US 3548439 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 22, 1970 c. G, BERs-r 3,548,439
FOOT SOAPING AND SCRUBBING DEVICE Filed may 31, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 CLINTON a. amsr INVENTOR 14 TTORNEVS- Dec. 22, 1970 BERST 3,548,439
FOOT SOAPING AND SGRUBBING DEVICE Filed May 31, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 i 16- /6 7L B2//6 CLINTON G. 65195 T lNl/ENTOA A TTORNEVS United States Patent 3,548,439 FOOT SOAPING AND SCRUBBlN-G DEVICE Clinton G. Berst, 216 San Pablo, Fresno, Calif. 93727 Filed May 31, 1968, Ser. No. 733,608 Int. Cl. A47k 7/00 U.S. Cl. -104.92 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for cleaning feet including a receptacle, an archlike structure in the receptacle having inwardly facing walls with scrubbing projections or bristles extended inwardly therefrom and adapted to receive the front digital and instep portions of the foot for cleaning the same in response to movement of the foot, an external rib of outwardly projecting bristles on the structure for cleaning between the digits, a Ushaped heel receiving structure for similarly cleaning the heel portion of the foot, an interconnecting sole cleaning structure and a soap dispensing mechanism for delivering soap to the scrubbing and cleaning structures.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to foot baths and more particularly to a foot cleaning device especially useful to persons who are nonambulatory or physically incapacitated because of age, infirmity or other ailment. Such persons find it very diflicult, or even dangerous, to stand or bend over during bathing. A device with which the feet can be cleaned while the user is in a relaxed sitting position, thereby obviating the need of the user to stand or bend over, would be highly desirable. Such a device would also be beneficial where it operates to stimulate circulation of the blood and minimizes foot ailments. It is also desirable that the device be utilized by the physically able with the user in a standing position or sitting position.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a device for cleaning the feet of a user of the device while in a sitting position and which does not require that the user bend over during the cleaning operation.
Another object is to provide a foot cleaning device by which the cleaning operation is performed with little effort and while the user is disposed in a relatively comfortable and relaxed position.
Another object is to provide a foot cleaning device which minimizes foot ailments by stimulating the circulation of the blood therein.
Another object is to provide a foot cleaning device which is operative to clean the foot in response to slight movement thereof, such movement providing a gentle exercise for the foot and the limb of which it forms a part.
Another object is to provide a foot cleaning device which is operable while the user thereof is in a comfortable and relaxed sitting position and has a mechanism for dispensing cleaning materials operable by the foot of the user while in the aforesaid sitting position without the necessity of the user bending over.
Another object is to provide a foot cleaning device which is of simple and economical construction and operates in a facile and reliable manner.
These and other objects and advantages are achieved by a foot cleaning device which includes a receptacle containing an archlike structure of sufiicient transverse and longitudinal extent to receive the digital and instep portions of the foot. The structure has inwardly facing 3,548,439 Patented Dec. 22, 1970 ICC walls equipped with inwardly directed projections, such as flexible scrubbing fingers or bristles, and an external rib of outwardly directed bristles. Additionally, the device includes an elongated U-shaped heel receiving structure with upstanding sides, the inner walls of which are also provided with scrubbing fingers or bristles. A layer of upstanding bristles constitutes a floor for the structures for effecting a cleaning of the heel and sole in response to movement of the foot within the U-shaped structure. The bristles can be of a liquid impermeable resilient material of suitable flexibility and resiliency, for example, rubber, nylon or other plastic materials which are commercially available. A container and ducts or lines for delivering liquid soap are associated with the receptacle for delivering the soap to the floor and within the foot receiving structures, the container being provided with a control mechanism actuated by the foot of the user of the cleaning device.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a foot cleaning device embodying the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the device.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal vertical section of the device taken on line 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a transverse vertical section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a transvere vertical section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view showin an enlarged vertical section of the soap dispensing control mechanism.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a foot cleaning device embodying the principles of the present invention and designated generally by reference numeral 10. The device includes a receptacle 12 having a floor or base 14, upstanding side walls 16 and an end wall 18. Mounted on the base 14 adacent to the end wall 18, and midway of the sidewallls 16, is a U-shaped heel receiving structure or member 20 with upstanding sides 22 which constitute the legs of the member and extend away from the end wall, as shown in FIG. 2, The U-shaped member 20 opens toward an archlike structure 24 generally aligned therewith longitudinally and adapted to receive the digital and instep portions of a users foot F, as shown in FIG. 3. The member and the structure are located centrally of the receptacle which is of sufiicient transverse extent to provide space at the sides for resting the other foot of the user. Beyond the structure 24 is a container or tank 26 for holding liquid soap or other cleaning material which is introduced into the container through a suitable opening closed by a plug 28'. The liquid soap is dispensed from the container 26 by reciprocation of a pump designated generally by reference numeral 30 and later described in greater detail.
