavier dust allowing it to release allergens into the air. Many of them need to be sprayed with a dusting spray to hold the dust. These dusters must be shaken to clean and are not machine washable.

The properties of pom pom duster constructed from polyester fleece overcome the shortcomings of other “feather” dusters on the market.

The fluffy design and volume together with the electrostatic properties of the fabric enable it to pick up greater volumes of dust particles without the use of dusting sprays. To clean, machine wash and dry.

The above-described exemplary embodiments are given by way of example only, and not by way of limitation to the invention. It will be appreciated that the present invention can take many forms and embodiments. Variations obvious to one skilled in the art will be included within the invention.

Of course, the invention relates to not only devices and apparatus, but also the methods of use of the products, as indicated by the exemplary embodiments. Other options, variations, and alternatives are possible and contemplated by this invention.

While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications thereof might be evolved which are within the spirit and scope of the invention as described in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7745354 *Dec 15, 2005Jun 29, 2010Uni-Charm CorporationCleaning tool
US7774862 *Dec 15, 2004Aug 17, 2010Bjelland Hope VPom-pom pocket scarf
US8341797 *Oct 11, 2006Jan 1, 2013Ronald Alexander YoungMop swab holder
US20110119851 *Aug 5, 2010May 26, 2011Wayne LappemanReversible sponge
US20110138565 *Dec 16, 2009Jun 16, 20113M Innovative Properties CompanyBody cleansing device
WO2009114037A1 *Sep 17, 2008Sep 17, 2009Tom PaleckiA compound water-wiper and pet hair/fur removal apparatus and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/226, 15/225, 15/227, 300/21
International ClassificationD04D7/08
Cooperative ClassificationD04D7/08
European ClassificationD04D7/08
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 25, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: NHOCONNECTIONS, INC., IOWA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GALVIN, DEBRA L.;YOUNGERMAN, MARY W.;REEL/FRAME:015032/0636
Effective date: 20040617