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Publication numberUS20050217045 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/069,661
Publication dateOct 6, 2005
Filing dateMar 1, 2005
Priority dateApr 1, 2004
Publication number069661, 11069661, US 2005/0217045 A1, US 2005/217045 A1, US 20050217045 A1, US 20050217045A1, US 2005217045 A1, US 2005217045A1, US-A1-20050217045, US-A1-2005217045, US2005/0217045A1, US2005/217045A1, US20050217045 A1, US20050217045A1, US2005217045 A1, US2005217045A1
InventorsDouglas Minkler, Thao Nguyen, Russell Bell
Original AssigneeMinkler Douglas J, Thao Nguyen, Bell Russell E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ergonomic cleaning device
US 20050217045 A1
Abstract
An ergonomic cleaning device that fits less than the entire hand can be used to effectively clean surfaces. The cleaning device can be used for inanimate or animate surfaces. The cleaning device optionally contains a cleaning composition and can optionally be attached to a cleaning implement. A kit containing the cleaning device optionally provides directions for use and information about disposal.
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Claims(27)
1. A device comprising:
a. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, wherein said first and second sides are bonded together leaving an entry portion along one edge of each of said first and second sides between said first and second sides;
b. optionally, a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
c. optionally, at least one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer between said first and second sides; and
d. wherein said device is designed to cover the hand area comprising parts of more than one appendage selected from fingers and a thumb, and
e. wherein said device is designed not to cover the carpals area of the hand.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein said device is designed to cover four fingers but not cover the thumb.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein said device is designed to cover four fingers and the thumb.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein said device is a mitt.
5. A device comprising:
a. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, and forming an internal cavity between said first and second sides, said substrate further having at least one entry portion such that said internal cavity is externally accessible;
b. a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
c. optionally, at least one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer within said internal cavity adjacent at least one of said sides; and
d. wherein said device is designed to extend over at least two fingers and said device is designed not to extend over the carpals area of the hand.
6. The device of claim 5, wherein said treatment composition comprises an organic acid selected from the group consisting of pyroglutamic acid, adipic acid, gluconic acid, gluconolactone acid, glutamic acid, glutaric acid, glycolic acid, tartaric acid, ascorbic acid, benzoic acid, salicylic acid, citric acid, malic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid, and combinations thereof.
7. The device of claim 5, wherein said treatment composition comprises a surfactant selected from the group consisting of an anionic surfactant, a zwitterionic surfactant, a nonionic surfactant, and combinations thereof.
8. The device of claim 5, wherein said treatment composition comprises a biocide.
9. The device of claim 5, wherein said device can be attached to a cleaning implement.
10. The device of claim 9, wherein said substrate has an indicia that indicates the side of said substrate for attachment to said cleaning implement.
11. The device of claim 5, wherein said device covers three fingers.
12. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate comprises thermoplastic fibers.
13. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate comprises sponge material.
14. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate comprises superabsorbent material.
15. The device of claim 5, wherein said treatment composition is applied to only one side of said substrate.
16. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.5.
17. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.25.
18. The device of claim 5, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.1.
19. A kit comprising:
a. a device comprising:
i. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, and an internal cavity between said first and second sides, said substrate further having at least one opening such that said internal cavity is externally accessible;
ii. optionally, a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
iii. optionally, one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer within said internal cavity adjacent at least one of said sides; and
b. directions for use comprising:
i. indicia showing that said device is designed to extend over at least two fingers and designed not to extend over the carpals area of the hand; and
ii. optionally, instructions selected from the group consisting of a statement that the treatment device is disposable, a statement that the treatment device is not intended to be reused, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a single use, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a limited number of uses, and combinations thereof.
20. The kit of claim 19, wherein said directions additionally comprise instructions to treat a surface selected from the group consisting of a human surface, an animal surface, and combinations thereof.
21. The kit of claim 19, wherein said kit additionally comprises instructions to treat a hard surface.
22. The kit of claim 19, wherein said kit additionally comprises instructions to treat soft textile surfaces.
23. The kit of claim 19, wherein said kit additionally comprises indicia that said device can be used in a dry manner for treating surfaces.
24. The kit of claim 19, wherein said kit additionally comprises indicia that said device can be used in a wet manner for treating surfaces.
25. The kit of claim 19, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.5.
26. The kit of claim 19, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.25.
27. The kit of claim 19, wherein said substrate has a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.1.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application is a continuation-in-part of Co-pending application Ser. No. 10/817,606, which was filed Apr. 1, 2004, entitled “ERGONOMIC CLEANING PAD”, and incorporated herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to devices for cleaning hard surfaces, soft surfaces and human and animal skin surfaces. The invention also relates to cleaning substrates with an interior surface for inserting a hand. The substates of the invention can have additional uses such as attachment to cleaning devices. The substrates can be impregnated with a treatment composition. The substrates can also be free of treatment composition.

2. Description of the Related Art

A variety of mitts are known in the art. U.S. Patent App. 2003/0141204 to Yuskaitis, U.S. Pat. No. 6,192,543 to Lee, U.S. Pat. No. 5,979,007 to Soon, U.S. Pat. No. 5,864,883 to Reo, U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,089 to Steadmanm, U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,296 to Stubbs, U.S. Pat. No. 5,649,336 to Finch et. al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,601 to Miller, U.S. Pat. No. 4,807,322 to Littledeer, U.S. Pat. No. 5,134,746 to William, U.S. Pat. No. 3,806,260 to Miller, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,793,121 to Eberly, Jr. et al. disclose mitts which are intended to cover the entire hand and generally have a tightening area for the wrist. Other mitts are described that are intended to cover a finger or multiple fingers only, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,669,387 and 6,508,602 to Gruenbacher et al.

We have found that a device that fits over all of the fingers but less than the entire hand has ergonomic advantages for the consumer. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a device that overcomes the disadvantages and shortcomings associated with prior art devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the above objects and those that will be mentioned and will become apparent below, one aspect of the present invention comprises a device comprising:

    • a. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, wherein said first and second sides are bonded together leaving an entry portion along one edge of each of said first and second sides between said first and second sides;
    • b. optionally, a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
    • c. optionally, one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer within said internal cavity adjacent at least one of said sides; and
    • d. wherein said device is designed to cover the hand area comprising parts of more than one appendage selected from fingers and a thumb; and
    • e. wherein said device is designed not to cover the carpals area of the hand.

In accordance with the above objects and those that will be mentioned and will become apparent below, another aspect of the present invention comprises a device comprising:

    • a. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, and forming an internal cavity between said first and second sides, said substrate further having at least one entry portion such that said internal cavity is externally accessible;
    • b. a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
    • c. optionally, one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer within said internal cavity adjacent at least one of said sides; and
    • d. wherein said device is designed to extend over at least two fingers and said device is designed not to extend over the carpals area of the hand.

In accordance with the above objects and those that will be mentioned and will become apparent below, another aspect of the present invention comprises a kit comprising:

    • a. a device comprising:
      • i. a substrate having a first outwardly facing side, a second outwardly facing side opposed to said first side, and forming an internal cavity between said first and second sides, said substrate further having at least one entry portion such that said internal cavity is externally accessible;
      • ii. a treatment composition impregnated in said substrate;
      • iii. optionally, one substantially fluid-impervious barrier layer within said internal cavity adjacent at least one of said sides; and
    • b. directions for use comprising:
      • i. indicia showing that said device is designed to extend over at least two fingers and designed not to extend over the carpals area of the hand; and
      • ii. optionally, instructions selected from the group consisting of a statement that the treatment device is disposable, a statement that the treatment device is not intended to be reused, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a single use, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a limited number of uses, and combinations thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages will become apparent from the following and more particular description of embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and in which like referenced characters generally refer to the same parts or elements throughout the views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side plan view of one embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D are top plan views of other embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Before describing the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particularly exemplified systems or process parameters that may, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments of the invention only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner.

