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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
STIFF HANDLED BACK SCRUBBER DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1997/009919
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides a washing device with a stiff, elongated handle (12) and a scrubbing element (14) disposed at one end of the handle (12). Two adjacent openings (16a, 16b) extend through one end of the handle (12) and opposed portions of the scrubbing element (20, 22) are disposed on opposed sides of the handle (12) adjacent to the two openings (16a, 16b). A clasp (18) extends through the two openings (16a, 16b), around the adjacent opposed portions of the scrubbing element (20, 22), and around the portion of the handle disposed between the two openings (19), thereby affixing the scrubbing element (14) to the handle (12).

Inventors:
BYNUM, Cheryl BYNUM, Bart, L.
Application Number:
PCT/US1996/014437
Publication Date:
March 20, 1997
Filing Date:
September 09, 1996
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BYNUM CONCEPTS, INC.
International Classes:
A47K7/02; A47L17/00; (IPC1-7): A47L13/46
Foreign References:
US2825084A
US2846708A
US3343196A
US2658220A
US5205012A
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Description:
TITLE: STIFF HANDLED BACK SCRUBBER DEVICE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to washing or cleaning devices, and more particularly to a stiff handled washing device that is especially suited for scrubbing the human back while showering or bathing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A number of washing implements have been used to scrub the human body. Such washing implements include washcloths, sponges, brushes, "loofahs" and other devices.

Some of these implements are helpful to scrub areas of the body that are difficult to reach, such as the human back.

Unfortunately, many of these implements are made of materials that either are not very durable, or are difficult to clean. Many of these implements also are not strong enough to apply a desired amount of pressure to the skin during scrubbing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a washing device with a stiff, elongated handle and a scrubbing element disposed at one end of the handle. Two adjacent openings extend through one end of the handle and opposed portions of the scrubbing element are disposed on opposed sides of the handle adjacent to the two openings. A clasp extends through the two openings, around the adjacent opposed

portions of the scrubbing element, and around the portion of the handle disposed between the two openings, thereby affixing the scrubbing element to the handle. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a scrubber according to the present invention.

Fig. 2 is an exploded view illustrating the relationship of the scrubber, the clasp, and the handle. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The scrubber 10 (Fig. 1) of the present invention includes an elongated handle 12 and a scrubbing element 14. The handle preferably is made of wood or plastic. Any suitable material may be used to make the handle as long as the material is strong enough to withstand the stress on the handle when the user rubs the scrubbing element 14 against the body. In a preferred embodiment, the handle is made of wood, preferably maple, birch, or any suitable hardwood, and is about 1.25" wide (shown at A-A) and about 18" long (shown at B-B) . The scrubbing element 14 may be made of any suitable material for washing the body. In a preferred embodiment, the scrubbing element is made of netting that has open cells so that water from a shower or faucet can run through and clean the scrubbing element. The netting also

preferably is made of non-porous material so that dirt and debris do not become trapped in pores in the netting, and so that the scrubber will dry rapidly. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it is preferable for the netting to be elastic so that the netting can be prestretched to add volume to the scrubbing element. Elasticity also is helpful because, if the netting is stretched during use, it will return to its original shape after stretching.

The netting preferably should be tubular so that it can be folded or layered onto itself to increase the bulk of the scrubbing element 14. Or, the scrubbing element 14 can be made of a plurality of loops of netting bunched together. A preferred netting is diamond mesh polyethylene netting, which may be obtained from a number of manufacturers. One such manufacturer is "NALTEX ® , " 203 Colorado, Austin, Texas 78701.

The attachment of the scrubbing element 14 to the handle 12 is seen in detail in Fig. 2. Two adjacent openings 16a, 16b extend through one end of the handle 12. In a preferred embodiment: the openings 16a and 16b are about 3/16" in diameter; the distance between the end of the handle 24 and the edge 26 of the opening 16a is about 0.5"; the distance between the edge 28 of the opening 16a and the edge 30 of the opening 16b is about 0.5"; and, the

distance between each edge 32 of the handle and the closest edge of the opening 16a, 16b is about 17/32".

