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Title:
DISINFECTANT WIPES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/135066
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Apparatus (2) for preparing disinfectant wipes (12), the apparatus comprising: a vessel (4) for a liquid disinfectant (16); a dosing unit (14) having a cap with a cap top (8) and a cap body (6) including a wipe compartment (10) beneath the cap top (8), the cap top (8) being partly or completely removable to allow access to the wipe compartment (10); the dosing unit (14) having an inlet (22) in fluid communication with the inside of the vessel (4), and a dosing reservoir (28) in fluid communication with the wipe compartment (10); the dosing unit including an inlet reservoir (30) in fluid communication with the inlet (22) and with the dosing reservoir (28). When the vessel (4) is oriented to a loading position with the cap at the bottom, liquid in the vessel will enter the inlet reservoir (30), and liquid in the dosing reservoir (28) will drain into the wipe compartment (10). When the orientation of the vessel (4) is changed from the loading position to a dispensing position with the cap at the top, liquid in the inlet reservoir (30) will drain into the dosing reservoir (28).

Inventors:
TURNER, Jeremy (22 McDonnell Street, Omokoroa, 3114, 3114, NZ)
SWINNEY, Paul (Unit 4C, Lynx Business ParkFordham Road,Snailwell, Newmarket CB8 7NY, CB8 7NY, GB)
DIXON, Elizabeth (Unit 4C, Lynx Business ParkFordham Road,Snailwell, Newmarket CB8 7NY, CB8 7NY, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/053743
Publication Date:
July 11, 2019
Filing Date:
December 21, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TRISTEL PLC (Unit 4C, Lynx Business ParkFordham Road,Snailwell, Newmarket CB8 7NY, CB8 7NY, GB)
International Classes:
G01F11/26; A47K10/32; A47K5/12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEMMELL, Peter et al. (Dummett Copp LLP, 25 The SquareMartlesham Heath, Ipswich Suffolk IP5 3SL, IP5 3SL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Apparatus for preparing disinfectant wipes, the apparatus comprising:

a vessel for a liquid disinfectant;

a dosing unit having a cap with a cap top and a cap body including a wipe compartment beneath the cap top, the cap top being partly or completely removable to allow access to the wipe compartment;

the dosing unit having an inlet in fluid communication with the inside of the vessel, and a dosing reservoir in fluid communication with the wipe compartment;

the dosing unit including an inlet reservoir in fluid communication with the inlet and with the dosing reservoir; wherein

when the vessel is oriented to a loading position with the cap at the bottom, liquid in the vessel will enter the inlet reservoir, and liquid in the dosing reservoir will drain into the wipe compartment; and

when the orientation of the vessel is changed from the loading position to a dispensing position with the cap at the top, liquid in the inlet reservoir will drain into the dosing reservoir.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the dosing reservoir is in fluid communication with the wipe compartment via a conduit which is integrally formed with the cap body.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising a pack of one or more dry wipe members.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the or each wipe member is a towel tablet sized to fit within the wipe compartment without compression by a user.

5. A dosing unit for manufacturing the apparatus of claim 1 , the dosing unit comprising:

a cap with a cap top and a cap body including a wipe compartment beneath the cap top, the cap top being partly or completely removable to allow access to the wipe compartment;

an inlet for fluid;

a dosing reservoir in fluid communication with the wipe compartment;

an inlet reservoir in fluid communication with the inlet and with the dosing reservoir; wherein

if the dosing unit is mounted on a vessel containing liquid, with the inlet in fluid communication with the inside of the vessel, when the vessel is oriented to a loading position with the cap at the bottom, liquid in the vessel will enter the inlet reservoir, and liquid in the dosing reservoir will drain into the wipe compartment; and when the orientation of the vessel is changed from the loading position to a dispensing position with the cap at the top, liquid in the inlet reservoir will drain into the dosing reservoir.

6. A method of preparing a disinfectant wipe using the apparatus of claim 1 with liquid disinfectant in the vessel and in the dispensing reservoir, the method comprising the steps of:

partly or completely removing the cap top from the cap body to allow access to the wipe compartment;

taking a dry wipe and placing this in the wipe compartment;

replacing the cap top on the cap body;

orienting the vessel to the loading position with the cap at the bottom, so that liquid disinfectant drains from the dosing reservoir to the wipe in the wipe compartment, and liquid disinfectant enters the inlet reservoir from the vessel; orienting the vessel to the dispensing position with the cap at the top;

partly or completely removing the cap top; and

removing the resulting disinfectant wipe from the wipe compartment.

