US 3561650 A
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United States Patent [721 2 598 629 5 1952 Wh te 222/518X 12 Deer Park 2 7381 11 3/1956 Wright 222/501 [211 222 518X Filed May 21,1969 2,779,518 1/1957 Moms  Patented Feb. 9, 1971 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Attorney-Edward H. Loveman  SOAP DISPENSING CONTAINER 12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 222/518  Int. Cl B67d 3/50  Field of Search 501221227188, ABSTRACT: A liquid soapdispensing container including a self-sealing pressure responsive valve arrangement protruding above the surface of the container. Exterior pressure on the  References Cited valve will permit controlled flow of liquid soap from the con- UNITED STATES PATENTS tainer, while release of pressure on the valve will seal the conl,676.034 7/1928 Langdon 222/518x tainer.
a r i 1 I I I 1 I 22 1 I I8 I u i 22 i l 1 PATENTEU FEB 9 I97! INVENTOR DEREK A. BRAND ATTORNEY SOAP DISPENSING CONTAINER This invention relates to a liquid soap dispenser and, more particularly, to a reusable container for storing and dispensing quantities of liquid soap or the like, generally employed for personal use or toilette.
As is well-known, the most important element used in personal hygiene, personal cleaning and body care, is soap or derivative soap products. The conventional bar or cake of solid soap is by far the most popular and widely used soap product found in the home for toilet, hygienic, cosmetic and like personal use. Since solid soap is of an inherently slippery nature, it does not readily adhere to the fingers of the hand and may readily slip therefrom. Furthermore, because of the slippery nature of solid soap, it is the basis for numerous and dangerous household and bathroom accidents which are caused when persons have slipped on a bar of solid soap left on the floor or in the bathtub.
From the esthetic viewpoint, solid soaps are also subject to disadvantages. For example, after only relatively short use, they become soft and unattractive in appearance, thereby having a decorative appeal of only limited scope and duration. Additionally, since solid soaps have a tendency to dissolve at a more rapid rate than required for effective toilet use, they frequently are also quite uneconomical and expensive for ordinary household applications.
More recently, attempts have been made to provide liquid soap and soap products for personal use in lieu of conventional solid bars or tablets of soap. Generally, the devices which have been and are employed in dispensing liquid soap consist of metal or glass containers or receptacles having suitable dispensing orifices or nozzles. Other more recent innovations include disposable or nondisposable plastic tubes or containers in which the liquid soap is dispensed from the tube or container through the application of external pressure to the sidewalls of the tube or container. However, notwithstanding the attractive appearance of many of the liquid soapdispensing tubes and containers, and in spite of extensive efforts at promoting these commercially, the solid soap bar or tablet is still the most popular and economically successful soap product found in the household for toilet and like personal use.
The present invention accordingly contemplates the use of a novel-dispensing container for liquid soaps or liquid soap products, which in essence, provides the appearance and attractive features of a decorative solid soap bar, while concurrently avoiding its drawbacks and disadvantages. In general, the present invention liquid soap dispenser or container comprises a reusable, rigid plastic container formed in the approximate configuration of a bar or cake of solid soap. The liquid soap filled container includes one or more apertures through which a quantity of soap may be dispensed from the container. The apertures or soap-dispensing outlets in the container are normally closed or sealed by a valve which includes an exterior surface protruding beyond the surface of the container. As the soap filled container is held in the hand of the user, pressure is applied to the valve protruding surface, thereby depressing the valve and permitting a quantity of liquid soap to flow from the container into the user's hand. Suitable spring means within the container will bias the valve into aperture closing position as soon as external pressure is released from the valve, thereby closing the aperture and preventing further flow of liquid soapfrom the container. In effect, the present inventive liquid soap-dispensing container presents the attractive and decorative appearance of a new bar of solid soap while avoiding the slippery nature thereof, as well as eliminating waste of the soap product during use.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide for an improved and novel container for dispensing liquid soap or the like.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a liquid soap-dispensing container incorporating a novel soapdispensing valving arrangement.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel liquid soap-dispensing container generally formed in the configuration of a bar of solid soap.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a novel reusable liquid soap container including novcl-valving means for dispensing quantities of the liquid soap in response to external pressures applied by a user.