A clasp 18 extends through the two openings, around the adjacent portions of the scrubbing element 14, and around the portion of the handle disposed between the two openings 19, forming a substantially continuous loop. When the clasp 18 is pulled tight, the clasp 18 bunches the netting tightly together 20, 22 on opposed sides of the handle 12. Where the scrubbing element is tubular netting, the result is a scrubbing element 14 substantially as depicted in Fig. 1.

The clasp 18 may be made of any suitable material.

For example, the clasp 18 may be a durable cord or string, and preferably should be made of synthetic material that will not decompose after repeated exposure to water. The clasp 18 preferably should be made of material that is strong enough to affix the scrubbing element 14 to the handle 12 and pliable enough to not scratch the skin of the user during scrubbing. In a preferred embodiment, the clasp is a nylon cable tie, such as the 100% nylon Avery

Dennison 8" Slim Line Bar-Lok ® Cable Tie, part no 01327,

10325, available from a number of sources, such as Central

Industrial Fasteners, Grand Prairie, TX. Avery Dennison is located at 300 Howard Street, Framingham, MA 01701.

The clasp preferably has a free end and a fastening head for non-reversibly engaging the free end. After placing the clasp around the adjacent portions of the scrubbing element 14, and around the portion of the handle disposed between the two openings 19, to form a substantially continuous loop, the free end may be slipped through the fastening head and secured.

Although the invention has been described with reference to a single scrubbing element 14, more than one scrubbing element can be attached along the length of the handle 12.

In a preferred embodiment, a third opening 34 is provided through the end of the handle opposite the scrubbing element 14. The opening 34 preferably is about 3/8" in diameter, and the adjacent edges of the opening 34 preferably should be spaced about 7/16" from each edge 32 of the handle. The bottom 36 of the handle preferably should be spaced about 1" from the adjacent edge of the opening 34. A loop of yarn 38 or other material may be extended through the opening 34 to hang the device when not in use.

Although specific dimensions have been given for certain aspects of the scrubber 10, persons of ordinary

skill in the art will recognize that these dimensions may be readily varied.

Where one or more loops of netting are used as the scrubbing element 14, the width of the loop, measured along the axis of the tube of netting, may vary depending upon the type of netting used. If diamond mesh polyethylene netting is used, and only one loop of netting is used, the width of the loop preferably should be about 18 inches layfla . Where multiple loops are bunched together, the total width of the loops preferably should be about 18 inches layflat . The loop(s) should be wide enough to provide sufficient bulk to the scrubbing element 14, but not too wide to be bunched and comfortably fastened by the clasp 18. The length (or diameter) of the loops (measured perpendicular to the axis of the tube of netting) before stretching (if any) may vary depending on the diameter of the tubing available and the desired size of the scrubbing element 14. For a scrubber 10 having the dimensions previously described, the diameter of the loops preferably should be about 4 inches unstretched.

Where loops of netting are used for the scrubbing element, the loops do not necessarily have to be stretched before manufacturing the scrubber 10; however, as already mentioned, prestretchmg of the netting is preferred in

order to add volume to the device. Stretching of the loops can be accomplished using any known means. For example, a mesh fabricator may be used. The mesh fabricator preferably is made of metal or other relatively smooth, strong material having a "U" shape which is slightly smaller at the bottom than at the legs of the "U" . The loop(s) of netting may be urged over the narrower bottom of the "U" and along the legs of the "U" to a point where the distance between the legs is sufficient to stretch the loop. Preferably, the netting should be stretched to approximately 4-4 times its unstretched length. For example, a 36 inch loop of diamond mesh polyethylene netting having a 4" inch

(unstretched) diameter preferably should be stretched until it has a diameter of about 16 inches.

A person of skill in the art will recognize that many modifications may be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The embodiments described herein are meant to be illustrative only and should not be taken as limiting the invention, which is defined in the following claims.