Title:
Brush drying rack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A brush drying rack for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion. The brush drying rack comprises a brush retaining aspect and first and second supports, the first and second supports being coupleable to the brush retaining aspect. The brush retaining aspect has at least one brush coupling feature. When coupled to the first and second supports, the brush retaining aspect extends therebetween and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.



Inventors:
Mondale, Eleanor (Prior Lake, MN, US)
Baker, Leilani (Eden Prairie, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/400722
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080164384Wire Rack for Mounting an Iron on a WallJuly, 2008Rosen
20030102783Disk storage caseJune, 2003Hasemi
20060261021Wire storage deviceNovember, 2006Stagnaro
20100006521VENTILATED ANIMAL CAGE ASSEMBLYJanuary, 2010Verhage et al.
20090223914THEFT DETERRENT CAN DISPENSERSeptember, 2009Kahl et al.
20020170870Plastic shelf coverNovember, 2002Callis
20080093320STORAGE TRAY SYSTEMApril, 2008Glover
20100065521Float RackMarch, 2010Schuetz et al.
20050224433Wall storage systemOctober, 2005Heneveld Sr.
20080142462Grab barJune, 2008Whyzel
20080251480Urn with interchangeable decorative panel, matted graphics, and method for making sameOctober, 2008Roberts



Primary Examiner:
RAMSEY, JEREMY C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP;INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT (SUITE 1500, 50 SOUTH SIXTH STREET, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55402-1498, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable brush drying rack for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion, the brush drying rack comprising: a brush retaining aspect having first and second ends, first and second support coupling elements, and at least one brush coupling feature, the at least one brush coupling feature being configured for receiving the handle portion of the brush; and first and second supports, each of the first and second supports having coupling portions, the first and second support coupling elements of the brush retaining aspect being coupleable to the coupling portions of the first and second supports; wherein, when coupled to the first and second supports, the brush retaining aspect extends between the first and second supports and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.

2. The portable brush drying rack of claim 1, wherein the brush retaining aspect is an elastic strip.

3. The portable brush drying rack of claim 2, further comprising an inelastic reinforcement coupled to the elastic strip.

4. The portable brush drying rack of claim 1, wherein the at least one brush coupling feature is elastically deformable.

5. The portable brush drying rack of claim 1, wherein a plurality of brush coupling features are provided.

6. The portable brush drying rack of claim 5, wherein the plurality of brush coupling features have differing geometries.

7. A brush drying rack for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion, the brush drying rack comprising: a brush retaining aspect having at least one brush coupling feature; first and second supports, the first and second supports being coupleable to the brush retaining aspect; and a base for receiving the first and second supports; wherein, when coupled to the first and second supports, the brush retaining aspect extends between the first and second supports and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.

8. The brush drying rack of claim 7, wherein the brush retaining aspect is an elastic strip.

9. The brush drying rack of claim 8, further comprising an inelastic reinforcement coupled to the elastic strip.

10. The brush drying rack of claim 7, wherein the at least one brush coupling feature is elastically deformable.

11. A brush drying rack and storage container for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion, the brush drying rack comprising: a brush retaining aspect having at least one brush coupling feature; first and second supports, the first and second supports being coupleable to the brush retaining aspect; and a base for receiving the first and second supports, the base comprising a storage compartment for storing any of the brush, the brush retaining aspect, or the first and second supports; wherein, when coupled to the first and second supports, the brush retaining aspect extends between the first and second supports and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.

12. The brush drying rack and storage container of claim 11, wherein the brush retaining aspect is an elastic strip.

13. The brush drying rack and storage container of claim 12, further comprising an inelastic reinforcement coupled to the elastic strip.

14. The brush drying rack and storage container of claim 11, wherein the at least one brush coupling feature is elastically deformable.

15. The brush drying rack and storage container of claim 11, wherein the storage compartment is a drawer that has an open end such that the drawer may be fully opened and closed with the first and second supports are received by the base.

16. A brush drying rack for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion, the brush drying rack comprising: a plurality of brush retaining aspects, each brush retaining aspect comprising an elastic strip having first and second ends, first and second leg coupling elements, and at least one brush coupling feature, the at least one brush coupling feature being elastically deformable for receiving the handle portion of the brush; and a frame portion, the frame portion comprising a plurality of legs, each of the legs comprising at least one coupling portion, the first and second leg coupling elements of the brush retaining aspect being coupleable to the coupling portions of the legs; wherein, when coupled to two legs, the brush retaining aspect is stretched between the two legs and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.