All publications, patents and patent applications cited herein, whether supra or infra, are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.

It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to a “surfactant” includes two or more such surfactants.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although a number of methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention, the preferred materials and methods are described herein.

As used herein, the term “hand article” refers to a covering for the hand or portion of the hand such as a finger or thumb. The term “disposable” is used herein to describe hand articles that are not intended to be restored or reused (i.e., they are intended to be discarded after a single use or a limited number of uses (typically three or less), and to be recycled, composted or otherwise disposed of in an environmentally compatible manner). As used herein, the term “mitt” refers to a hand article having an enclosure that leaves the fingers unseparated on the external surface and that may include space for the thumb in the main enclosure or may provide space for the thumb in a separate enclosure for the thumb or may not include a thumb enclosure at all.

The cleaning device can be used as a disinfectant, sanitizer, and/or sterilizer for cleaning a surface. As used herein, the term “disinfect” shall mean the elimination of many or all pathogenic microorganisms on surfaces with the exception of bacterial endospores. As used herein, the term “sanitize” shall mean the reduction of contaminants in the inanimate environment to levels considered safe according to public health ordinance, or that reduces the bacterial population by significant numbers where public health requirements have not been established. An at least 99% reduction in bacterial population within a 24 hour time period is deemed “significant.” As used herein, the term “sterilize” shall mean the complete elimination or destruction of all forms of microbial life and which is authorized under the applicable regulatory laws to make legal claims as a “Sterilant” or to have sterilizing properties or qualities.

In the application, effective amounts are generally those amounts listed as the ranges or levels of ingredients in the descriptions, which follow hereto. Unless otherwise stated, amounts listed in percentage (“%'s”) are in weight percent (based on 100% active) of the cleaning composition alone, not accounting for the substrate weight. Each of the noted cleaner composition components and substrates is discussed in detail below.

As used herein, the term “substrate” is intended to include any material that is used to form the device. Examples of cleaning substrates include, but are not limited to nonwovens, sponges, films and similar materials.

As used herein, “film” refers to a polymer film including flat nonporous films, and porous films such as microporous, nanoporous, closed or open celled, breathable films, or apertured films.

As used herein, “wiping” refers to any shearing action that the substrate undergoes while in contact with a target surface. This includes hand or body motion, substrate-implement motion over a surface, or any perturbation of the substrate via energy sources such as ultrasound, mechanical vibration, electromagnetism, and so forth.

As used herein, the term “fiber” includes both staple fibers, i.e., fibers which have a defined length between about 2 and about 20 mm, fibers longer than staple fiber but are not continuous, and continuous fibers, which are sometimes called “continuous filaments” or simply “filaments”. The method in which the fiber is prepared will determine if the fiber is a staple fiber or a continuous filament.

As used herein, the terms “nonwoven” or “nonwoven web” means a web having a structure of individual fibers or threads which are interlaid, but not in an identifiable manner as in a knitted web. Nonwoven webs have been formed from many processes, such as, for example, meltblowing processes, spunbonding processes, and bonded carded web processes. The basis weight of nonwoven webs is usually expressed in ounces of material per square yard (osy) or grams per square meter (gsm) and the fiber diameters useful are usually expressed in microns, or in the case of staple fibers, denier. It is noted that to convert from osy to gsm, multiply osy by 33.91.

As used herein, the term “polymer” generally includes, but is not limited to, homopolymers, copolymers, such as for example, block, graft, random and alternating copolymers, terpolymers, etc. and blends and modifications thereof. Furthermore, unless otherwise specifically limited, the term “polymer” shall include all possible geometrical configurations of the molecule. These configurations include, but are not limited to isotactic, syndiotactic and random symmetries.

The term “sponge”, as used herein, is meant to mean an elastic, porous material, including, but not limited to, compressed sponges, cellulosic sponges, reconstituted cellulosic sponges, cellulosic materials, foams from high internal phase emulsions, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,525,106, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl alcohol, polyurethane, polyether, and polyester sponges, foams and nonwoven materials, and mixtures thereof.

The term “cleaning composition”, as used herein, is meant to mean and include a cleaning formulation having at least one surfactant.

The term “surfactant”, as used herein, is meant to mean and include a substance or compound that reduces surface tension when dissolved in water or water solutions, or that reduces interfacial tension between two liquids, or between a liquid and a solid. The term “surfactant” thus includes anionic, nonionic and/or amphoteric agents.

Cleaning Device Shape

The cleaning device shape is designed to ergonomically fit the task. For shower and similar cleaning, the device must conform to cleaning surfaces to allow cleaning of corners, tile grout and textured surfaces, faucet and shower door handle area, and shower tracks. The cleaning device may have a functional edge capable of getting into shower tracks, curved surfaces to fit the curves in a bathtub, optimal stiffness to allow access to corners, and optimal thickness and compressibility to allow contact with all corners in the tub. For cleaning the human body, there are also recesses and curved surfaces that are more easily cleaned when the device is conformable to the appropriate surfaces. We have found that certain size, shape and compressibility parameters are useful to allow the cleaning device to conform to irregular cleaning surfaces and improve the cleaning experience compared to prior art cleaning devices.

FIG. 1 illustrates a cleaning device attached to a cleaning implement having a handle 10, a cleaning head 12, and a joint 11 attaching the handle 10 to the cleaning head 12. The cleaning head 12 attaches to a removable cleaning device 13. The removable cleaning device 13 can have a scrubbing layer on the bottom surface 15 and an attachment layer on the top surface 14. The thickness of the cleaning device 13 is measured from top surface 14 to bottom surface 15.

FIG. 2A illustrates a cleaning device covering four fingers but not the carpals area of the hand. FIG. 2B illustrates a cleaning device covering four fingers and the thumb but not the carpals area of the hand. FIG. 2C illustrates a cleaning device covering four fingers but not the carpals area of a hand. FIG. 2D illustrates a comparative cleaning device covering the entire hand including the carpals area.

FIG. 3 illustrates a useful shape for a cleaning device. The cleaning device has a top end 31 and a bottom end 32. The top end is the end that normally moves away from the user as the user pushes the cleaning implement away from his body. When attached to a cleaning implement such as in FIG. 1, as the joint is turned, the sides may also move away from the user. The cleaning device has one side 33 and another side 34. The length of the cleaning device is measured from the top end 31 to the bottom end 32 at the longest point. The width of the cleaning device is measured from one side 33 to the other side 34 at the widest point. Segments 30 as they approach the top end 31 may define the cleaning angle, which is the angle formed by the intersection of segments 30.

FIG. 4 illustrates a cleaning device with a cleaning arc, whose length is the distance from one end of the curved portion 41 to the other end of the curved portion 42, but where the cleaning arc only extends on one side of the cleaning device, as shown in FIG. 4.

Suitable combinations of length, length to width ratio, cleaning arc, cleaning angle, thickness, and basis weight offer ergonomic advantages for the appropriate cleaning task. For some cleaning tasks, the cleaning device may be square or square with rounded corners. For other cleaning tasks, the cleaning device may have a cleaning angle in the front to get into corners. For ergonomic use, the cleaning device may have a length greater than the width. For ergonomic use, the cleaning device may have a curved cleaning arc. For ergonomic reasons, the cleaning device may have a minimum thickness. For ergonomic reasons, the cleaning device may have a minimum basis weight. For ergonomic reasons, the cleaning device may have a minimum and maximum length. The cleaning device may also include on the attachment side an indicia that indicates the side for attachment to a cleaning implement.