These and other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a plan view of a novel liquid soap-dispensing container according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing a sealing means for the novel container;
FIG. 4 is an alternate embodiment of a sealing means for the novel container;
FIG. 5 is a plan sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a modified embodiment of the novel liquid soap-dispensing container of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawing, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views there is shown in FIGS. I to 5 a liquid soapdispensing container, generally designated as reference numeral 10. The container 10 includes a housing 12 which may be formed of a rigid thermoplastic material, for example, polystyrene. The housing 12 includes an upper half I4 and a lower half I6. As shown in FIGS. I and 2, the housing I2 is shaped as a round tablet which is generally elliptical in cross section so as to approximate the shape and size of a cake of solid soap. The two halves I4, I6 may be joined or fused together at their common seamline 18 by any conventional well-known means such as sonic welding, or a solvent such as toluol, carbontetrachloride or methyl ethyl ketone.
Upper housing half I4 includes a circular aperture 20 which is surrounded by a plurality of depending arcuate, spaced projections 22 extending into the container 10. The projections 22 may be formed integrally with housing half 14. Similar projections 24 formed integrally with lower housing half 16 extend into container 10 in coaxial alignment with projections 22.
A valve 26, which may be formed of polystyrene, is positioned in the aperture 20 of upper housing half 14. The valve 26 essentially includes a contoured dished plate member having an upper curved surface 28 which protrudes above the surface of housing half I4. In order to provide a seal, the edge of the valve 26 is formed into a peripheral flange 30 which is adapted to sealingly engage the inner housing surface 21 about aperture 20.
In order to assure the normal sealed or closed construction of the container 10, the valve 26 is biased toward surface 21 by a coiled compression spring 34 extending between housing halves I4, 16. One end of the spring 34 engages an annular ring 36 formed on the inner surface of valve 26, while the other end of the spring engages a similar annular ring 38 formed on the inner surface of lower housing half I6.
The seal produced by the spring 34 between the surface 21 and the valve flange 30 has been found to be very satisfactory for present day liquid soaps. However, if a fluid of a relatively thin consistency is to be used in the container, a sealing ring or O ring 32, as shown in FIG. 3, may be positioned between flange 30 of valve 26 and the surface 21. In the alternate, a rubber seal such as 33 (FIG. 4) may be molded onto valve 26 to seal against the surface 21 and thereby assuring a fluid-tight relationship between the valve and container for liquids of thin consistency.
When it is desired to use the liquid soap-filled container I0, the user may pick it up and with his hand or palm, apply pressure to the surface 28 of valve 26 so as to depress it inwardly of the housing I0. This will lift flange 30 on the valve 26 away from the contacting rim about aperture 20 and permit liquid soap to flow out of the container 10. The spaces between projections 22 in the container it) will assure that liquid soap will flow toward the valve 26 from the entire interior of container if). The projections 22 act as a guide for valve 26 to assure that flange 30 will always correctly seat on surface 21 in proper sealing engagement. When a sufficient amount of liquid soap has been obtained by the user, the latter simply removes pressure from the surface 28 on valve 26, thereby permitting flange 30 to seal with surface 21 under the urging of spring 34. If desired, the flow of liquid soap through the aperture 20 may be increased by having a plurality of recesses d around the circumference or edge of surface 28 which recesses extend down to the surface of flange 30.
Since the container lli) is desirably of a reusable construction, refill features may be provided. The upper surface 28 of valve 26 may contain one or more longitudinal grooves 42 extending to the edge of the surface. When it is desired to refill the container 10, a bottle or tube-containing liquid soap may be placed with its outlet or dispensing nozzle against valve 26 and then inverted so that the outlet points down. The valve will then be pressed down or inwardly of the container so as to form an opening between flange 3i) and surface 21. The liquid soap from the bottle or tube may now flow down along grooves 42 into container 10. Removal of the filling bottle or tube will close valve 26 under the urging of spring 34, thereby st aling the filled container 10.
