US 3561456 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lllnited States Patent Charles Wayland Stuart, Jr. 926 Nottingham Road, Charlotte, NC.
 Inventor 28211 [21 Appl. No, 758,248  Filed Sept. 9, 1968  Patented Feb. 9, 1971  PURTABLE CLEANING DEVICE 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs. 52 u.s.c1 132/79 511 1m.c1 A45d40/00 so FieldofSearch 132/79,
Primary ExaminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-Gregory E. McNeill AttorneyParr0tt, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson ABSTRACT: A portable cleaning device adapted for use as an ablutionary device and including a generally flat, moisture impervious container having an access opening thereinto and separable sealing means normally closing the access opening to provide a moisture tight container but being separable to permit access into the interior of the container, a moisture absorbent washing member removably disposed within said container and adapted to contain therein a washing solution, and a drying member composed of a pair of layers of moisture absorbent material enclosing the container therebetween at one end and being of such length as to extend beyond the container to facilitate use as a drying medium, the drying member being secured to the container to maintain the container in position therebetween and to reinforce the edges of the container at opposite ends of the access opening.
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ATTORNEYS The present application relates'to a portable cleaning device and more particularly to such a device having both washing and drying media.
I As is well known, it is frequently desirable to clean particular portions of a persons body, such as the hands or face, when, due to the particular activity in which the person is involved, conventional sources of washing solution and drying media are not readily available. Examples of such situations come readily to mind, such as when traveling in automobiles or other means of transportation not having washrooms therein, when engaged in sporting activities such as golf, bowling, fishing and the like, and when picnicking.
Several portable cleaning devices have previously been suggested for use in these situations, but these prior cleaning are usually only adapted to a single use. Such prior cleaning devices comprise suitable absorbent members impregnated with chemical solutions which may be used to wipe the hands, face or the like to clean the same, and substantially universally rely upon evaporation or air drying of the chemical .washing solution. Many users find this highly undesirable due to the wet, sticky feeling which prevailson the portion being cleaned during this air drying and due to the inability to use the portion being cleaned during the time required forair drying of the washing solution. Of course, a separate drying medium could be employed, but, as stated above, such separate drying media are not usually available.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a portable cleaning device which obviates the problems and deficiencies heretofore encountered with prior portable cleaning devices by providing both washing and drying media whereby the portion to be cleaned may be washed and immediately thereafter dried.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable cleaning device of the character described which is readily usable for a multiplicity of times.
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a portable cleaning device according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an isometric view looking from the top of the portable cleaning device shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating one step in the use of the device; a
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 in FIG. 1', and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken substantially along line M in FIG. 1.
Referring more specifically to the drawing, there is shown a portable cleaning device generally-indicated at incorporating the features of the present invention. While cleaning device 10 has many uses, it is particularly adapted for use as an ablutionary device and shall be so described herein. However, it should be understood that this is exemplary only and is not limitative.
Cleaning device 10 includes a moisture impervious container 11 formed of a pair of superposed layers 12, 13 of moisture impervious material. Preferably, this moisture impervious material is any suitable plastic, such as polyethylene or polypropylene. Layers 12 and 13 are sealably secured together, as by heat sealing or suitable adhesive, around a predetermined portion of their periphery, but remain separated for the remainder of their periphery to define an access opening into container 11 As illustrated, layers 12, 13 are rectangular and are sealably secured together along three sides 14, 15 and 16 with the fourth side 17 thereof defining the access opening.
Separable sealing means 20 is carried by layers 12 and 13 adjacent the access opening for normally closing this access opening-but being separable to accessibly open the same. Sealing means 20 preferably comprises tongue means 21 carried by layer 12 and groove means 22 carried by layer 13 which cooperate when pressed together to sealably close the access opening into container 11 and when separated to open the same for access into the interior of container 11. To assist in separating tongue means 21 and groove means 22, the same are spaced inwardly of layers 12 and 13 from the adjacent edges thereof so that portions 12a, ll3a of the layers l2, l3 5 project outwardly therebeyond. These projecting portions 120, 13a may be readily grasped and pulled apart to separate the sealing means, which may be pressed together again to reclose the same.
A moisture absorbent washing member 23 is removably disposed in container 11. Preferably, washing member 23 is formed of spongelike material capable of receiving and containing therewithin a substantial amount of washing solution, such as water, and of releasing a substantial portion of this washing solution when compressively deformed. Preferably, washing member 23 is capable of containing therein a sufficient amount of washing solution to permit the same to be used a plurality of times with a single: filling or wetting. Also, washing member 23 has sufficient absorptive capacity and abrasion resistance to permit refilling or rewetting for a mul tiplicity of times.
A moisture absorbent drying member 24 is formed of a pair of elongate layers 25, 26 having container 11 confined therebetween adjacent one end thereof. Layers 25, 26 are preferably fonned of woven textile fabric although any suitable material having the necessary absorbency, structural strength and abrasion resistance for :repeated usages may be utilized.
Fabric layers 25, 26 preferably extend slightly beyond container layers 12, 13 so as to shield the edges thereof. Also, fabric layers 25, 26 are respectively secured to the projecting portions 12a and 13a of container layers 12, 13 for the full width of container 11 and preferably lines of stitching 30, 31 provide this securement. Fabric layers 25, 26 are also preferably secured together and to container layers 12, 13 by lines of stitching 32, 33 extending longitudinally of the fabric layers at opposite ends of the access opening into container 11 to further secure container 11 to the drying member and to reinforce the comers of the container and to prevent repeated operation of the separable sealing means from damaging the container.