In order to ergonomically fit the cleaning task, the cleaning device has a desired cleaning shape, size and conformability. The cleaning device may have a ratio of length to width of greater than 1.0 and less than 1.5. The cleaning device may have a ratio of length to width of less than 1.25. The cleaning device may have a ratio of length to width of less than 1.1. The cleaning device may have a length between about 3 inches and about 7 inches. The cleaning device may have a length between about 4 inches and about 6 inches. The cleaning device may have a length between about 4.5 inches and about 5.5 inches. If the cleaning device has a cleaning arc, that cleaning arc may be greater than 1.5 inches. The cleaning device may have a cleaning arc greater than 2.0 inches. The cleaning device may have a cleaning arc greater than 2.5 inches. The cleaning device may have a cleaning arc greater than 3.0 inches. If the cleaning device has a cleaning angle, that cleaning angle can be between about 80 degrees and about 120 degrees. The cleaning device may have a cleaning angle of between about 90 degrees and about 115 degrees. The cleaning device should have a thickness greater than 0.3 inches. The cleaning device may have a thickness greater than 0.4 inches. The cleaning device may have a thickness greater than 0.5 inches. The cleaning device can have a basis weight greater than 200 gsm. The cleaning device may have a basis weight greater than 250 gsm. The cleaning device can have a basis weight greater than 300 gsm. The cleaning device can have a basis weight greater than 350 gsm. The cleaning device can have a basis weight greater than 400 gsm.

Cleaning Device Structure

In one embodiment, the inventive device can consist of a single layer of water-permeable material. In another embodiment, the device consists of two or more layers of material. The inventive device can comprise two layers, as shown in FIG. 5, the first layer 60 being water permeable and a second layer 61 being water permeable, impermeable or water-resistant. The second layer 61 is located between the first layer 60 and the cavity 62 formed by the device. By cavity is meant herein, the inner space provided by the device envelope shape to fit the user's hand and/or a mechanical device, as for example a brush, broom, or the like. The first layer 60 is the outer layer. The second layer 61 is the inner layer. In another embodiment, the device consists of three or more layers of material.

Cleaning Device Substrate

A wide variety of materials can be used as the cleaning device substrate. The substrate should have sufficient wet strength, abrasivity, loft and porosity. Examples of suitable substrates include, nonwoven substrates, wovens substrates, hydroentangled substrates, foams and sponges.

Nonwoven Substrate

In one embodiment, the cleaning device of the present invention comprises a nonwoven substrate or web. The substrate is composed of nonwoven fibers or paper. The term nonwoven is to be defined according to the commonly known definition provided by the “Nonwoven Fabrics Handbook” published by the Association of the Nonwoven Fabric Industry. A paper substrate is defined by EDANA (note 1 of ISO 9092-EN 29092) as a substrate comprising more than 50% by mass of its fibrous content is made up of fibers (excluding chemically digested vegetable fibers) with a length to diameter ratio of greater than 300, and can also have a density of less than 0.040 g/cm 3. The definitions of both nonwoven and paper substrates do not include woven fabric or cloth or sponge. The substrate can be partially or fully permeable to water. The substrate can be flexible and the substrate can be resilient, meaning that once applied external pressure has been removed the substrate regains its original shape.

Methods of making nonwovens are well known in the art. Generally, these nonwovens can be made by air-laying, water-laying, meltblowing, coforming, spunbonding, or carding processes in which the fibers or filaments are first cut to desired lengths from long strands, passed into a water or air stream, and then deposited onto a screen through which the fiber-laden air or water is passed. The air-laying process is described in U.S. Pat. App. 2003/0036741 to Abba et al. and U.S. Pat. App. 2003/0118825 to Melius et al. The resulting layer, regardless of its method of production or composition, is then subjected to at least one of several types of bonding operations to anchor the individual fibers together to form a self-sustaining substrate. In the present invention the nonwoven substrate can be prepared by a variety of processes including, but not limited to, air-entanglement, hydroentanglement, thermal bonding, and combinations of these processes.

Additionally, the first layer and the second layer, as well as additional layers, when present, can be bonded to one another in order to maintain the integrity of the article. The layers can be heat spot bonded together or using heat generated by ultrasonic sound waves. The bonding may be arranged such that geometric shapes and patterns, e.g. diamonds, circles, squares, etc. are created on the exterior surfaces of the layers and the resulting article.

The bonding pattern can be chosen in order to maximize stiffness of the substrate. This applies when bonding is effected by adhesive (chemical, such as epoxy resin adhesive, or other adhesive) or by ultrasound. Thermal or pressure bonding can be used if the layers to be bonded are appropriate for this. One useful bonding pattern is application of adhesive or ultrasonic bonding across the full area of the substrate. Generally such patterns do not take up substantially the entire area, but generally not more than 20%, sometimes not more than 15%, but sometimes at least 5%, of the area of the substrate is covered by bonds.

One suitable application pattern for adhesive, ultrasonic or other bonds is in the form of a number of stripes extending across the width of the substrate, for example, the stripes are parallel. The direction can be chosen depending upon the direction in which stiffness is required. For instance, if stiffness in the machine direction (this direction being defined in relation to the manufacturing process for the substrate) is required, i.e. it is required to make folding along a line extending in the transverse direction more difficult, then the stripes can extend in the machine direction. Conversely, if transverse direction stiffness is required, then stripes extending in the transverse direction can be provided. A suitable bonding pattern is one of two sets of parallel stripes at different angles, for instance in cross-hatch form. Such systems can provide the effect of introduction of a net between two layers.

The above patterns for improvement of stiffness are useful when applied to adhesive or ultrasound bonding. However, such patterns can alternatively be applied using hot melt polymer printed onto the substrate, either between layers or on an exterior surface of one of the layers. Such patterns can be applied using any low melting polymer that is flexible after application and drying and capable of producing a continuous film. Suitable polymers include polyethylene. Application of hot melt polymer can be for instance by screen or gravure printing. Application of hot melt polymer can be on an exterior surface on one of the layers.

Bonding can be effected after all layers intended to form the substrate have been assembled. In some embodiments, however, two or more layers can be pre-bonded prior to contacting these layers with additional layers to form the substrate.

The stiffness of the substrate when wet is an important feature. Stiffness is expressed in Taber stiffness units, and can be measured in accordance with ASTM D-5650 (resistance to bending of paper of low bending stiffness). Stiffness of the substrate when dry is measured before it is used for cleaning a surface. Stiffness of the substrate when wet is measured after it has been saturated in water. Stiffness when dry can be at least 5, or at least 8 Taber stiffness units. In suitable cases, stiffness when dry is at least 9 Taber stiffness units. The Taber stiffness when wet can be at least 5 or at least 8. In suitable embodiments, the stiffness when wet can be at least 9 Taber stiffness units. Suitable embodiments have stiffness when wet at least 50% or at least 60% or at least 80% or at least 90% of stiffness when dry.

The cleaning substrates can be provided dry, pre-moistened, or impregnated with cleaning composition, but dry-to the-touch. In one aspect, dry cleaning substrates can be provided with dry or substantially dry cleaning or disinfecting agents coated on or in the multicomponent multilobal fiber layer. In addition, the cleaning substrates can be provided in a pre-moistened and/or saturated condition. The wet cleaning substrates can be maintained over time in a sealable container such as, for example, within a bucket with an attachable lid, sealable plastic pouches or bags, canisters, jars, tubs and so forth. The use of a resealable container is suitable when using volatile liquid compositions since substantial amounts of liquid can evaporate while using the first substrates thereby leaving the remaining substrates with little or no liquid. Exemplary resealable containers and dispensers include, but are not limited to, those described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,171,047 to Doyle et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,353,480 to McFadyen, U.S. Pat. No. 4,778,048 to Kaspar et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,741,944 to Jackson et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,786 to McBride et al.; the entire contents of each of the aforesaid references are incorporated herein by reference. The cleaning substrates can be incorporated or oriented in the container as desired and/or folded as desired in order to improve ease of use or removal as is known in the art. The cleaning substrates of the present invention can be provided in a kit form, wherein a plurality of cleaning substrates and a cleaning tool are provided in a single package.

