Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3414928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1968
Filing dateOct 22, 1965
Priority dateOct 22, 1965
Publication numberUS 3414928 A, US 3414928A, US-A-3414928, US3414928 A, US3414928A
InventorsLemelson Jerome H
Original AssigneeJerome H. Lemelson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination sponge and scourer
US 3414928 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 10, 1968 J. H. LEMELSON 3,414,928

COMBINATION SPONGE AND SCOURER Filed Oct. 22, 1965 INVENTOR. gROMl-I H.LEMELSON United States Patent 3,414,928 COMBINATION SPONGE AND SCOURER Jerome H. Lemelson, 85 Rector St., Metuchen, NJ. 08840 Continuation-impart of applications Ser. No. 249,921, Jan. 7, 1963, and Ser. No. 257,319, Feb. 8, 1963, This application Oct. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 501,394 4 Claims. (Cl. 15-118) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cleaning and scouring device is provided which is made of a plurality of materials including a cellular expanded plastic base capable of retaining cleaning liquid, an unexpanded plastic material secured to a portion of the surface of said base and a plurality of scouring elements secured to and supported by said unexpanded plastic material.

This invention relates to cleaning implements made of cellular plastic and is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 257,319 filed on Feb. 8, 1963, for Combinational Sponge and Scouring Device now U.S. Patent 3, 226,751 and having as a parent application Ser. No. 555,146 filed on Dec. 23, 1955, for Panel Construction, now abandoned. The instant application is also a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 249,921 filed J an. 7, 1963 for Method and Automatic Apparatus for Producing Pile Surfaced Plastic Sheeting, now US. Patent 3,275,487.

In the function of cleaning utensils such as pots and pans or articles containing greases and the like, it is necessary to abrade or scour as well as rinse the surface of said articles in order to effect proper cleaning. The use of a sponge and water may absorb or wipe up some of the grease but the conventional soft and flexible sponge or pad made of flexible cellular plastic tends to spread a good deal of the adhered substances rather than remove it. It is often necessary to combine the absorbing action of the sponge with an abrading action by utilizing a scraper pad of steel wool or the like. However, the alternate use of two cleaning implements is time consuming and requires a considerable amount of additional effort and wasted movement in switching from one cleaning implement to the other.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the invention to provide a new and improved cleaning and scouring device capable of both scouring and rinsing or wet wiping a surface.

Another object is to provide a combination sponge cleaning device with a sheet or layer of flexible plastic laminated thereto which serves to both reinforce and protect the sponge portion, and support scouring elements thereon.

With the above and such other objects in view as may hereafter more fully appear, the invention consists of the novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts as will be more fully described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, but it is to be understood that changes, variations and modifications may be resorted to which fall within the scope of the invention as claimed.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side view in cross section of a portion of a combination sponge having curled scouring elements secured to a surface of a cellular base,

FIG. 2 is a side view in cross section of a portion of a combination sponge having scouring elements secured to a sheet or layer coating a surface of a cellular base, and

Patented Dec. 10, 1968 FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a combination sponge employing strips of scouring plastic welded to a sponge base.

In FIG. 1 is shown a portion of an improved cleaning implement 10 possessing both the characteristics of a sponge or cellular wiping element and those of an abrading material such as plastic or wire wool. The implement 10 comprises a soft and flexible cellular base portion 12 made of any suitable flexible expanded plastic such as plasticized vinyl, cellulose acetate or the like. The sponge portion 12 which comprises the major portion of the cleaning implement preferably contains a plurality of interconnected cells 13 of the same or different sizes capable of holding a quantity of cleaning fluid such as water to be dispensed against the surface to be cleaned by compression of the sponge.

By itself, the sponge material is incapable of cleaning many types of grime, grease and other forms of dirt due to its inability to scour or abrade said material. Accordingly, disposed within layer 16 and protruding from at least one surface 14 of the base member 12 are a multitude of scouring elements 18 which are shown as curled wire-like metal or plastic elements each of which is at least partially embedded within the cellular plastic layer 16 of the sponge base 12. Accordingly the walls of the cells of the layer 16 may serve to mechanically retain the filament elements 18 in place and normally prevent their removal when the surface of the cleaning implement is manually brought to bear against a surface to be cleaned or abraded thereby.