7. A method according to claim 6, further comprising the preceding steps of orienting the vessel to the loading position to charge the inlet reservoir and then orienting the vessel to the dispensing position to allow liquid disinfectant to drain from the inlet reservoir to the dispensing reservoir.

8. A method according to claim 6, further comprising compressing the dry wipe prior to placing it in the wipe compartment.

9. A method according to claim 6, wherein the dry wipe is a towel tablet sized to fit in the wipe compartment.

10. Apparatus for dispensing a metered volume of disinfectant for preparing a disinfectant wipe, the apparatus comprising:

a vessel for a liquid disinfectant;

a dosing unit having an outlet for dispensing disinfectant; the dosing unit having an inlet in fluid communication with the inside of the vessel, and a dosing reservoir in fluid communication with the outlet;

the dosing unit including an inlet reservoir in fluid communication with the inlet and with the dosing reservoir; wherein

when the vessel is oriented with the cap at the bottom, liquid in the vessel will enter the inlet reservoir, and liquid in the dosing reservoir will drain through the outlet; and

when the orientation of the vessel is changed so that the cap is at the top, liquid in the inlet reservoir will drain into the dosing reservoir.

Description:
DISINFECTANT WIPES

BACKGROUND a. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to apparatus for preparing disinfectant wipes, and a method of using the apparatus and an assembly for making the apparatus. b. Related Art

Disinfectant wipes are widely used for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, both in the home and in clinical environments. It is known to provide wipes which are pre- wetted with a disinfectant and put up in a pack. A problem with such wipes is that they are prone to drying out once the pack has been opened. They are also unsuitable for disinfectants with active ingredients that are unstable over time, such as chlorine dioxide.

It is therefore desirable to prepare disinfectant wipes as needed, by wetting a dry wipe with disinfectant liquid. Typically, a disinfecting liquid is applied to a clean, dry wipe by pouring or spraying the liquid from a vessel, and then the wipe is used to disinfect a surface. The disinfecting liquid may be prepared shortly before use from a two-part system if the active ingredient will deteriorate significantly over time. For example, a chlorine dioxide disinfectant solution may be prepared by mixing a chlorite solution and an acid. An example of a prior art disinfectant wipe system is described in WO 2005/01 1756.

It is desirable to use no more disinfectant liquid than necessary to wet the wipe. It is also desirable that the entire wipe be uniformly wetted with the liquid to ensure that all surface areas to which the wipe is applied will be adequately disinfected. Pouring or spraying the liquid from a vessel held in one hand, onto a wipe held in the other hand, typically does not give uniform wetting or optimal dosing. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the invention are specified in the independent claims. Preferred features are specified in the dependent claims.

An aspect of the invention provides an apparatus for preparing disinfectant wipes. Other aspects of the invention provide an assembly for manufacturing the apparatus, and a method preparing disinfectant wipes using the apparatus. The invention provides a simple apparatus for preparing disinfectant wipes which dispenses a fixed volume of liquid. A preferred embodiment additionally provides a disinfectant wipe with improved uniformity of wetting and without wastage of disinfectant liquid.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be further described, by way of example only, with reference to the following drawings in which:

Figures 1a - 1 h show stages in the preparation of a disinfectant wipe using apparatus in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view through the apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a plan view of the base of the wipe compartment;

Figures 4 and 5 are perspective side views of the dosing unit of the apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figures 6 and 7 are, respectively, bottom and top views of the dosing unit of Figures 4 and 5;

Figure 8 is a vertical sectional view through apparatus in accordance with another embodiment of the invention; and

Figures 9 and 10 are, respectively, perspective and vertical sectional views of apparatus in accordance with a further aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Apparatus 2 for preparing disinfectant wipes comprises a vessel 4 for a liquid disinfectant 16 (Figure 2). The vessel 4 has a dosing unit 14 mounted on a neck of the vessel. The dosing unit 14 has a cap 7 with a cap top 8 and a cap body 6 including a wipe compartment 10 beneath the cap top 8. The cap top 8 is partly or completely removable to allow access to the wipe compartment 10. In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1 , the cap top 8 is hingedly connected to the cap body 6 but could be completely removable or mounted in a different manner such as by sliding.