The embodiment of FIG. 5 is similar to that of FIG. 1, except that it utilizes a double valve arrangement. in this instance, the container 50 includes two identical housing halves 14 in a mated, sealed arrangement whereby two apertures are in opposed alignment. Each of the halves 14 include a sealing surface 21 for seating a valve 26, the latter of which are biased toward their respective apertures by the force of compression spring 34. When used, pressure may be applied to one or both valves 26 so as to permit flow of liquid soap from the containter through either one or both apertures. Release of pressure on the valves 26 will cause the spring 34 to seal the container Si) against the flow of liquid soap.
it thus becomes evident that the liquid soap dispensing container according to this invention is practical and economical to use. Although only a circular shape has been described, other more decorative shapes may readily suggest themselves. Similarly, the polystyrene of the container may be impregnated with varied color pigmentations to enhance its decorative attractions.
The foregoing disclosure relates to only a preferred embodiment of the invention, and is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for the purposes of disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
l. A reusable hollow container for the storing and dispensing of liquid soap or the like, comprising;
a generally fluid-tight container having at least one aperture through which liquid soap may be dispensed,
valve means disposed in said aperture and having a portion protruding above the surface of said housing, said valve means including biasing means for maintaining said valve means in said aperture in normally fluid flow-sealing relationship,
guide means in said container for aligning said valve means with said aperture, said guide means being integrally formed with said container and comprising a plurality of internal parallel projections encompassing said aperture and extending internally from said aperture of said hollow container radially across the container,
said valve means being adapted to be actuated in opposition to said biasing means through the application of external pressure to said protruding portion thereby permitting flow of a quantity of liquid soap through said aperture from said container.
2. A container as defined in claim l wherein said valve means is comprised of a dished plate member having an outwardly contoured portion which protrudes above the surface of said housing, and said plate member has an internal bore for seating one end of said biasing means, said container further including an internal hollow bore located radially across from said aperture for seating the other end of said biasing means whereby said biasing means normally retains said plate member against said aperture in fluid-sealing engagement.
3. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein said dished plate member includes a peripheral flange, said flange being adapted to contact the surface surrounding said aperture in fluid-sealing engagement.
4. A container as defined in claim 3 including sealing ring means positioned between said flange and the surface surrounding said aperture in said container.
S. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein said dished plate member includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced recesses, said recesses permitting increased flow of liquid soap from said container through said aperture upon application of external pressure to said outwardly contoured portion of said valve means.
6. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein the exterior surface of said dished plate member includes at least one longitudinal groove; said groove being adapted to facilitate filling of said container with liquid soap from an external supply source.
7. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein said resilient biasing means comprises a coiled compression spring; said compression spring extending through said container and exerting a biasing force against the inner surface of said dished plate member so as to bias the latter into a normally fluid-scaL ing engagement with said aperture.
8. A container as defined in claim 1 wherein said container is formed essentially of polystyrene.
9. A container as defined in claim 2 wherein said container includes a second aperture for dispensing liquid soap, said second aperture being disposed opposite to said first aperture;
second valve means being disposed in said second aperture,
and having a portion protruding above the surface of said housing;
said biasing means being adapted to maintain both of said valve means in their respective apertures in normally fluid sealing relationship, whereby either one or both of said valve means may be actuated in opposition to said resilient biasing means through the application of external pressure to said protruding portions thereby permitting flow of a quantity of liquid soap through either one or both of said apertures from said container.
10. A container as defined in claim 9 wherein each of said valve means comprises a dished plate member having an outwardly contoured portion which protrudes above the surface of said housing, and each of said dished plate members has an internal bore for seating one end of said biasing means;
said biasing means extending between said plate members and exerting a separating force therebetween so as to nor mally retain said plate members against their respective apertures in fluid-sealing engagement.
11. A container as defined in claim 11%) wherein said plate members each include a peripheral flange; each of said flange being adapted to contact the surface surrounding its respective aperture in fluid-sealing engagement.
12. A container as defined in claim 1 5 including sealing ring means positioned between each flange and the surface in said container surrounding the aperture adjacent thereto.