The substrate can include both natural and synthetic fibers. The substrate can also include water-soluble fibers or water-dispersible fibers, from polymers described herein. The substrate can be composed of suitable unmodified and/or modified naturally occurring fibers including cotton, Esparto grass, bagasse, hemp, flax, silk, wool, wood pulp, chemically modified wood pulp, jute, ethyl cellulose, and/or cellulose acetate. Various pulp fibers can be utilized including, but not limited to, thermomechanical pulp fibers, chemi-thermomechanical pulp fibers, chemi-mechanical pulp fibers, refiner mechanical pulp fibers, stone groundwood pulp fibers, peroxide mechanical pulp fibers and so forth.

Suitable synthetic fibers can comprise fibers of one, or more, of polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl fluoride, polytetrafluoroethylene, polyvinylidene chloride, polyacrylics such as ORLON®, polyvinyl acetate, Rayon®, polyethylvinyl acetate, non-soluble or soluble polyvinyl alcohol, polyolefins such as polyethylene (e.g., PULPEX®) and polypropylene, polyamides such as nylon, polyesters such as DACRON® or KODEL®, polyurethanes, polystyrenes, and the like, including fibers comprising polymers containing more than one monomer.

The cleaning substrate of this invention may be a multilayer laminate and may be formed by a number of different techniques including but not limited to using adhesive, needle punching, ultrasonic bonding, thermal calendering and through-air bonding. Such a multilayer laminate may be an embodiment wherein some of the layers are spunbond and some meltblown such as a spunbond/meltblown/spunbond (SMS) laminate as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,041,203 to Brock et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,169,706 to Collier, et al., each hereby incorporated by reference. The SMS laminate may be made by sequentially depositing onto a moving conveyor belt or forming wire first a spunbond web layer, then a meltblown web layer and last another spunbond layer and then bonding the laminate in a manner described above. Alternatively, the three web layers may be made individually, collected in rolls and combined in a separate bonding step.

The substrate can comprise solely naturally occurring fibers, solely synthetic fibers, or any compatible combination of naturally occurring and synthetic fibers.

The fibers useful herein can be hydrophilic, hydrophobic or can be a combination of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibers. As indicated above, the particular selection of hydrophilic or hydrophobic fibers depends upon the other materials included in the absorbent (and to some degree) the scrubbing layer described hereinafter. Suitable hydrophilic fibers for use in the present invention include cellulosic fibers, modified cellulosic fibers, rayon, cotton, and polyester fibers, such as hydrophilic nylon (HYDROFIL®). Suitable hydrophilic fibers can also be obtained by hydrophilizing hydrophobic fibers, such as surfactant-treated or silica-treated thermoplastic fibers derived from, for example, polyolefins such as polyethylene or polypropylene, polyacrylics, polyamides, polystyrenes, polyurethanes and the like.

Another type of hydrophilic fiber for use in the present invention is chemically stiffened cellulosic fibers. As used herein, the term “chemically stiffened cellulosic fibers” means cellulosic fibers that have been stiffened by chemical means to increase the stiffness of the fibers under both dry and aqueous conditions. Such means can include the addition of a chemical stiffening agent that, for example, coats and/or impregnates the fibers. Such means can also include the stiffening of the fibers by altering the chemical structure, e.g., by crosslinking polymer chains.

Suitable thermoplastic fibers can be made from a single polymer (monocomponent fibers), or can be made from more than one polymer (e.g., bicomponent or multicomponent fibers). Multicomponent fibers are described in U.S. Pat. App. 2003/0106568 to Keck and Arnold. Bicomponent fibers are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,613,704 to Arnold and Myers and references therein. Multicomponent fibers of a wide range of denier or dtex are described in U.S. Pat. App. 2002/0106478 to Hayase et. al.

Suitable bicomponent fibers for use in the present invention can include sheath/core fibers having the following polymer combinations: polyethylene/polypropylene, polyethylvinyl acetate/polypropylene, polyethylene/polyester, polypropylene/polyester, copolyester/polyester, and the like. Suitable bicomponent thermoplastic fibers for use herein are those having a polypropylene or polyester core, and a lower melting copolyester, polyethylvinyl acetate or polyethylene sheath (e.g., those available from Danaklon a/s, Chisso Corp., and CELBOND®, available from Hercules). These bicomponent fibers can be concentric or eccentric. As used herein, the terms “concentric” and “eccentric” refer to whether the sheath has a thickness that is even, or uneven, through the cross-sectional area of the bicomponent fiber. Eccentric bicomponent fibers can be desirable in providing more compressive strength at lower fiber thicknesses.

In one embodiment, the cleaning substrate has at least two regions where the regions are distinguished by basis weight. Briefly, the measurement is achieved photographically, by differentiating dark (low basis-weight) and light (high basis) network regions. For example, the cleaning substrate comprises one or more low basis weight regions, wherein the low basis region(s) have a basis weight that is not more than about 80% of the basis weight of the high basis weight regions. In one aspect, the first region is relatively high basis weight and comprises an essentially continuous network. The second region comprises a plurality of mutually discrete regions of relatively low basis weight and which are circumscribed by the high basis weight first region. For example, a cleaning substrate may comprise a continuous region having a basis weight of from about 30 to about 120 grams per square meter and a plurality of discontinuous regions circumscribed by the high basis weight region, wherein the discontinuous regions are disposed in a random, repeating pattern and having a basis weight of not more than about 80% of the basis weight of the continuous region.

The substrate may also contain superabsorbent materials. A wide variety of high absorbency materials (also known as superabsorbent materials) are known to those skilled in the art. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,076,663 issued Feb. 28, 1978 to Masuda et al, U.S. Pat. No. 4,286,082 issued Aug. 25, 1981 to Tsubakimoto et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,062,817 issued Dec. 13, 1977 to Westerman, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,340,706 issued Jul. 20, 1982 to Obayashi et al. The absorbent capacity of such high-absorbency materials is generally many times greater than the absorbent capacity of fibrous materials. For example, a fibrous matrix of wood pulp fluff can absorb about 7-9 grams of a liquid, (such as 0.9 weight percent saline) per gram of wood pulp fluff, while the high-absorbency materials can absorb at least about 15, or at least about 20, or at least about 25 grams of liquid, such as 0.9 weight percent saline, per gram of the high-absorbency material. U.S. Pat. No. 5,601,542, issued to Melius et al., discloses an absorbent article in which superabsorbent material is contained in layers of discrete pouches. Alternately, the superabsorbent material may be within one layer or dispersed throughout the substrate.

Cleaning Device Properties

The cleaning device may show minimal migration of the cleaning composition during storage. The cleaning device may comprise 100% thermoplastic fibers or 100% of the same thermoplastic fiber type in order to allow the more convenient bonding of layers. The cleaning device may also comprise some non-thermoplastic fibers, such as cellulosic fibers. The cleaning device should allow the cleaning composition to be used up after use on one to two tasks, for example one to two showers. One example of an indication of no more cleaning composition is the absence of foam. The cleaning device may change color as the soap is used up. The cleaning device may acquire a dirty appearance or may start to come apart in order to indicate that it should be disposed. The cleaning device may not be so thick that the consumer considers the device not to be disposable.

Cleaning Composition

In one embodiment, the cleaning device is impregnated with a cleaning composition and is ‘wet-to-the-touch’. In another embodiment, the cleaning device is impregnated with a cleaning composition that is ‘dry-to-the-touch’. By ‘dry-to-the-touch’, it is meant that the substrate is free of water or other solvents in an amount that would make them feel damp or wet-to-the-touch as compared to the touch of a wet substrate. In another embodiment, the cleaning device is free of the cleaning composition.

The cleaning composition may contain one or more surfactants selected from anionic, nonionic, cationic, ampholytic, amphoteric and zwitterionic surfactants and mixtures thereof. A typical listing of anionic, nonionic, ampholytic, and zwitterionic classes, and species of these surfactants, is given in U.S. Pat. No. 3,929,678 to Laughlin and Heuring. A list of suitable cationic surfactants is given in U.S. Pat. No. 4,259,217 to Murphy. Where present, ampholytic, amphotenic and zwitteronic surfactants are generally used in combination with one or more anionic and/or nonionic surfactants. The surfactants may be present at a level of from about 0% to 90%, or from about 0.001% to 50%, or from about 0.01% to 25% by weight.