The interior walls of the member 20 are provided with inwardly directed scrubbing projections or bristles 32 which serve to scrub and clean the sides and back of the heel portion of the foot F. The interior walls of the structure 24 are similarly provided with inwardly directed scrubbing projections or bristles 34 and the structure is preferably tapered to receive and encompass the digital and instep portions of the users foot for cleaning. the same. A layer of upstanding scrubbing projections or bristles 36 provides a floor within the structure 24 and the member 20 for cleaning the sole portion of the foot. Additionally, for scrubbing the sides and sole of the foot and cleaning between the toes thereof, the structure 24, at its end which is proximal to the member 20, supports a partial collar or rib 38 of outwardly directed scrubbing projections or bristles 40.
The several scrubbing projections or bristles are preferably made of a liquid impermeable, resilient material of suitable flexibility and resiliency, for example, rubber, nylon or other plastic materials which are readily available on the commercial market.
Referring also to FIGS. 4 and 5, connected to the con tainer 26 is a system of lines or ducts 42 suitably branched and disposed so as to deliver liquid soap to the floor of bristles 36 and within the U-shaped member and archlike structure 24. The soap is delivered in streams or jets through one-way jet nozzles 44 connected to the duct system 42 and spaced therealong. The nozzles are made of suitable materials to preclude injury to the foot F.
Inviting attention to FIG. 6, the pump includes a hollow cylindrical member 46 of suitable flexible material defining a deformable chamber and urged to undeformed shape by an internal coil spring 48. The member 46 is secured to the floor 14 of the receptacle and the interior of the member is in communication with the duct system 42 by way of a conventional one-way valve 50 which discharges into the duct system. Another one-way valve 52 communicates the interior of the member 46 with the soap container 26 for admitting soap into the chamber. Thus, when the chamber is deformed by pressing on the member 46, liquid soap Within the chamber is forced through the valve 50 into the duct system, back pressure on the valve 52 causing it to remain closed during such action. However, when pressure 'is removed from the member the chamber returns to its undeformed configuration, during which the valve 50 remains closed but valve 52 opens and liquid soap is drawn from the container 26 into the cham ber. With repeated reciprocation of the pump 30, which can be easily accomplished by the limb of the user, the system of ducts becomes charged with liquid soap which is delivered to the floor 36 and within the U-shaped member 20 and archlike structure 24 through the one-way jet valves 44. The spring 48 may be dispensed by making the member 46 of a suitable material having qualities which inherently return the member to the undeformed shape thereof shown in FIG. 6.
The underside of the base 14 of the receptacle is preferably provided with suction cups 54- or the like for preventing slipping of the device on the floor of a room or shower, as the case may be. The receptacle is also provided with an apertured tab 56 by which the receptacle can be hung up to drain and dry after rinsing.