The dosing unit 14 delivers a predetermined volume of disinfectant to a dry wipe. Referring to Figures 3-6, the dosing unit in this embodiment includes a generally cylindrical body 18 with at least one inlet 22 in fluid communication with the inside of the vessel 4, and a dosing reservoir 28 in fluid communication with the wipe compartment 10. In this embodiment, the dosing reservoir 28 is between a reservoir wall member 32 and the sealed base 20 of the dosing unit. The dosing reservoir 28 is in fluid communication with an outlet 26 of a conduit 24 via an opening 34 in the reservoir wall member 32. In this embodiment, the underside of the base 9 of the wipe compartment 10 provides an inlet reservoir 30 in fluid communication with the inlet 22 and with the dosing reservoir 28. The lower end of the conduit 24 is located within the dosing reservoir 28, and liquid in the conduit 24 is at the same level as liquid in the dosing reservoir surrounding the conduit.

The base 9 of the wipe compartment 10 has a hole 1 1 (Figure 3) into which the outlet 26 on the conduit 24 is a close fit. When the vessel 4 is oriented to a loading position with the cap 7 at the bottom, liquid 16 in the vessel will enter the inlet reservoir 30, and liquid in the dosing reservoir 28 and the conduit 24 will drain into the wipe compartment 10 via the conduit 24 and hole 1 1 .

When the orientation of the vessel is changed from the loading position to a dispensing position with the cap at the top, liquid in the inlet reservoir 30 drains into the dosing reservoir 28.

Figures 1 a-1 h illustrate steps in the preparation of a disinfectant wipe. The user flips open the cap top 8 to expose the wipe compartment 10. The user takes a dry wipe 12 and places it in the wipe compartment. The wipe may be a conventional sheet of woven or non-woven fabric material 12a, which the user may need to compress to fit in the wipe compartment 10. Alternatively the wipe may be a so-called towel tablet or pill wipe 12b of a size suitable for locating in the wipe compartment without further compression. Wikipedia describes a towel tablet as“a fibre towel that is compressed into the shape of a small tablet. The towel tablet expands when water is added to the tablet.” Suitable towel tablets or pill wipes are commercially available.

With the dry wipe 12 in the wipe compartment, the user closes the cap top. The user then inverts the vessel 4 so the cap 7 is at the bottom (Figure 1f). A quantity of disinfectant liquid drains from the dosing reservoir 28 into the wipe compartment 10 and is absorbed by the wipe 12. The dosing reservoir in this example delivers about 10 ml of liquid to the wipe compartment. Typically, the dosing reservoir will be dimensioned to dispense from about 5 ml to about 25 ml of disinfectant liquid.

After allowing a few seconds for liquid to drain from the dosing reservoir 28 into the wipe compartment 10, the user turns the apparatus back to a dispensing position, with the cap at the top. The user opens the cap top 8 to expose the wipe 12, which is now wetted with disinfectant liquid (Figure 1 g) and removes the disinfectant wipe 12 from the wipe compartment 10 (Figure 1 h) for use.

Before first use, the user inverts the vessel to transfer disinfectant into the inlet reservoir, and then returns it to the dispensing position with cap at the top and disinfectant in the dispensing reservoir. The apparatus is then primed and ready for use as described above.

Referring now to Figure 8, another embodiment is illustrated, in which the conduit 24 is integrally formed with the cap 7. The cap 7 fits on an outer wall of the dosing reservoir 28 and/or the region where the inlet 22 is provided. An inner facing surface of the outer wall is provided with a screw thread 36 for screwing the assembly onto the neck of a bottle or other vessel.

Substantially all of the liquid that enters the wipe compartment 10 is absorbed by the wipe 12. The arrangement facilitates more uniform impregnation of the wipe with disinfectant than prior art methods. Wetting of the wipe 12 by disinfectant is achievable by one-handed operation without requiring the user to hold the dry wipe in one hand and apply disinfectant from a vessel in the other hand.

Another aspect of the invention is illustrated in Figures 9-10. In this embodiment, there is no wipe compartment: the cap body 6 has a ceiling member 15 which surrounds the outlet 26. The outlet 26 conveys liquid from the dosing reservoir 28 when the apparatus is inverted so that the outlet 26 faces down. This provides a metered volume of disinfectant liquid to be dispensed from the apparatus onto a wipe member or other item (not shown). The cap top 8 is provided with a stopper 13 for sealing the outlet 26 when the cap top 8 is closed. Apart from the differences described above, the operation of the apparatus is as described with respect to the previously-described embodiments.

The disinfectant liquid may be a chlorine dioxide solution prepared shortly prior to use according to methods and reagents known per se. However, the invention is not limited to the use of chlorine dioxide; other suitable disinfectant liquids may be used.