17. The brush drying rack of claim 16, further comprising at least one stabilizer for stabilizing the frame, the stabilizer being coupleable to and between two legs of the frame.

18. The brush drying rack of claim 16, wherein the frame is an A-frame, the A-frame comprising first and second front legs and first and second back legs, the first and second front legs being coupled to a front frame rod and the first and second bag legs being coupled to a back frame rod, with the front frame rod and the back frame rod being hingedly connected.

19. The brush drying rack of claim 16, each brush retaining aspect further comprising an inelastic reinforcement coupled to the elastic strip.

20. The brush drying rack of claim 16, wherein the at least one brush coupling feature is elastically deformable.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a brush drying rack, and more specifically to a brush drying rack configured for drying brushes in a bristles down orientation.

BACKGROUND

Almost all brushes, including artists brushes, makeup brushes, paint brushes, etc. should be cleaned, either after every use or on a regular basis. Makeup brushes in particular can harbor dirt and bacteria. Using a contaminated brush spreads the dirt and bacteria to whatever makeup with which it comes in contact. Further, using a contaminated brush can pose risks to health, for example, by spreading pink eye. Accordingly, it is generally recommended to clean makeup brushes approximately weekly. Cleaning brushes typically comprises cleaning the brush with a soap and rinsing the brush with water. After rinsing, the brushes are left to dry.

Brushes comprise a handle portion and a bristles portion. The bristles are coupled to the handle portion at a ferrule. The ferrule is sealed to the handle, typically with an adhesive although a press fit seal may also be used. An adhesive is put within the ferrule for receiving the bristles. The adhesive dries and the bristles are thereby retained in place within the ferrule.

Currently, brushes are generally either laid flat on a tissue to dry or placed in, for example, a cup with the bristles facing upwardly. Drying in either of these manners can compromise the integrity of the brushes. First, there tends to be little air flow, especially when brushes are laid flat. This can lead to mold growth. Second, water tends to pool in the ferrule, especially when brushes are placed with their bristles facing upwardly. This can damage the adhesive used on the bristles and result in bristles being lost from the brush.

Thus, a need exists for a rack for drying brushes without compromising the integrity of the brushes.

SUMMARY

A brush drying rack for drying a brush having a handle portion and a bristle portion. The brush drying rack comprises a brush retaining aspect and first and second supports, the first and second supports being coupleable to the brush retaining aspect. The brush retaining aspect has at least one brush coupling feature. When coupled to the first and second supports, the brush retaining aspect extends therebetween and the at least one brush coupling feature is oriented for receiving the handle portion of the brush with the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly.

While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modifications in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a illustrates a brush drying rack in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1b illustrates the brush drying rack of FIG. 1a further comprising an inelastic reinforcement in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a brush drying rack in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a brush drying rack and storage container in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates a brush drying rack having a plurality of brush retaining aspects in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A brush drying rack, and more specifically a brush drying rack configured for drying brushes in a bristles-down orientation, is provided. The brush drying rack may be used to dry any type of brush including makeup brushes, artists brushes, paint brushes, etc.

As shown in FIG. 1a, a brush drying rack 10 in accordance with one embodiment comprises a brush retaining aspect 12, having first and second ends 14, and first and second supports 16 provided at each end 14. The brush retaining aspect includes brush coupling features 18 for coupling a brush to the brush retaining aspect 12. The brush coupling features 18 may comprise apertures for receiving a brush. More specifically, in one embodiment, the brush coupling features 18 comprise elastic apertures for elastically receiving and gripping a brush, and, more preferably, apertures for receiving and gripping a handle of a brush. As shown, the brush coupling features 58 may elastically deform to accommodate brushes of different sizes. In the embodiment of FIG. 1a, each brush coupling element 18 is provided in a different shape. Thus, the brush drying rack 10 may have decorative value. The brush coupling features 18 may be uniform or may be varied and may be customized for particular usages. In alternative embodiments, the brush coupling features 18 may comprise hooks, bands, clips, magnetic fasteners, removable adhesive, Velcro, etc.