OPERATION The operation of the device of the present invention is believed to be clearly apparent and is briefly summarized at this point. The soap container 26 is charged with a liquid soap and the device 10 is suitably disposed to receive the foot F of the user. The pump 30 is reciprocated for the delivery of soap to the floor 36 and the interiors of the U-shaped member 20 and the archlike structure 24. The foot of the user is then inserted into the device, as shown in FIG. 3, and is moved about therewithin generally longitudinally so as to effect a scrubbing and cleaning of the digital and instep portions of the foot and the sole. This also effects a scrubbing and cleaning action on the portion of the heel. Cleaning of the heel may also be effected by disposing the same all the way back into the U-shaped member 20 and pivoting the heel about the ball of the foot. Cleaning between the toes or digits can be effected by working the bristles at the side edges of the archlike structure 24 therebetween. The same bristles can be used to scrub and clean the sides of the foot. Scrubbing and cleaning of the sole of the foot, especially in the area where the toes or digits are joined thereto, can also be accomplished by moving the foot sideways, and back and forth, while in engagement with the bristles 40 at the top of the rib 38. While one foot is being soaped and scrubbed, the other foot can be rested to one side of the member 20 and the structure 24. After soaping and scrubbing, the feet can be rinsed with a small amount of water which is received by the receptacle. Afterward, the device 10 is rinsed and hung up to drain and dry.
There has thus been provided a foot cleaning device of simple and economical construction which operates in a reliable and facile manner and is readily utilizable by a user disposed in a relaxed sitting position and is of particular benefit to the physically incapacitated in thatthe action thereof against the skin of the user stimulates the circulation of blood in the limb and the movement of the limb during scrubbing gently exercises the muscles of the limb.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departure may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A foot scrubbing device comprising an elongated base; a U-shaped heel receiving member on the base having a plurality of inwardly directed bristles; an archlike toe receiving member disposed on the base in longitudinally spaced relation to said heel receiving member having a plurality of inwardly directed bristles; a plurality of sole engaging bristles disposed on the base between said toe and heel receiving members with said bristles of the toe receiving member and the adjacent sole engaging bristles being adapted completely to surround the toes of a user and automatically simultaneously to extend therebetween for optimum cleansing action with a minimum of foot movement, said toe receiving member having a transversely arched wall longitudinally tapered forwardly away from said heel receiving member and downwardly toward the base with the bristles thereof substantially meeting the adjacent sole engaging bristles on the base to insure substantially full extension of the bristles between all of the toes of the user; a liquid reservoir on the base; liquid pumping means on the base connected to said reservoir; and a duct system connected to said pumping means having a plurality of discharge nozzles disposed within said toe and heel receiving members and among said sole engaging bristles on the base for supplying liquid thereto under pressure in substantially surrounding relation to the foot upon actuation of said pumping means.
2. A foot scrubbing device comprising an elongated substantially flat rectangular base having upstanding marginally disposed side and end walls defining a foot receiving receptacle on the base; a U-shaped heel receiving member on the base having a plurality of inwardly directed bristles of flexible material; an archlike toe receiving member disposed on the base in longitudinally spaced relation to said heel receiving member and having a transversely arched wall longitudinally tapered forwardly away from said heel receiving member and downwardly toward the base, said toe receiving member including a plurality of bristles of flexible material inwardly extended from said tapered wall toward the base; a plurality of sole engaging floor bristles of flexible material mounted on the base within and extending between said toe and heel receiving members with the floor bristles within said toe receiving member cooperating with the toe engaging bristles therein in substantially meeting relation forwardly to close the arching wall of the toe receiving member in completely surrounding relation to the toes of a user for automatic simultaneous extension between the toes of the user to provide optimum cleansing action with a minimum of foot movement; a liquid reservoir on the base forwardly adjacent to said toe receiving member; a pump having an inlet conduit connected to said reservoir and an outlet conduit; and a duct system connected to said outlet conduit of the pump and having a plurality of discharge nozzles disposed Within said toe and heel receiving members and among said floor bristles on the base for supplying liquid thereto under pressure in substantially surrounding relation to the foot of the user upon actuation of said pump.
3. The foot scrubbing device of claim 2 in which said floor bristles and said bristles of the toe and heel receiving members adjacent thereto are extended in oblique angular relation to each other, and certain of said liquid discharge nozzles are positioned to direct a spray of liquid obliquely to both of said adjacent sets of bristles.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Sperling l5-161 Holmes 151l2 Bartoszek 15161 Spickerman 5ll2 Baumbach 15-161X Shelton 15104.92 Misson 4-182 US. Cl. X.R.