Solvent

Suitable organic solvents include, but are not limited to, C1-6 alkanols, C1-6 diols, C1-10 alkyl ethers of alkylene glycols, C3-24 alkylene glycol ethers, polyalkylene glycols, short chain carboxylic acids, short chain esters, isoparafinic hydrocarbons, mineral spirits, alkylaromatics, terpenes, terpene derivatives, terpenoids, terpenoid derivatives, formaldehyde, and pyrrolidones. The solvents can present at a level of from 0.001% to 10%, or from 0.01% to 10%, or from 1% to 4% by weight.

Additional Adjuncts

The cleaning compositions optionally contain one or more of the following adjuncts: stain and soil repellants, lubricants, odor control agents, perfumes, fragrances and fragrance release agents, and bleaching agents. Other adjuncts include, but are not limited to, acids, electrolytes, dyes and/or colorants, solubilizing materials, stabilizers, thickeners, defoamers, hydrotropes, cloud point modifiers, preservatives, and other polymers. The solubilizing materials, when used, include, but are not limited to, hydrotropes (e.g. water soluble salts of low molecular weight organic acids such as the sodium and/or potassium salts of toluene, cumene, and xylene sulfonic acid). The acids, when used, include, but are not limited to, organic hydroxy acids, citric acids, keto acid, and the like. Electrolytes, when used, include, calcium, sodium and potassium chloride. Thickeners, when used, include, but are not limited to, polyacrylic acid, xanthan gum, calcium carbonate, aluminum oxide, alginates, guar gum, methyl, ethyl, clays, and/or propyl hydroxycelluloses. Defoamers, when used, include, but are not limited to, silicones, aminosilicones, silicone blends, and/or silicone/hydrocarbon blends. Bleaching agents, when used, include, but are not limited to, peracids, hypohalite sources, hydrogen peroxide, and/or sources of hydrogen peroxide. Bleaching agents may be present in concentrations of 0.001% up to 100% of the cleaning composition.

Antimicrobial Agent

The cleaning compositions may contain antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial agents include quaternary ammonium compounds and phenolics. Non-limiting examples of these quaternary compounds include benzalkonium chlorides and/or substituted benzalkonium chlorides, di(C6-C14)alkyl di short chain (C1-4 alkyl and/or hydroxyalkl) quaternary ammonium salts, N-(3-chloroallyl)hexaminium chlorides, benzethonium chloride, methylbenzethonium chloride, and cetylpyridinium chloride. Other quaternary compounds include the group consisting of dialkyldimethyl ammonium chlorides, alkyl dimethylbenzylammonium chlorides, dialkylmethylbenzylammonium chlorides, and mixtures thereof. Biguanide antimicrobial actives including, but not limited to polyhexamethylene biguanide hydrochloride, p-chlorophenyl biguanide; 4-chlorobenzhydryl biguanide, halogenated hexidine such as, but not limited to, chlorhexidine (1,1′-hexamethylene -bis-5-(4-chlorophenyl biguanide) and its salts are also in this class.

Builder/Buffer

The cleaning composition may include a builder or buffer, which increase the effectiveness of the surfactant. The builder or buffer can also function as a softener and/or a sequestering agent in the cleaning composition. A variety of builders or buffers can be used and they include, but are not limited to, phosphate-silicate compounds, zeolites, alkali metal, ammonium and substituted ammonium polyacetates, trialkali salts of nitrilotriacetic acid, carboxylates, polycarboxylates, carbonates, bicarbonates, polyphosphates, aminopolycarboxylates, polyhydroxysulfonates, and starch derivatives. When employed, the builder, buffer, or pH adjusting agent comprises at least about 0.001% and typically about 0.01-5% of the cleaning composition. The builder or buffer content can be about 0.01-2%.

Effervescence

The cleaning composition may comprise materials that effervesce when combined with water. The materials may be within a water-soluble, water-insoluble, or water-dispersible pouch to slow the effervescent action or to protect the composition from premature hydration. The materials may comprise a polymeric agent to slow the effervescence. One component of the effervescent materials may be an acidic material. Suitable for this purpose are any acids present in dry solid form. Suitable for this purpose are C2-20 organic mono- and poly-carboxylic acids such as alpha- and beta-hydroxycarboxylic acids; C2-20 organophosphorus acids such as phytic acid; C2-20 organosulfur acids such as toluene sulfonic acid; and peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide or materials that generate hydrogen peroxide in solution. Typical hydroxycarboxylic acids include adipic, glutaric, succinic, tartaric, malic, maleic, lactic, salicylic and citric acids as well as acid forming lactones such as gluconolactone and gluccrolactone. A suitable acid is citric acid. Also suitable as acid material may be encapsulated acids. Typical encapsulating material may include water-soluble synthetic or natural polymers such as polyacrylates (e.g. encapsulating polyacrylic acid), cellulosic gums, polyurethane and polyoxyalkylene polymers. By the term “acid” is meant any substance which when dissolved in deionized water at 1% concentration will have a pH of less than 7. These acids may also have a pH of less than 6.5 or less than 5. These acids may be at 25° C. in solid form, i.e. having melting points greater than 25° C. Concentrations of the acid should range from about 0.5 to about 80%, or from about 10 to about 65%, or from about 20 to about 45% by weight of the total composition.

Another component of the effervescent materials may be a alkaline material. The alkaline material may a substance that can generate a gas such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen or oxygen, i.e. effervesce, when contacted with water and the acidic material. Suitable alkaline materials are anhydrous salts of carbonates and bicarbonates, alkaline peroxides (e.g. sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate) and azides (e.g. sodium azide). An example of the alkaline material is sodium or potassium bicarbonate. Amounts of the alkaline material may range from about 1 to about 80%, or from about 5 to about 49%, or from about 15 to about 40%, or from about 25 to about 35% by weight of the total composition.

When the cleaning composition comprises effervescent materials, then the composition may comprise no more than 5%, or no more than 3.5%, or no more than 1% water by weight of the total composition. Water of hydration is not considered to be water for purposes of this calculation. However, water of hydration can be present. The combined amount of acidic and alkaline materials may be greater than 1.5%, or from about 40 to about 95%, or from about 60 to about 80% by weight of the total composition.

Pine Oil, Terpene Derivatives and Essential Oils

Compositions according to the invention may comprise pine oil, terpene derivatives and/or essential oils. Pine oil, terpene derivatives and essential oils are used primarily for cleaning efficacy. They may also provide some antimicrobial efficacy and deodorizing properties. Pine oil, terpene derivatives and essential oils may be present in the compositions in amounts of up to about 1% by weight, or in amounts of 0.01% to 0.5% by weight.

Essential oils include, but are not limited to, those obtained from thyme, lemongrass, citrus, lemons, oranges, anise, clove, aniseed, pine, cinnamon, geranium, roses, mint, lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor, sandalwood, rosmarin, vervain, fleagrass, lemongrass, ratanhiae, cedar and mixtures thereof. Suitable essential oils to be used herein are thyme oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, geranium oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, mint oil or mixtures thereof.

Actives of essential oils to be used herein include, but are not limited to, thymol (present for example in thyme), eugenol (present for example in cinnamon and clove), menthol (present for example in mint), geraniol (present for example in geranium and rose), verbenone (present for example in vervain), eucalyptol and pinocarvone (present in eucalyptus), cedrol (present for example in cedar), anethol (present for example in anise), carvacrol, hinokitiol, berberine, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid, methyl salycilic acid, methyl salycilate, terpineol and mixtures thereof. Suitable actives of essential oils to be used herein are thymol, eugenol, verbenone, eucalyptol, terpineol, cinnamic acid, methyl salycilic acid, citric acid and/or geraniol.