The cleaning implement 10 thus serves a number of important functions which would ordinarily require two cleaning implements such as the conventional cellular sponge and wire or plastic wool scouring pads. While the abrasive filaments 18 are brought. to bear and moved across the surface to be scoured thereby, the cellular plastic base member 12 is normally compressed to provide the necessary force to effect such scouring action and, accordingly, is forced to release a quantity of the cleaning liquid retained within the cells 13 thereof. Accordingly, sufficient cleaning liquid is provided during the scouring action to further dissolve and release partially scoured dirt and to wash it away from the surface engaged by the scouring elements 13. Thus, a new and improved cooperative cleaning action is effected.

The scouring elements 18 may be provided in a number of forms. In their simplest form, they may comprise a plurality of short straight mono-filaments or wires of plastic such as rigid vinyl, linear polyethylene or polypropylene. They may also comprise short, curled montofilaments or wires of metal. In another form, the layer defining the scouring elements 18 may comprise interconnected or loosely held curled or otherwise shaped strips or filaments of plastic of the type described or curled wires of non-rusting metal such as copper, stainless steel, etc. These elements may also extend deeper into the body of the cellular plastic base 12 or completely through and through said base.

In FIG. 2 is shown another structure in a cellular cleaning member 20 comprising a base 21 of cellular polymeric material as described above and having a layer 22 of flexible plastic material which may be the same or a different polymer than that of which the base 21 is made (i.e. base 21 may be expanded flexible vinyl or urethane and layer 22 non-expanded flexible vinyl or Layer 22 may be a coating applied by dipping or spraying or may comprise a sheet of plastic adhesive bounded or heat sealed to the surface of base 21.

Bonded, sealed, welded to or partially embedded within and fused to sheet or layer 22 are a multitude of plastic filaments 23 of the type described and having portions which project outwardly therefrom to provide multiple scouring surfaces operative as described.

In FIG. 3 is shown yet another structure in a cleaning and wiping assembly 30, including a flexible cellular base 31 having welded thereto a plurality of flexible strips or filaments 33 of plastic such as rigid vinyl, polyester or the like having sharp edging 33 operative to abrade grease and dirt. Base 31 may be made of expanded flexible cellular plastic as described having line, spot or band portions 32 thereof compressed together by heat sealing or ultrasonic sealing dies operable to collapse the cells where so compressed and forming less porous or nonporous portions 34 of the member 31 against which the plastic filaments 33 are welded to permit same to reinforce the cellular base and to perform scouring actions as described. Elements 33 may be randomly distributed as the described short curled filaments or may comprise elongated strips of plastic extending across a substantial portion of the surface 31' of 31 and bonded or welded thereto at several separate locations. The strips or filaments 33 may extend in an orderly array such as parallel to each other or matrix thereof across a portion of the surface of the sponge base 31 and welded thereto at intervals while non-welded portions 33" between the weld lines or points protrude from the surface 31' of base 31 and serve as abrading or scouring means.

The articles illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 may be produced by various methods. For example, the cellular base 12 may be made of thermoplastic polymeric material such as an expanded vinyl chloride which is capable of being electronically heat sealed. The scouring elements 18 may be straight and/or monofilament elements of round or angular sharp-edged cross section made of extruded or strip-cut rigid vinyl or other suitable material. If both cellular member 12 and elements 18 are polyvinyl chloride or the like, the two may be electronically heat sealed together by electrically energizing with radio frequency energy and applying an electronic heat sealing die such as a waflle or grid arrangement of die elements or portions, which, when compressed against a layer of said filaments provided in a loose or interconnected array is operative to cross portions of substantially all filaments, and cooperate with a backing die disposed against the opposite face of the cellular base, heat sealing of the filaments to the walls of the foamed plastic cells will occur. Other flexible cellular and more rigid filamental plastic materials which are not electronically heat scalable but may be ultrasonically welded or welded together with heated dies include such polymers as rigid and flexible formulations of polyamides, urethanes, polyethylenes, polypropylenes, silicone rubbers and the like. Dies for sealing such cellular and scouring elements made of such polymers may be preheated by other means prior to compression thereagainst. Such dies may be rotary in operation to continuously seal the cellular plastic sheet which is driven between the two drums at least one of which contains die elements on its surface for the continuous formation and welding assembly of such an article. A flat platen and cooperating die may also be employed between which the cellular plastic and filaments may be disposed and compressed for welding the two together by heat or ultrasonic welding means.

In another method, the filament elements may be disposed or compressed against a molten layer of plastic which is expanding or expands into the cellular plastic thereafter and encapsulates at least portions of each element in a plurality of the cell walls upon expansion and solidification. Or the elements may be premixed with the plastic prior to blowing or expansion thereof to become part of the entire sponge member or a layer thereof which is poured or sprayed into another formation of cellular plastic such as that portion of 12 not including layer 16.