In an embodiment wherein the brush coupling features 18 comprise elastic apertures, the brush retaining aspect 12 may comprise an elastic strip. The elastic strip may be formed of any material having elastic properties. The brush retaining aspect 12 may vary in length and width depending on the size or shape of the brush to be retained. Further, any number of brush coupling features 18 may be provided. FIG. 1b illustrates an alternative embodiment to FIG. 1a wherein the brush retaining aspect 12 comprises an elastic strip 13 and an inelastic reinforcement 15. The elastic strip 13 includes a top surface and a bottom surface. The inelastic reinforcement 15 may be provided over the top surface or over the bottom surface. Further, a first inelastic reinforcement 15 may be provided over the top surface and a second inelastic reinforcement may be provided over the bottom surface. Complementary recesses 17 are provided in the inelastic reinforcement 15 corresponding with the brush coupling features 18 of the elastic strip 13. The ends of the elastic strip 13 may be left uncovered such that the support coupling element 20 is revealed, as shown on one end in FIG. 1b, or may be covered by the inelastic reinforcement 15 with a complementary recess 21 being provided in the inelastic reinforcement 15 for exposing the support coupling element 20, as shown on the other end in FIG. 1b. The elastic strip 13 may be coupled to the inelastic reinforcement 15 in any suitable manner.

Returning to FIG. 1a, the first and second supports 16 may comprise suction cups for adhering the brush drying rack 10 to a surface such as a mirror. The brush retaining aspect 12 includes first and second support coupling elements 20 for coupling to the first and second supports 16. The supports 16 likewise include coupling portions 22 for coupling to the brush retaining aspect 12. The support coupling elements 20 of the brush retaining aspect 12 and the coupling portions 22 of the supports 16 may be any suitable structures so long as they are complementary with one another. In the embodiment shown, the first and second support coupling elements 20 comprise apertures for receiving a raised or hook coupling element 22 of a suction cup support 16. In alternative embodiments, the support coupling elements 20 or the coupling portions 22 may be hooks, clips, magnetic fasteners, removable adhesive, Velcro, etc.

The brush drying rack 10 of FIG. 1a is easily collapsed and transported by disengaging the brush retaining aspect 12 from the supports 16.

FIG. 2 illustrates a further embodiment of a brush drying rack 30. The brush drying rack 30 comprises a brush retaining aspect 32 and first and second supports 36. The brush retaining aspect includes first and second ends 34, the first and second ends 34 being coupleable to the first and second supports 36. The brush retaining aspect includes brush coupling features 38 for coupling a brush to the brush retaining aspect 32. The brush coupling features 38 comprise apertures for receiving a brush, and more preferably, apertures for receiving and gripping a handle of a brush. More specifically, in one embodiment, the brush coupling features 38 comprise elastic apertures for elastically receiving and gripping a brush. As shown, the brush coupling features 38 may elastically deform to accommodate brushes of different sizes. The brush coupling features 38 may be uniform, as shown, or may be varied and may be customized for particular usages. In various embodiments, the brush coupling features 38 may comprise hooks, bands, clips, magnetic fasteners, removable adhesive, Velcro, etc. Further, any number of brush coupling features 38 may be provided.

In an embodiment wherein the brush coupling features 38 comprise elastic apertures, the brush retaining aspect 32 may comprise an elastic strip. The elastic strip may be formed of any material having elastic properties. The brush retaining aspect 32 may vary in length and width depending on the size or shape of the brush to be retained. Generally, where the brush retaining aspect 32 is elastic, the brush retaining aspect 32 should be of a length such that is stretched when positioned on the supports 36, as discussed more fully below. Further, the brush retaining aspect 32 may comprise an elastic strip and an inelastic support, as described with reference to FIG. 1b.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first and second supports 36 comprise posts having upper ends 41 and lower ends 43. The posts may be configured for self-support or may be received by a base 37. In an embodiment for receipt by a base 37, such as shown in FIG. 2, the base 37 includes receptacles 39 for receiving the lower ends 43 of the supports 36. In alternative embodiments, the supports 36 may include lower ends 43 having feet for self support. The receptacles 39 may be angled in the base 37 such that the receptacles 39 angle away from one another. Such angle correspondingly angles the supports 36 away from one another when the supports 36 are placed in the receptacles 39. This angling stretches the brush retaining aspect 32, in embodiments wherein the brush retaining aspect 32 comprises an elastic strip, thereby adding tension to retain the supports 36 in position and adding further support to a brush suspended by the brush retaining aspect 32.