Other essential oils include Anethole 20/21 natural, Aniseed oil china star, Aniseed oil globe brand, Balsam (Peru), Basil oil (India), Black pepper oil, Black pepper oleoresin 40/20, Bois de Rose (Brazil) FOB, Borneol Flakes (China), Camphor oil, White, Camphor powder synthetic technical, Canaga oil (Java), Cardamom oil, Cassia oil (China), Cedarwood oil (China) BP, Cinnamon bark oil, Cinnamon leaf oil, Citronella oil, Clove bud oil, Clove leaf, Coriander (Russia), Coumarin 69.degree. C. (China), Cyclamen Aldehyde, Diphenyl oxide, Ethyl vanilin, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus oil, Eucalyptus citriodora, Fennel oil, Geranium oil, Ginger oil, Ginger oleoresin (India), White grapefruit oil, Guaiacwood oil, Gurjun balsam, Heliotropin, Isobornyl acetate, Isolongifolene, Juniper berry oil, L-methhyl acetate, Lavender oil, Lemon oil, Lemongrass oil, Lime oil distilled, Litsea Cubeba oil, Longifolene, Menthol crystals, Methyl cedryl ketone, Methyl chavicol, Methyl salicylate, Musk ambrette, Musk ketone, Musk xylol, Nutmeg oil, Orange oil, Patchouli oil, Peppermint oil, Phenyl ethyl alcohol, Pimento berry oil, Pimento leaf oil, Rosalin, Sandalwood oil, Sandenol, Sage oil, Clary sage, Sassafras oil, Spearmint oil, Spike lavender, Tagetes, Tea tree oil, Vanilin, Vetyver oil (Java), Wintergreen. Each of these botanical oils is commercially available.

Suitable oils include peppermint oil, lavender oil, bergamot oil (Italian), rosemary oil (Tunisian), and sweet orange oil. These may be commercially obtained from a variety of suppliers including: Givadan Roure Corp. (Clifton, N.J.); Berje Inc. (Bloomfield, N.J.); BBA Aroma Chemical Div. of Union Camp Corp. (Wayne, N.J.); Firmenich Inc. (Plainsboro N.J.); Quest International Fragrances Inc. (Mt. Olive Township, N.J.); Robertet Fragrances Inc. (Oakland, N.J.).

Suitable lemon oil and d-limonene compositions which are useful in the invention include mixtures of terpene hydrocarbons obtained from the essence of oranges, e.g., cold-pressed orange terpenes and orange terpene oil phase ex fruit juice, and the mixture of terpene hydrocarbons expressed from lemons and grapefruit.

Substances Generally Recognized as Safe

Compositions according to the invention may comprise substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS), including essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free) and natural extractives (including distillates), and synthetic flavoring materials and adjuvants. Compositions may also comprise GRAS materials commonly found in cotton, cotton textiles, paper and paperboard stock dry food packaging materials (referred herein as substrates) that have been found to migrate to dry food and, by inference may migrate into the inventive compositions when these packaging materials are used as substrates for the inventive compositions.

Suitable GRAS materials are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21 of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Parts 180.20, 180.40 and 180.50, which are hereby incorporated by reference. These suitable GRAS materials include essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives (including distillates). The GRAS materials may be present in the compositions in amounts of up to about 10% by weight, or in amounts of 0.01 and 5% by weight.

Suitable GRAS materials include oils and oleoresins (solvent-free) and natural extractives (including distillates) derived from alfalfa, allspice, almond bitter (free from prussic acid), ambergris, ambrette seed, angelica, angostura (cusparia bark), anise, apricot kernel (persic oil), asafetida, balm (lemon balm), balsam (of Peru), basil, bay leave, bay (myrcia oil), bergamot (bergamot orange), bois de rose (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke), cacao, camomile (chamomile) flowers, cananga, capsicum, caraway, cardamom seed (cardamon), carob bean, carrot, cascarilla bark, cassia bark, Castoreum, celery seed, cheery (wild bark), chervil, cinnamon bark, Civet (zibeth, zibet, zibetum), ceylon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees), cinnamon (bark and leaf), citronella, citrus peels, clary (clary sage), clover, coca (decocainized), coffee, cognac oil (white and green), cola nut (kola nut), coriander, cumin (cummin), curacao orange peel, cusparia bark, dandelion, dog grass (quackgrass, triticum), elder flowers, estragole (esdragol, esdragon, estragon, tarragon), fennel (sweet), fenugreek, galanga (galangal), geranium, ginger, grapefruit, guava, hickory bark, horehound (hoarhound), hops, horsemint, hyssop, immortelle (Helichrysum augustifolium DC), jasmine, juniper (berries), laurel berry and leaf, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, lemon peel, lime, linden flowers, locust bean, lupulin, mace, mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco), marjoram, mate, menthol (including menthyl acetate), molasses (extract), musk (Tonquin musk), mustard, naringin, neroli (bigarade), nutmeg, onion, orange (bitter, flowers, leaf, flowers, peel), origanum, palmarosa, paprika, parsley, peach kernel (persic oil, pepper (black, white), peanut (stearine), peppermint, Peruvian balsam, petitgrain lemon, petitgrain mandarin (or tangerine), pimenta, pimenta leaf, pipsissewa leaves, pomegranate, prickly ash bark, quince seed, rose (absolute, attar, buds, flowers, fruit, hip, leaf), rose geranium, rosemary, safron, sage, St. John's bread, savory, schinus molle (Schinus molle L), sloe berriers, spearmint, spike lavender, tamarind, tangerine, tarragon, tea (Thea sinensis L.), thyme, tuberose, turmeric, vanilla, violet (flowers, leaves), wild cherry bark, ylang-ylang and zedoary bark.

Suitable synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21 of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Part 180.60, which is hereby incorporated by reference. These GRAS materials may be present in the compositions in amounts of up to about 1% by weight, or in amounts of 0.01 and 0.5% by weight.

Suitable synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants that are generally recognized as safe for their intended use, include acetaldehyde (ethanal), acetoin (acetyl methylcarbinol), anethole (parapropenyl anisole), benzaldehyde (benzoic aldehyde), n-Butyric acid (butanoic acid), d- or 1-carvone (carvol), cinnamaldehyde (cinnamic aldehyde), citral (2,6-dimethyloctadien-2,6-al-8, gera-nial, neral), decanal (N-decylaldehyde, capraldehyde, capric aldehyde, caprinaldehyde, aldehyde C-10), ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, 3-Methyl-3-phenyl glycidic acid ethyl ester (ethyl-methyl-phenyl-glycidate, so-called strawberry aldehyde, C-16 aldehyde), ethyl vanillin, geraniol (3,7-dimethyl-2,6 and 3,6-octadien-1-ol), geranyl acetate (geraniol acetate), limonene (d-, 1-, and dl-), linalool (linalol, 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol), linalyl acetate (bergamol), methyl anthranilate (methyl-2-aminobenzoate), piperonal (3,4-methylenedioxy-benzaldehyde, heliotropin) and vanillin.

Suitable GRAS substances that may be present in the inventive compositions that have been identified as possibly migrating to food from cotton, cotton textiles, paper and paperboard materials used in dry food packaging materials are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21 of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Parts 180.70 and 180.90, which are hereby incorporated by reference. The GRAS materials may be present in the compositions either by addition or incidentally owing to migration from the substrates to the compositions employed in the invention, or present owing to both mechanisms. If present, the GRAS materials may be present in the compositions in amounts of up to about 1% by weight.

Suitable GRAS materials that are suitable for use in the invention, identified as originating from either cotton or cotton textile materials used as substrates in the invention, include beef tallow, carboxymethylcellulose, coconut oil (refined), cornstarch, gelatin, lard, lard oil, oleic acid, peanut oil, potato starch, sodium acetate, sodium chloride, sodium silicate, sodium tripolyphosphate, soybean oil (hydrogenated), talc, tallow (hydrogenated), tallow flakes, tapioca starch, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, wheat starch and zinc chloride.

