US 3696459 A
A floor mat assembly for cleansing and sanitizing ones shoes to prevent tracking dirt from one area to another. The assembly is provided with a first area which moistens the soles of the wearer's shoes by utilizing the wearer's weight to dispense a controlled amount of cleaning solution to loosen the dirt. An adjacent second area removes the cleaning solution along with the suspended dirt and dries the shoes.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kucera et a1.
[451 Oct. 10, 1972  SHOE CLEANING MAT ASSEMBLY  Inventors: Alfred J. Kucera, 3524 East Glen rosa, Phoenix, Ariz. 85018; Monroe Pulley, Jr., 2327 East Weldon Street, Phoenix, Ariz. 85016  Filed: Feb. 12, 1971  Appl. No.: 114,893
 US. Cl ..l5/104.92, 15/217  Int. Cl. ..'.A47l 23/22  Field of Search ..15/104.92, 215-217;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1952 Batchelor ..l5/l04.92 1/1967 Forman ..15/215UX 3,578,738 5/1971 Hughes ..l5/2l5 2,953,805 9/1960 Sevenich ..l5/2l6 X 2,202,636 5/1940 McClelland ..l5/215 UX 2,619,653 12/1952 Young ..l5/215 X 232,408 9/1880 Litty ..15/216 Primary ExaminerLeon G. Machlin Att0rneyEric P. Schellin and John A. Robertson [5 7] ABSTRACT A floor mat assembly for cleansing and sanitizing ones shoes to prevent tracking dirt from one area to another. The assembly is provided with a first area which moistens the soles of the wearers shoes by utilizing the wearer's weight to dispense a controlled amount of cleaning solution to loosen the dirt. An adjacent second area removes the cleaning solution along with the suspended dirt and dries the shoes.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PKTENTEDncr 10 m2 SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR. MONROE PULLEY JR. ALFRED J. KUCERA ATTORNEYS PATENTEDHBI 1 m 3.696.459
SHEET 2 0F 2 INVENTOR. MONROE PULLEY JR.
ALFRED J. KUCERA ATTORNEYS SHOE CLEANING MAT ASSEMBLY This invention relates to floor mats.
More particularly, the present invention concerns a floor mat particularly adapted for cleansing and sanitizing the soles of ones shoes.
In a still further aspect, the present invention concerns a floor mat of the above type in which the weight of the wearer is utilized, as the wearer passes over the mat, to dispense a controlled amount of cleaning solution to the soles of the shoes to loosen and suspend the dirt therein and thereafter remove the suspension solution and dry the soles of the shoes.
As people walk from one area to another, considerable amounts of dirt are transferred from the first area to the second by the soles of their shoes. In most instances, it is desirable to prevent tracking dirt or contaminants from the first area to the second area. A typical example is in the home where vast quantities of dirt are tracked from the outdoors to the indoors, particularly onto a freshly scrubbed floor or onto carpeting. In industry, dirt and grime are continually tracked from the shop area to the office area. In hospitals, bacteria and contaminants are transferred from hallways and outside areas into sickrooms, laboratories, and operating rooms.
In the home, tracking dirt is simply unsightly and causes additional cleaning chores. In industry, in addition to the additional cleaning chores, shop dirt in the form of oil or other slippery substances can present a considerable safety hazard. In medical facilities, the spread of contaminants and bacteria is directly related to the spread of infection and disease and the recovery rate of the infirm.
Considerable effort has been expended over the years to prevent tracking dirt from one area to another upon the soles of the shoes. In the earliest attempts, many, many years ago, and incidentally a method which is still popular today, a rubber or fiber mat or even a piece of spare carpeting was positioned at the entrance to a doorway for one to wipe his shoes upon. The results, however, were far from satisfactory as only the extremely loose dirt was removed.