The brush retaining aspect 32 includes first and second support coupling elements 40 for coupling to the first and second supports 36. As shown, the first and second support coupling elements 40 are substantially similar to the brush receiving features 38 of the brush retaining aspect 32 and comprise apertures for receiving the first and second supports 36. The supports 36 may optionally be provided with coupling portions 42 for coupling to the brush retaining aspect 32, such as by receiving the first and second support coupling elements 40 of the brush retaining aspect 32. In the embodiment shown, the coupling portions 42 of the supports 36 comprise grooves at the upper end 41 of the supports 36. Generally, the support coupling elements 40 of the brush retaining aspect 32 and the coupling portions 42 of the supports 36 may be any suitable structures so long as they are complementary with one another.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a brush drying rack and storage container 50. The brush drying rack and storage container 50 comprises a brush retaining aspect 52, first and second supports 56, and a base 57. The brush retaining aspect 52 includes first and second ends 54, the first and second ends 54 being coupleable to the first and second supports 56. The brush retaining aspect 52 includes brush coupling features 58 for coupling a brush to the brush retaining aspect 52. The brush coupling features 58 may comprise apertures for receiving a brush, and more preferably, apertures for receiving and gripping a handle of a brush. More specifically, in one embodiment, the brush coupling features 58 comprise elastic apertures for elastically receiving and gripping a brush. As shown, the brush coupling features 58 may elastically deform to accommodate brushes of different sizes. The brush coupling features 58 may be uniform, as shown, or may be varied and may be customized for particular usages. In various embodiments, the brush coupling features 58 may comprise hooks, bands, clips, magnetic fasteners, removable adhesive, Velcro, etc. Further, any number of brush coupling features 58 may be provided.

In an embodiment wherein the brush coupling features 58 comprise elastic apertures, the brush retaining aspect 52 may comprise an elastic strip. The elastic strip may be formed of any material having elastic properties. The brush retaining aspect 52 may vary in length and width depending on the size or shape of the brush to be retained. Generally, where the brush retaining aspect 52 is elastic, the brush retaining aspect 52 should be of a length such that is stretched when positioned on the supports 56, discussed more fully below. Further, the brush retaining aspect 52 may comprise an elastic strip and an inelastic support, as described with reference to FIG. 1b.

As shown, the first and second supports 56 comprise posts having upper ends 61 and lower ends 63. The base 57 includes receptacles 59 for receiving the lower ends 63 of the supports 56. The receptacles 59 may be angled in the base 57 such that the receptacles 59 angle away from one another. Such angle correspondingly angles the supports 56 away from one another when the supports 56 are placed in the receptacles 59. This angling stretches the brush retaining aspect 52, in embodiments wherein the brush retaining aspect 52 comprises an elastic strip, thereby adding tension to retain the supports 56 in position and adding further support to a brush suspended by the brush retaining aspect 52.

The base 57 may be substantially hollow and include a drawer 66 or any other suitable storage compartment, which may be closeable or configured in any other desired manner. The drawer 66 may be used for storage and/or travel. Thus, for example, the drawer 66 may hold brushes, the supports 56 (when not in use), and/or the brush retaining aspect 52 (when not in use). As shown in FIG. 4, the drawer 66 includes a first end 67 and a second end 69. A handle may be provided on the first end 67 to facilitate opening and closing of the drawer 66. Further, a lock or latch mechanism may be provided on the first end 67 to retain the drawer in a closed position for travel. Optionally, the drawer may not include a second end 69 such that the drawer may be fully opened and closed when the supports 63 are positioned in the receptacles 59 of the base 57. The base 57 may further include brush display apertures 68 for receiving and displaying brushes. Thus, for example, after a brush has been washed and dried, the brush may be removed from the brush coupling features 58 of the brush retaining aspect 52. The brush may then be rotated such that the handle of the brush is oriented towards the base and the bristles of the brush are oriented away from the base, and the handle of the brush inserted into the brush display aperture 68. The brush display apertures 68 may be oriented generally perpendicular to the base such that the brushes are displayed substantially upright. In alternative embodiments, the brush display apertures 68 may be angled.

The brush retaining aspect 52 includes first and second support coupling elements 60 for coupling to the first and second supports 56. As shown, the first and second support coupling elements 60 are substantially similar to the brush receiving features 58 of the brush retaining aspect 52 and comprise apertures for receiving the first and second supports 56. The supports 56 may optionally be provided with coupling portions 62 for coupling to the brush retaining aspect 52, such as by receiving the first and second support coupling elements 60 of the brush retaining aspect 52. In the embodiment shown, the coupling portions 62 of the supports 56 comprise grooves at the upper end 61 of the supports 56. Generally, the support coupling elements 60 of the brush retaining aspect 52 and the coupling portions 62 of the supports 56 may be any suitable structures so long as they are complementary with one another.