Fabric layers 25, 26 are preferably formed by the folding of a sheet of fabric upon itself so that the fabric layers are joined together along this fold defining one of the longitudinal edges thereof and a line of stitching 34 joins the fabric layers along the other longitudinal edges thereof [for a distance at least as great as the depth of container 11 from the end of the fabric layers having the access opening thereat. The remainder of the fabric layers remain separated, and the fabric layers extend beyond the bottom of the container 11 to facilitate their use as a drying medium.
As stated before, the portable cleaning device 10 has a wide variety of possible uses but is particularly adapted for use as an ablutionary device. As such, cleaning device 10 may be folded into a compact form and transported in pocket or purse.
When device 10 is to be placed in use, the sealing means 20 is separated and the washing member 23 is removed from container 11. Washing member 23 is placed in a suitable washing solution, such as water or the like, and absorbs a substantial amount of washing solution therewithin. The wet washing member 23 is then replaced in container 11 and the sealing means 20 is closed to seal the container. Container 11 contains the washing member 23 and the washing solution therewithin and prevents evaporation of the washing solution from the washing member and prevents the washing solution from contaminating articles which might otherwise come in contact therewith.
When it is desired to clean a portion of the user's body, such as the hands when bowling, fishing or traveling and the like, the sealing means 20 is separated and the washing member 23 is removed from the container 11 and used to wipe the part desired to be cleaned. Washing member 23 is then returned to the container and the container closed. If the hands of the user are to be cleaned, it may not be necessary to remove the washing member 23 from the container, but the hands may be inserted into the container and wiped against the washing member 23 therewithin.
After washing of the part being cleaned with the washing member 23, the same may be immediately thereafter dried by rubbing the drying member 24 thereover. With this immediate removal of the washing solution by the drying member 24, the heretofore encountered wetness and stickiness while waiting for air drying are obviated.
it is therefore believed apparent that a novel portable cleaning device is provided by the present invention which is characterized by having both washing and drying media and by being usable for a number of times as compared to the single use heretofore provided by previous devices of this type.
In the drawing and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
l. A portable cleaning device characterized by having both washing and drying media and being adapted for use as an ablutionary device, said cleaning device comprising:
a moisture impervious container having an access opening therein and separable sealing means normally closing the access opening but separable to permit access into the container;
a moisture absorbent member removably disposed in said container and adapted to contain a washing solution therein for washing of any desired portion of the body of a user; and
a drying member comprising a plurality of superposed elongate layers of moisture absorbent material having said container disposed between an adjacent pair of said layers with said access opening disposed adjacent one end thereof, said adjacent pair of layers being respectively secured to said container along opposite sides of said access opening so that the interior of the container is accessible therebetween at said one end thereof, and said layers having a length greater than the depth of said container so that they extend therebeyond to facilitate their use as a drying medium. I
2. A portable cleaning device as in claim I, wherein said moisture impervious container comprises a pair of substantially rectangular superposed layers of moisture impervious material sealably secured together along three sides thereof and defining said access opening along the fourth side thereof and wherein said separable sealing means extends parallel to and spaced inwardly from the fourth side thereof.
3. A portable cleaning device as in claim 2 wherein said separable sealing means comprises two cooperating elements respectively carried by said moisture impervious layers adjacent and substantially parallel to said fourth side thereof, said cooperating elements comprising tongue means carried by one of said moisture impervious layers and groove means carried by the other moisture impervious layer, said tongue means and said groove means cooperating to sealably close said opening when pressed together and to accessibly open said opening when separatedv 4. A portable cleaning device characterized by having both washing and drying media and being adapted for use as an ablutionary device, said cleaning device comprising:
a moisture impervious container comprising a pair of superposed layers of moisture impervious material sealably secured together around a predetermined portion of the periphery thereof with the remaining peripheral portion of the layers defining an access opening into said container, and separable sealing means carried by said moisture impervious layers for normally closing the access opening but separable to permit access into the container, said sealing means being disposed inwardly from the periphery of said moisture impervious layers a predetermined distance so that the portions of the moisture impervious layers outwardly thereof may be readily grasped to facilitate opening of the access openmg;
a moisture absorbent washing member removably disposed in said container and adapted to contain a washing solution therein for washing of any desired portion of the body of a user, said washing member being formed of spongelike material and being capable of receiving a sub stantial amount of washing solution and of readily releasing a substantial portion of the washing solution contained therein when compressively deformed; and
a drying member comprising a plurality of superposed, elongate layers of moisture absorbent material having said container disposed between an adjacent pair of said layers with said access opening disposed adjacent one end thereof, said adjacent pair of layers being respectively secured to said container along opposite sides of said access opening so that the interior of the container is accessible therebetween at said one end thereof, and said layers having a length greater than the depth of said container so that they extend therebeyond to facilitate their use as a drying medium.
5. A portable cleaning device as in claim 4, wherein said drying member is formed of a sheet of moisture absorbent, woven textile fabric folded upon itself to define a pair of superposed elongate layers, said fabric layers projecting outwardly beyond the moisture impervious layers at said access opening to shield the edges of the moisture impervious layers thereat, said fabric layers also being secured together and to said container at opposite ends of said access opening by lines of stitching extending longitudinally of said fabric layers and along opposite sides of the container for a predetermined distance to reinforce the corners of the container at opposite ends of the access opening and prevent repeated operation of said separable sealing means from damaging said container.
6. A portable cleaning device as in claim 5, wherein one longitudinal edge of said pair of elongate fabric layers is defined by the fold in said sheet of woven textile material, and wherein the other longitudinal edges of said fabric layers are secured together by stitching extending from the end thereof at said access opening therealong for a distance at least as great as the depth of said container.