More recently, somewhat improved shoe cleaning mats have evolved. One type involves a two compartment assembly having a first compartment with serrations for first scraping loose the heavy dirt, then a fibrous mat for wiping the loosened dirt. This type, however, makes no provision for sanitizing or removing fine particles of dirt imbedded in the soles of the shoes, such as the case with fine dust. Another type utilizes a shallow tray having a disinfectant solution therein which thoroughly washes the soles of the shoes. In this type, however, the soles become saturated with the cleaning solution and the shoes may not be worn onto another. area until disproportionate efforts and time are expended to dry the shoes. Yet another type is the socalled tacky mat having an exposed adhesive coated top. Tacky mats are relatively adequate for dry cleaning the soles of shoes upon first exposure of the adhesive surface. However, dirt and dust settling from the air along with the dirt gained from the shoes quickly impregnates the adhesive surface and abbreviates the life of these mats.
In all of the prior art devices it is an obvious effort of scraping and shuffling ones feet to cleanse the soles of the shoes to the extent provided by the devices.
It would be highly advantageous, therefore, to provide a cleaning mat assembly which would thoroughly cleanse the soles of ones shoes and thereafter completely dry the soles of the shoes with unnoticeable effort.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a cleaning mat assembly for cleaning the soles of the shoes of a wearer as the wearer walks across the mat.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of a cleaning mat assembly employing a liquid cleaning solution to thoroughly cleanse and sanitize the soles of the shoes and to thoroughly dry the shoes immediately thereafter.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning mat assembly of the above type which utilizes the weight of the wearer to dispense a controlled amount of the cleaning solution to the soles of his shoes.
Yet still another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning mat assembly which functions adequately with minimal effort on the part of the wearer.
Yet still a further object of the present invention is the provision of a cleaning mat assembly which will remain effective over an extended period of time with minimum attention and maintenance.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning mat assembly which is unobtrusive, has an attractive appearance and is relatively economical to manufacture.
These and other, further and more specific object and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description thereof taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the cleaning mat assembly of the present invention, chosen for purposes of illustration, as it might appear when ready for use;
FIG. 2 is a broken elevation view, in section, taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 specifically showing the compartmental arrangement thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a partial isometric view detailing one compartment of the device of FIG. 1.
Briefly, to accomplish the desired objectives of out present invention in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, we first provide a generally rectangular shallow tray having a horizontal base with unitary sidewalls encircling the base and a transverse subdividing partition to provide a first compartment and a second compartment within the tray. Carried within the first compartment are means which utilizes a persons weight to apply a controlled amount of a liquid cleaning solution to the soles of the person's shoes. Means within the second compartment remove the liquid and dry the shoes.
Specifically, the first compartment contains a porous resilient pad, such a sponge rubber, having a thickness approximately half the height of the sidewalls and extending thereto in all directions. A thin resilient sheet having spaced elongate slits therein overlays the resilient pad and sealingly engages the sidewalls about its perimeter. A short nap fibrous mat is positioned over the resilient sheet and removably retained within the compartment by snap fasteners or other suitable fastening means. A long pile mat as, for example, an ap propriately dimensioned section of long pile carpeting, is contained within the second compartment.
To prepare for use the short napped fibrous mat in the first compartment is removed and a measured quantity of cleaning liquid is poured into the compartment. The liquid drains through the elongate slits and saturates the porous pad. The fibrous mat is then replaced. As a person approaches from a dirty or contaminated area, he first treads upon the short nap mat. The persons weight causes a slight compression of the porous resilient pad forcing a small amount of the cleaning solution to be discharged through the slits and the porous mat to lightly moisten the soles of his shoes with a controlled amount of cleaning solution. The liquid solution, commonly a rug cleaning shampoo, has intense cleaning ability, dries quickly and leaves no soapy or slippery residue. With the next step, the person tramps upon the partially into the long piled mat within the second compartment where the partially dried residue of the cleaning solution is quickly removed and the soles of his shoes are dried.
To enhance the unility and function of the cleaning mat assembly, the entire tray structure is preferably molded of a one-piece polyvinyl having beveled sidewalls. The undersurface is provided with spaced friction strips as a further safety precaution.
Turning now to the drawings in which the same reference numerals indicate corresponding elements through the several views, FIG. 1 pictorially illustrates the cleaning mat assembly of the present invention and shows the rectangular shallow tray, generally designated by the reference character 10, having a substantially horizontal base 11 with an encircling upstanding unitary sidewall 12. A transverse subdividing partition 13 divides the tray into a first compartment 14 and a second compartment 17. In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the base 11, the upstanding sidewall 12 and the subdividing partition 13 unitarily form the tray 10 from a one-piece molded polyvinyl.