In a further method a surface layer of a thermoplastic cellular sponge may be rendered molten by heat by passage thereof adjacent radiant heating means or against a heated surface after which and before said surface layer solidifies to encapsulate portions of said filament elements. In still another method, a plastic mesh of scouring filaments may be disposed against the expanded or expanding cellular member 12 and compressed whereby at least a portion of the filaments or mesh is embedded in the molten surface layer to become encapsulated therein when it solidifies. In yet another method, molten thermoplastic may be applied as a layer to a surface of a sheet of cellular plastic material, scouring filament elements applied to the molten plastic and the molten layer thereafter blown or otherwise expanded into a unitary cellular layer on the base which retains the filament elements or may solidify thereon and in the cell volumes without expanding to bond thereto and retain the filament elements against and protruding outwardly from the cellular plastic to be useful as scouring means.

I claim:

1. A cleaning and scouring device comprising in combination:

(a) a flexible expanded cellular plastic body defining a substrate capable of retaining liquid within itself and releasing liquid from its surface,

(b) an unexpanded plastic material covering a surface of said substrate and integrally bonded thereto, and

(c) a plurality of plastic scouring filaments extending across a first portion of said device and having portions thereof integrally bonded to said unexpanded plastic material by fusion within said unexpanded plastic material supported by said plastic body and portions projecting outwardly therefrom.

2. A cleaning and scouring device in accordance with claim 1 in which said unexpanded plastic material comprises a layer of flexible plastic disposed against a portion of the surface of said cellular plastic body and integrally bonded thereto, portions of said filaments being retentively embedded in said layer of flexible material and having portions protruding outwardly therefrom to define a plurality of abrading surfaces capable of abrasion cleaning the surfaces of articles cleaned by said device.

3. A cleansing and scouring device in accordance with claim 2 wherein said plastic filaments comprise short, thin formations of rigid plastic, portions of each of which are retentively embedded with said layer of flexible, nonporous plastic material.

4. A cleaning and scouring device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said unexpanded plastic material comprises a flexible polymer coating the surface of said cellular plastic body.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,816,108 7/1931 Blumenfeld 15244 2,107,636 2/1938 Kingman 15244.1 X 2,232,389 2/1941 Jurkat 15244.1 X 2,220,140 11/1940 Bartling et al. 51303 2,268,403 12/1941 Kingman 51-303 1,939,846 12/1933 Fenton 117-16 2,804,728 5/ 1957 Polizter et a1. 2,885,703 5/1959 Elliott 15-118 3,040,353 6/1962 Gray 15-118 3,073,716 1/1963 Gilchrist 15244 X 3,005,219 10/1961 Miller 151 18 XR 3,350,735 11/1967 Pratt 15104.94

FOREIGN PATENTS 899,017 6/1962 Great Britain.

909,486 10/1962 Great Britain.

951,450 3/1964 Great Britain.

526,921 3/1954 Belgium.

DANIEL BLUM, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. XR. 15209, 244; 1l733; 16164; 5l295, 407

Dedication 3,414,928.Jer0me H. Lemelson, Metuchen, NJ. COMBINATION SPONGE AND SCANNER. Patent dated Dec. 10, 1968. Dedication filed June 11, 1981, by the assignee, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. Hereby dedicates the remaining term of said patent to the Public.

[Official Gazette October 20, 1981.]