A brush drying rack 70 including a plurality of brush retaining aspects 72 is shown in FIG. 5. The brush drying rack 70 accommodates a greater volume and diversity of brushes. The brush drying rack 72 comprises a support structure 76 and a plurality of brush retaining aspects 72.

Each brush retaining aspect includes first and second ends 74, the first and second ends 74 being coupleable to legs 77 of the support structure 76. The brush retaining aspects include brush coupling features 78 for coupling a brush to the brush retaining aspect 72. The brush coupling features 78 may comprise apertures for receiving a brush, and more preferably, apertures for receiving and gripping a handle of a brush. More specifically, in one embodiment, the brush coupling features 78 comprise elastic apertures for elastically receiving and gripping a brush. As shown, the brush coupling features 78 may elastically deform to accommodate brushes of different sizes. The brush coupling features 78 may be uniform, as shown, or may be varied and may be customized for particular usages. In various embodiments, the brush coupling features 78 may comprise hooks, bands, clips, magnetic fasteners, removable adhesive, Velcro, etc. Further, any number of brush coupling features 78 may be provided.

In an embodiment wherein the brush coupling features 78 comprise elastic apertures, the brush retaining aspect 72 may comprise an elastic strip. The elastic strip may be formed of any material having elastic properties. The brush retaining aspect 72 may vary in length and width depending on the size or shape of the brush to be retained. Further, the width of the brush retaining aspects 72 may vary and the brush retaining aspects 72 need not be uniform. Generally, where the brush retaining aspect 32 is elastic, the brush retaining aspect 72 should be of a length that is stretched when positioned on the legs 77 of the support structure 76. Stretching the brush retaining aspects 72 across the legs 77 adds tension to retain the legs 77 in position and adds further support to a brush suspended by the brush retaining aspect 72. Further, the brush retaining aspect 72 may comprise an elastic strip and an inelastic support, as described with reference to FIG. 1b.

As shown in FIG. 5, the support structure 76 comprises an A-frame having legs 77. The legs 77 meet, at an upper portion thereof, along frame rods 88. The frame rods 88 are hinged with hinges 90, thereby enabling the support structure 76 to be collapsed, with the back legs folded on the front legs. The lower portion of each of the legs 77 may be configured for supporting the frame structure 76 and, thus, may comprise feet 91. Optionally, the feet 91 may be capped with nonskid gripping shoes to stabilize the frame structure 76.

Each brush retaining aspect 72 includes first and second support coupling elements 80 for coupling to legs 77 of the support structure 36. As shown, the first and second support coupling elements 80 are substantially similar to the brush receiving features 78 of the brush retaining aspects 72 and comprise apertures for receiving coupling portions 82 of the legs 77. The coupling portions 82 of the legs 77 receive the first and second support coupling elements 80 of the brush retaining aspects 72. In the embodiment shown, the coupling portions 82 of the legs 77 comprise protrusions such as nails. Thus, support coupling elements 80 or apertures of the brush retaining aspect 72 are fit over respective coupling portions 82 or protrusions of the legs 77, with the brush retaining aspect 72 being stretched therebetween. Generally, the support coupling elements 80 of the brush retaining aspects 72 and the coupling portions 82 of the legs 77 may be any suitable structures so long as they are complementary with one another.

Stabilizers 94 may be provided between the front and rear legs 77. The stabilizers 94 may be substantially rigid pieces to maintain the front and rear legs 77 a preset distance from one another. Thus, for example, the stabilizers 94 may comprise stabilizing bars. In another embodiment, the stabilizers 94 are substantially similar to the brush retaining aspects 72 and include brush coupling features 78. Thus, as an alternative to rigid stabilizers, elastic stabilizers may be provided. The stabilizers 94 are coupleable to the legs 77. Thus, the stabilizers 94 may be provided with first and second support coupling elements 80 for coupling to the legs of the support structure 36 and the legs of the support structure 36 may be provided with complementary coupling portions 82.

Thus, as shown and described, the present invention provides a brush drying rack wherein a brush is received by a brush coupling feature of a brush retaining aspect. More specifically, the handle of the brush is received by the brush coupling feature with the handle portion of the brush extending upwardly and the bristle portion of the brush extending downwardly. Thus, as the brush dries, any water traveling along the bristles falls away from the brush rather than pooling in the ferrule of the brush.

Although the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, persons skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.