Attention is now directed to FIG. 2 which further illustrates the compartmental arrangement of the tray 10. Particularly noted in this view is the upstanding sidewall 12 having an outwardly, downwardly inclined or beveled exterior surface 18. A ledge 19 extends around the first compartment 14 being integrally formed with the interior surface of the sidewall 12 and one wall of the subdividing partition 13. A porous, resilient, compressible pad such as sponge rubber or synthetic foam is carried within the compartment 14 against the base 11 and extending in height to substantially the same plane as the ledge 19. A resilient sheet 21, as, for example, a thin rubber membrane having apertures therein as will be hereinafter described in further detail, overlies the pad 20 and the ledge 19 and is affixed as by gluing or suitable bonding methods, to the ledge 19 around its entire perimeter. A fibrous mat 22 preferably a short pile nylon carpeting, rests upon the resilient sheet 21, and'is detachably secured within the compartment 14 by spaced snap fasteners 23.
A substrate 24 carrying an upstanding fibrous piling 27 rests upon the base 11 and substantially fills the second compartment 17. Conventional friction strips 28 carried on the underside of the base 11 prevent the cleaning mat assembly from sliding during use.
cleaning mat assembly. Attention is directly invited to the resilient sheet 21 having spaced slits 29 therein. While other arrangements of spaced apertures will yield desirable results, we have found that slits of approximately one inch in length, spaced approximately one inch apart in either direction, will greatly retard evaporation of the cleaning solution from the porous pad 20 and yet permit an appropriate amount of clean ing solution to be transferred therethrough from the porous pad 20 to the fibrous mat 22 to thoroughly cleanse the soles of the shoes.
Various changes to the device herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to those skilled in the art while having regard for the disclosure herein and the spirit of the invention. A primary modification would utilize two transverse subdividing partitions similar to the one shown at 13 to provide a first center compartment similar to the one shown at 14 and a second compartment similar to 17 positioned at either side of the first compartment. This would permit cleansing and drying of the soles ofones shoes regardless of his direction of travel. Where specific materials have been noted, it is understood that these materials are the preferred structures of the inventors and numerous appropriate substitutions exist. For example, the one-piece tray generally designated by the reference character 10 could also be molded from a latex material or even cast from a non-corrosive metal such as aluminum. Such modifications, however, are envisioned by the inventors and do not substantially deviate from the teachings of the present invention.
Having fully described and disclosed our present invention, and what we conceive to be the presently preferred embodiment thereof, in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same,
1. A cleaning mat assembly adapted for cleaning the soles of the shoes of a wearer as the wearer walks across the mat, and further adapted to utilize the weight of the wearer to moisten the soles of the shoes with a cleaning solution and thereafter to remove the cleaning solution and dry the soles of said shoes, said cleaning mat assembly comprising in combination:
a. a generally rectangular shallow tray having a substantially horizontal base with upstanding unitary sidewalls surrounding said base and a transverse subdividing partition to define a first compartment Y and a height terminating below the top of said side wall and a fibrous pad overlying said compressible pad; and
0. means carried within said second compartment for removing said liquid and drying the soles of said shoes.
2. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, in combination with a resilient sheet having spaced apertures therein, disposed between said pad and said mat and secured at the outer edges thereof to the sidewall of said tray.
3. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 2, wherein said apertures are elongate slits.
4. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, including means for detachably securing said mat to said tray.
5. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, wherein said means carried within said second compartment for drying the soles of said shoes comprises:
a. a substrate of substantially the same area as said second compartment; and b. a fibrous piling upstanding from said substrate. 5 6. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, wherein said tray, including:
a. said horizontal base;
b. said upstanding sidewalls, and
c. said subdividing partition is a unitarily semi-rigid structure.
7. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, wherein the exterior sides of said sidewalls are outwardly downwardly inclined.
8. The cleaning mat assembly of claim 1, in combination with a least one friction strip carried on the underside of said base.