Suitable GRAS materials that are suitable for use in the invention, identified as originating from either paper or paperboard stock materials used as substrates in the invention, include alum (double sulfate of aluminum and ammonium potassium, or sodium), aluminum hydroxide, aluminum oleate, aluminum palmitate, casein, cellulose acetate, cornstarch, diatomaceous earth filler, ethyl cellulose, ethyl vanillin, glycerin, oleic acid, potassium sorbate, silicon dioxides, sodium aluminate, sodium chloride, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium hydrosulfite, sodium phosphoaluminate, sodium silicate, sodium sorbate, sodium tripolyphosphate, sorbitol, soy protein (isolated), starch (acid modified, pregelatinized and unmodified), talc, vanillin, zinc hydrosulfite and zinc sulfate.

Fragrance

Compositions of the present invention may comprise from about 0.01% to about 50% by weight of the fragrance oil. Compositions of the present invention may comprise from about 0.2% to about 25% by weight of the fragrance oil. Compositions of the present invention may comprise from about 1% to about 25% by weight of the fragrance oil.

Water

When the composition is an aqueous composition, water can be, along with the solvent, a predominant ingredient. Where the cleaning device is wet, water may be present at a level of less than 99.9%, or less than about 99%, or less than about 98%. Where the cleaning composition is concentrated, the water may be present in the composition at a concentration of less than about 85 wt. %. The water may be deionized water.

Cleaning Device Attachment to Cleaning Implement

The cleaning device can be used with the hand, or optionally as part of a cleaning implement attached to a tool or motorized tool, such as one having a handle. The cleaning device may be optionally attached to a cleaning implement having a cleaning head with an attachment means. The attachment means may also be an integral part of the handle of the cleaning implement or may be removably attached to the end of the handle. The cleaning device may be attached by a friction fit means, by a clamping means, by a threaded screw means, by hook and loop attachment or by any other suitable attachment means. The cleaning device may have a rigid or flexible plastic or metal fitment for attachment to the cleaning implement or the cleaning device may be directly attached to the cleaning implement.

In an embodiment of the invention, the cleaning implement comprises the tool assembly disclosed in Co-pending application Ser. No. 10/678,033, entitled “Cleaning Tool with Gripping Assembly for a Disposable Scrubbing Head”, filed Sep. 30, 2003. In another embodiment of the invention, the cleaning implement comprises the tool assembly disclosed in Co-pending application Ser. No. 10/602,478, entitled “Cleaning Tool with Gripping Assembly for a Disposable Scrubbing Head”, filed Jun. 23, 2003. In another embodiment of the invention, the cleaning implement comprises the tool assembly disclosed in Co-pending application Ser. No. 10/766,179, entitled “Interchangeable Tool Heads”, filed Jan. 27, 2004. In another embodiment of the invention, the cleaning implement comprises an elongated shaft having a handle portion on one end thereof. The tool assembly further includes a gripping mechanism that is mounted to the shaft to engage the removable cleaning device. Examples of suitable cleaning implements are found in U.S. 2003/0070246 to Cavalheiro; U.S. Pat. No. 4,455,705 to Graham; U.S. Pat. No. 5,003,659 to Paepke; U.S. Pat. No. 6,485,212 to Bomgaars et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,290,781 to Brouillet, Jr.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,862,565 to Lundstedt; U.S. Pat. No. 5,419,015 to Garcia; U.S. Pat. No. 5,140,717 to Castagliola; U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,986 to Seals; U.S. 2002/0007527 to Hart; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,094,771 to Egolf et al. Other suitable examples of tools using a cleaning substrate include U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,986 to Seals, WO00/71012 to Belt et al., U.S. Pat. App. 2002/0129835 to Pieroni and Foley, and WO00/27271 to Policicchio et al. The cleaning implement may have a hook, hole, magnetic means, canister or other means to allow the cleaning implement to be conveniently stored when not in use. To ergonomically reach certain cleaning areas, the cleaning implement may be greater than 12 inches long and shorter than 36 inches long.

Package

The packaging for the cleaning devices can be from 5-10 inches in width and less than 10.5 inches in height. Suitable packaging includes an individual or multiple (containing several up to 10 devices) flexible pouch, such as one based on polyethylene. The cleaning devices can be individually wrapped within the flexible pouch. The pouch can be laminated, for instance with polyethylene terephthalate. The pouch can include a zipper or slider to allow the consumer easy access to the cleaning devices. Suitable packaging includes a thermoformed clamshell, for example out of polypropylene with a cardboard sleeve. Suitable packaging includes a tub with a lid, for example from thermoformed or injection molded polyethylene.

Kit

The invention can be a kit including the inventive device. The kit can include the device and directions for use including indicia indicating that the device is designed to cover a specific hand area or group of hand areas, such as, the hand area selected from the group consisting of four fingers only, four fingers and a thumb and only part of the palm of a hand, four fingers and part of the palm of a hand only and combinations thereof. The indicia can indicate that the device covers all or part of the fingers and/or thumb of the hand. The indicia can indicate that the device can cover parts or all of a single or multiple fingers and a thumb. The indicia can indicate that the device can cover parts of two or more fingers. The indicia can indicate that the device can cover the thumb and parts of one or more fingers. The indicia can indicate that the device does not cover the carpals area of the hand, corresponding to the palm. The kit can include an indication that the device, or parts of the device, are disposable. This indication can be in the form of instructions including a statement that the treatment device is disposable, a statement that the treatment device is not intended to be reused, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a single use, a statement that the treatment device should be discarded after a limited number of uses, and combinations thereof. The kit can additionally contain instructions for treating a human surface, an animal surface, a hard surface, a soft textile surface, and other surfaces. The kit can contain indicia that the device can be used in a dry manner for treating surfaces. The kit can contain indicia that the device can be used in a wet manner, for instance already wet or prewetted, for treating surfaces.

Method of Use

The cleaning device can be used for dusting, cleaning, disinfectancy, or sanitization on inanimate, household surfaces, including floors, counter tops, furniture, windows, walls, and automobiles. Other surfaces include stainless steel, chrome, and shower enclosures. The cleaning device can also be used for treating, cleaning, moisturizing, or sanitizating animate surfaces, for example, on human or animal surfaces.

EXAMPLES

In one embodiment, the cleaning device may be a laminate comprising a hydrophobic exterior scrubbing layer, a hydrophilic interior layer, and an optional additional exterior layer on the other side of the device. The additional exterior layer may be identical to the exterior scrubbing layer or it may be different, for example an attachment layer. The device may contain an interior cavity formed by joining two laminate layers or the interior cavity may be formed between layers of the laminate. The device may have a basis weight greater than about 200 gsm, or greater than 250 gsm, or greater than 300 gsm, or greater that 400 gsm. The device may have a bulk density less than 0.15 g/cc, or less than 0.10 g/cc, or less than 0.08 g/cc.

In one embodiment, the hydrophobic exterior scrubbing layer may be composed of 100% hydrophobic thermoplastic fibers, or may have minor amounts of other fibers. An example of the exterior scrubbing layer is given in Table I.

TABLE I
Basis weight 100 gsm
Fiber type Polypropylene
Fiber size 3.12 denier
Process Carded and needled
MD tensile and elongation 7655 g/in and 130%
CD tensile and elongation 3250 g/in and 150%
Supplier Texel - Buff 0100

In one embodiment, the hydrophilic interior layer may be entirely spunbond thermoplastic, for example polypropylene. An example of the hydrophilic interior layer and the properties is given in Table II.