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1816108 *Jul 17, 1930Jul 28, 1931Blumenfeld Mose ERubber sponge
US1939846 *Jul 14, 1930Dec 19, 1933Goodrich Co B FArtificial turf and method of making the same
US2107636 *Jul 20, 1935Feb 8, 1938Metal Textile CorpCleanser device
US2220140 *Mar 15, 1933Nov 5, 1940Minnesota Mining & MfgAbrasive sheet material
US2232389 *Aug 7, 1939Feb 18, 1941Jurkat GerhardComposition and method of producing same
US2268403 *Sep 9, 1941Dec 30, 1941Kingman Russell BAbsorbent scouring and polishing body
US2804728 *Nov 18, 1954Sep 3, 1957Alfred PolitzerAbrasive article
US2885703 *Apr 29, 1954May 12, 1959William E KelseyReinforced sponge cleaning device
US3005219 *May 26, 1959Oct 24, 1961Butcher Polish CompanyScrubber
US3040353 *Sep 17, 1958Jun 26, 1962Harry Z GrayComposite cleaning article and method of manufacturing same
US3073716 *Nov 8, 1957Jan 15, 1963Truly Magic Products IncMethod of making a cleaning pad
US3350735 *Jul 19, 1965Nov 7, 1967Purex Corp LtdScouring pad
BE526921A * Title not available
GB899017A * Title not available
GB909486A * Title not available
GB951450A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3634901 *Feb 26, 1970Jan 18, 1972Landsberg Fred LCombination sponge and scouring device and method of making the same
US3924286 *Jan 24, 1974Dec 9, 1975Minnesota Mining & MfgCleaning brush
US3973059 *Aug 16, 1974Aug 3, 1976Brunswick CorporationMethod of making metal flocked fabric
US4004376 *Dec 30, 1974Jan 25, 1977Monsanto CompanyKitchen ware cleaning device
US4421526 *Oct 30, 1978Dec 20, 1983Sherwood Research And Development PartnershipPolyurethane foam cleaning pads and a process for their manufacture
US4569861 *Jun 18, 1984Feb 11, 1986Creative Products Resource Associates, Ltd.Composite foam-textile cleaning pad
US4581287 *Aug 9, 1985Apr 8, 1986Creative Products Resource Associates, Ltd.Composite reticulated foam-textile cleaning pad
US4717611 *Dec 17, 1986Jan 5, 1988Air Products And Chemicals, Inc.Void-free molded polyurethane articles with surface attachment strips
US5134746 *Dec 11, 1989Aug 4, 1992Steven WilliamCleaning material
US5535975 *Sep 23, 1993Jul 16, 1996Scott; Walter B.Cushion for removable attachment to rigid, planar supports
US5609431 *Aug 31, 1994Mar 11, 1997Innovative Cleaning Concepts, Inc.Cleaning material with material supply
US6004363 *Feb 25, 1998Dec 21, 1999Wilshire Technologies, Inc.Abrasive article and method for making the same
US6026534 *Sep 22, 1997Feb 22, 2000Lever Brothers CompanyBathing ball
US6085380 *Sep 22, 1997Jul 11, 2000Lever Brothers Company, Division Of Conopco, Inc.Bathing implement constructed of looped filaments
US6233771 *Jan 17, 1997May 22, 2001The Procter & Gamble CompanyStain removal device
US6349443Aug 9, 2000Feb 26, 2002Playtex Products, Inc.Bottle/nipple cleaning device
US6491998 *Nov 21, 1997Dec 10, 2002Pathol LimitedWet cleaning cloth
US6877181 *Dec 30, 2003Apr 12, 2005Freudenberg Household Products LpBroom with scuff remover
US7203988Apr 11, 2005Apr 17, 2007Freudenberg Household Products LpBroom with scuff remover
US7524778Nov 8, 2004Apr 28, 2009Henkel CorporationComposite sheet material
US7861358Aug 9, 2007Jan 4, 2011Chadd MoserHand towel with attached scrubber
US8732887 *Dec 8, 2010May 27, 2014Conopco, Inc.Personal care implement with low active cleansing composition
US20040148720 *Dec 30, 2003Aug 5, 2004Freudenberg Household Products LpBroom with scuff remover
US20060048320 *Apr 11, 2005Mar 9, 2006Freudenberg Household Products LpBroom with scuff remover
US20070212985 *Mar 7, 2007Sep 13, 2007Boler Lewyn B JrWet sanding sponge; system and method for storing and using same
US20080263799 *Aug 9, 2007Oct 30, 2008Chadd MoserHand towel with attached scrubber
US20080286596 *May 15, 2007Nov 20, 2008Global Materials Technology, Inc.Metal fabric based multiple ply laminated structure
US20120145171 *Jun 14, 2012Conopco, Inc., D/B/A UnileverPersonal care implement with low active cleansing composition
US20150196184 *Jan 14, 2014Jul 16, 2015Dylan F. MuiseMulti-purpose cleaning device
WO1999015062A1Sep 21, 1998Apr 1, 1999Unilever NvBathing ball
WO1999015063A1Sep 21, 1998Apr 1, 1999Unilever NvBathing implement
WO2004062819A2 *Dec 30, 2003Jul 29, 2004Christopher J LauxBroom with scuff remover
WO2012076290A1Nov 14, 2011Jun 14, 2012Hindustan Unilever LimitedPersonal care implement with low active cleansing composition
U.S. Classification15/118, 15/229.12, 428/100, 428/309.9, 451/539, 15/229.11, 51/295, 15/244.1
International ClassificationA47L17/00, A47L17/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47L17/08
European ClassificationA47L17/08
Legal Events
Nov 15, 1983PSPatent suit(s) filed
Jun 11, 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19810527
Jun 11, 1981AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19810527