TABLE II
Basis weight 250 gsm
Fiber type Polypropylene
Fiber size 2.5 denier
Process Composite of 1 termal bonded layer and 3
spunbonded layers ultrasonically bonded
MD tensile >25,000 g/in
CD tensile and elongation 13836 g/in and 106%
Supplier BBA Nonwovens - 30062

In one embodiment, the attachment layer may be comprised of a variety of fiber types, for example, polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, bicomponent, or multicomponent fibers. The attachment layer may be formed from a variety of processes, for example, carded and thermal bond, carded and spray bond, needling, or a combination of these and other processes. The attachment layer may be comprised of fibers of a variety of thicknesses, including fibers of 2 denier or greater, or fibers of 3 denier or greater, or fibers of 5 denier or greater, or fibers of 12 denier or greater. The attachment layer may be comprised of fibers of different thickness, for example, fibers of less than 2 denier and 3 denier or greater, fibers of less than 2 denier and 6 denier or greater, fibers of about 3 denier and fibers of about 6 denier or greater, fibers of about 3 denier and fibers of about 12 denier or greater. The attachment layer may have a thickness (Twing Albert) of about 0.20 inches, of about 0.25 inches, of about 0.30 inches, or of about 0.35 inches or higher. The attachment layer may have a basis weight of greater than 90 gsm, or greater than 100 gsm, or greater than 110 gsm, or greater than 120 gsm, or greater than 130 gsm, or greater than 140 gsm. The attachment layer may have a basis weight of between 90 and 150 gsm, or between 90 and 140 gsm, or between 90 and 130 gsm, or between 90 and 120 gsm, or between 100 and 150 gsm, or between 100 and 140 gsm, or between 100 and 130 gsm, or between 100 and 120 gsm, or between 110 and 150 gsm, or between 110 and 140 gsm, or between 110 and 130 gsm, or between 110 and 120 gsm, or between 120 and 150 gsm, or between 120 and 140 gsm, or between 120 and 130 gsm. Examples of suitable attachment layers are given in Table III.

TABLE III
Basis Fiber
weight, thickness,
Supplier/Grade gsm Process Thickness, in denier
PGI/FB185 142 Carded, thermal 0.266 3 and 12
bonded PE/PET
bicomponent
Carlee/P3.60 122 Carded, thermal 0.327 3 and 6 
bonded PET
Fybon/ 119 Carded, cross lap 0.214 15
thermal bond PE
and PET
Union 102 Carded, thermal 0.267 3 and 12
Wadding/ bonded with
3613688 needling PET
Filtration 112 Carded with spray 0.291 3 and 12
Group/VL- bond PET
WT3.3
Filtration 136 Carded with spray 0.380 6 and 12
Group/VL-04 bond PET

In one example, a substrate (Example AA) was prepared by glue lamination of three nonwoven-layers. The surface scrubbing layer was formed from needle punched polypropylene (25%-18 denier, 30% 1.5 denier, 45% 3 denier) with a singe finish and reinforced with spunbond 10 gsm polypropylene. The total basis weight of the surface scrubbing layer was 100 gsm. The middle reservoir layer consisted of a 4 layer ultrasonically bonded structure (top and bottom layers—polyester (6, 9 denier), carded web forming with chemical bonding, 78 gsm; middle two layers—polypropylene (2 denier), spunbond, 75 gsm). The total basis weight of the middle reservoir layer was 313 gsm. The bottom layer consisted of bicomponent fiber (polyethylene/polyester (3,6 denier)) made by carded web forming, through air bonded. The total basis weight of the bottom layer was 146 gsm. The cleaning device can be formed by laminating two substrate layers together or may form an interior cavity between any substrate layers. The cleaning device can be directly attached to a cleaning implement or attached first to a fitment and then to a cleaning implement. The substrate was tested for capacity to hold the cleaning composition and the results are given in Table IV.

TABLE IV
substrate wt grams Cleaner wt Capacity
Example AA 4.36 18.33 420%

TABLE VIII
Basis
Weight Process and Description
Scrim layer 100 gsm Carded and needled, Polypropylene 3.12 denier
Absorbent 520 gsm Composite of 2 termal bonded layers and 8
layer spunbonded layers, Polypropylene 2.5 denier
Pad A 640 gsm 3 Layer Composite structure adhesively
laminated together with PP scrubby layer, 520
gsm PP absorbent composite structure, and 120
gsm air-laid/rando PET with binder
Pad B 640 gsm 3 Layer Composite structure adhesively
laminated together with PP scrubby layer, 520
gsm PP absorbent composite structure, and 120
gsm carded with thermal bond bicomponent

Examples of suitable cleaning compositions are provided in Tables V and VI. The cleaning compositions can be loaded on the cleaning substrate in a ratio of from 0.2 to 3.0 of cleaning composition to cleaning substrate. The cleaning compositions can be loaded on the cleaning substrate in a ratio of from 1.0 to 2.0 of cleaning composition to cleaning substrate. The pH of the cleaning compostion can be measured by adding 5 g of the composition to 100 g of water.

TABLE V
Example A Example B Example C Example D Example E
Alkyl 2.0 5.5 13.8 10.2
polyglycosidea
Alcohol 1.5 9.7
ethoxylateb
Sodium 0.5 2.6
dodecyl
diphenyloxide
disulfonatec
Sodium lauryl 4.5 1.3 2.6 2.5
sulfated
Glycolic acid 2.1 6.1 8.1
Citric acid 1.5
Lactic acid 4.0
Sulfamic acid 1.0
Isopropanol 0.5
Dipropylene 2.0
glycol n-butyl
ethere
d-limonene 0.5
Blue Dye 0.006 0.006
Fragrance 1.5 0.5 1.00
Water balance balance balance balance balance
pH 2.2

aAPG 325N from Cognis

bAlfonic 1012-5 from Vista Chemical

cDowfax 2A1 from Dow Chemical

dStepanol WAC from Stepan Chemical

eDowanol DPnB from Dow Chemical

TABLE VI
Example F Example G Example H Example I Example J
Alkyl 6.3 13.0 10.0 10.0 5.0
polyglycoside
Alcohol ethoxylate 2.0 2.0
Sodium 28.0 2.0
secondary alkane
sulfonatef
Sodium 5.0
sulfosuccinateg
Sodium lauryl 3.0 3.0 3.0
sulfate
Alkanolamideh 4.0
Citric acid 4.0 50.0 1.0 5.0
Sulfamic acid 4.0
Hydrogen 2.0
peroxide
Sodium 25.0
bicarbonate
Hydrophilic 1.0
polymeri
Nanoparticlej 4.0
Fragrance Preservative 0.2 1.0 1.0 0.5
2-Benzyl-4- 1.0
chlorophenolk
Thickenerl 0.5
Cyclodextrinm 3.0
Water balance
pH 2.2

fHostapur SAS from Clariant

gGerapon SDS from Rhodia

hNinol 11 CM from Stepan Chemical

iAlco from Alco Chemical

jLaponite B from Southern Clay Producs

kNipacide BCP 50 from Clariant

lKelsan S from Kelco

mCavasol from Wacher

Without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention, one of ordinary skill can make various changes and modifications to the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions. As such, these changes and modifications are properly, equitably, and intended to be, within the full range of equivalence of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7725979 *Mar 13, 2006Jun 1, 2010Melanie HeldBaby-wipe mitt
US8632799Nov 19, 2010Jan 21, 2014Little Busy Bodies, LlcSaline nose wipe and methods of manufacture and use
DE202005018742U1 *Nov 29, 2005Apr 12, 2007Beringer ElisabethVorrichtung zur Reinigung von Oberflächen
WO2009023192A1 *Aug 11, 2008Feb 19, 2009Little Busy Bodies IncSaline nose wipe and methods of manufacture and use
WO2009055254A2 *Oct 10, 2008Apr 30, 2009Illinois Tool WorksAqueous fiber optic cleaner
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/104.94, 15/227
International ClassificationA47L13/17, A47L13/20, A47L13/19
Cooperative ClassificationA47L13/19, A47L13/20
European ClassificationA47L13/19, A47L13/20