Title:
Apparatus, system and method for dispensing wipes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing pre-impregnated household, car, utility and personal cleaning wipes are provided. The wipes dispensing apparatus, system and method allow a wipes cartridge of wipes to connect to a front cover that attaches to a back mounting shell. The wipes cartridge may have grooves that accept tracks from the front cover to connect the wipes cartridge to the front cover. The front cover connects to the back mounting shell to form a wipes dispenser unit. The back mounting shell may have an angled plate that projects toward the cartridge of wipes to position the wipes for access. A plurality of wipes dispenser units may be connected to provide different wipes of different intended uses. The wipes of the plurality of wipes dispenser units may be differentiated by a color, text, graphic symbol and/or fragrance associated with intended uses of the wipes. Thus a variety of wipes may be provided by the wipes dispenser units without uncertainty as to the intended use of each one of the wipes.



Inventors:
Laroche, John R. (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
11/807899
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
05/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
221/63
International Classes:
A47K10/42
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090084811WET WIPE DISPENSERApril, 2009Nelson et al.
20090138122PHARMACY MEDICATION VERIFICATION SYSTEMMay, 2009Wagner
20060201962Automated capsule counting apparatusSeptember, 2006Yang
20080296314COMMODITY COLUMN FOR VENDING MACHINEDecember, 2008Yanagisawa et al.
20030136795Lacquer bullet gun magazineJuly, 2003Juan
20090321468Method of retaining suture packages for the dispensing of sutures there fromDecember, 2009Enriquez III et al.
20050189368Combination beverage service item and condom holderSeptember, 2005Osterberg
20100044391ICE DISPENSER HAVING A SAFETY APPARATUSFebruary, 2010Fallon et al.
20060163267Dial-type pill dispenser with timer and reminder meansJuly, 2006Lapsker
20040256406Manually operated pill dispenserDecember, 2004Allen
20080222929Cleaning wipe container having content-specific displaySeptember, 2008Sawin et al.



Primary Examiner:
RANDALL, JR., KELVIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTS+TMS, P.C. (2849 W. ARMITAGE AVE., CHICAGO, IL, 60647, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus for dispensing wipes, the apparatus comprising: a back piece having a planar surface that is generally rectangular; a front piece having a front surface wherein the front piece attaches to the back piece wherein attaching the front piece to the back piece defines an interior wherein the front surface of the front piece is positioned opposite to the planar surface of the back piece; an opening in the front surface of the front piece wherein the opening provides access to the interior; a wipes cartridge in the interior wherein the wipes cartridge has an opening that resides within the opening in the front surface of the front piece wherein the opening in the front surface of the front piece and the opening in the wipes cartridge provide access to the wipes; and a protrusion that extends from the planar surface of the back piece into the interior wherein the protrusion has an end portion wherein the end portion of the protrusion extends in a direction toward the front piece and contacts the wipes cartridge to push the wipes in a direction toward the opening in the wipes cartridge.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: walls in the back piece wherein the walls extend from the planar surface to connect the back piece to the front piece.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: walls in the front piece wherein the walls extend from the front surface to connect the front piece to the back piece.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a raised portion of the wipes cartridge that abuts the opening of the wipes cartridge wherein the raised portion of the wipes cartridge has a size and a shape approximately identical to a size and a shape of the opening in the front surface of the front piece wherein connecting the wipes cartridge to the front piece fits the raised portion into the opening in the front surface of the front piece.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: grooves in the wipes cartridge that insert into tracks in the front piece to connect the wipes cartridge to the front piece.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a door that is spring-loaded wherein the door opens to provide access to the wipes.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a door on the wipes cartridge wherein the door opens to provide access to the wipes.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a door on the front piece wherein the door opens to provide access to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a label on the wipes cartridge wherein the label is visible through the opening in the front surface of the front piece.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a protrusion that extends from the back piece in a direction toward the wipes cartridge wherein the protrusion contacts the wipes cartridge and positions the wipes adjacent to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a plate in the wipes cartridge wherein pushing the plate toward the opening in the front surface of the front piece positions the wipes adjacent to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the back piece is made from a first material and the front piece is made from a second material wherein the first material is more flexible than the second material.

13. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a tab on the front piece wherein pushing the tab allows the front piece to separate from the back piece.

14. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a hole in the planar surface of the back piece wherein a screw through the hole mounts the back piece.

15. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: an additional dispensing unit attached to the back piece wherein the additional dispensing unit provides access to a second set of wipes.

16. A method for dispensing wipes, the method comprising the steps of: providing a first dispensing unit wherein a wipes cartridge within the first dispensing unit has the wipes wherein the first dispensing unit has an opening that provides access to the wipes cartridge wherein an opening in the wipes cartridge provides access to the wipes; pushing the wipes in a direction toward the opening using a protrusion within the first dispensing unit wherein the protrusion projects in a direction toward the opening and contacts the wipes cartridge; opening a door attached to the first dispensing unit wherein the door covers the opening in the wipes cartridge to seal the wipes within the wipes cartridge wherein the door opens to provide access to the opening in the wipes cartridge; and removing one of the wipes from the wipes cartridge.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of: closing the door to reseal the wipes within the wipes cartridge.

18. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of: mounting the dispensing unit on a wall using connecting means inserted through the first dispensing unit.

19. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of: providing a second dispensing unit adjacent to the first dispensing unit.

20. A system for dispensing wipes, the system comprising: a wipes cartridge that contains the wipes wherein the wipes cartridge has an opening and a raised portion that abuts the opening wherein the raised portion has a left side and a right side wherein the right side is in a position opposite to the left side; a left groove on the left side of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge; a right groove on the right side of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge; a front cover having a front surface wherein the front surface has a first wall and a second wall wherein the first wall and the second wall extend from the front surface; an opening in the front surface of the front cover wherein the opening has a left side and a right side wherein the right side is in a position opposite to the left side; a left track that projects from the left side of the opening of the front cover and a right track that projects from the right side of the opening of the front cover wherein connecting the left groove of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge to the left track of the front cover and connecting the right groove of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge to the right track of the front cover connects the wipes cartridge to the front cover; and a back shell having a rear surface wherein the rear surface has a top wall and a bottom wall wherein the top wall and the lower wall connect the back shell to the front cover.

21. The system of claim 20 further comprising: a protrusion on the rear surface of the back shell wherein the protrusion projects in a direction toward the opening in the front cover and contacts the wipes cartridge.

22. The system of claim 20 further comprising: a latch attached to the back shell wherein the latch connects an additional dispensing unit.

23. The system of claim 20 further comprising: a door attached to the front surface of the front cover that opens to provide access to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

24. The system of claim 20 further comprising: a window in the front surface of the front cover that allows a label on the wipes cartridge to be visible through the window.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/905,633, filed on Mar. 8, 2007; U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/858,566, filed on Nov. 13, 2006; and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/843,863, filed on Sep. 12, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing pre-impregnated household, car, utility and personal cleaning wipes.

Cleaning, polishing, disinfecting, antibacterial and/or protectant wipe products for household, workplace, utility areas, car and for personal and pet care are common and include rolls or sheets of folded material which are sold in various types of packaging and counter-top disposable dispensers. A common form of wipes packaging is the plastic or foil envelope with a melded seal at both ends and a slot or opening in the middle of the envelope exposed and sealed using an adhesive flap. This re-sealable flap may utilize adhesive tape or, in its complex form, a plastic frame and door surrounding the opening. Existing counter top dispensers have various dispensing mechanisms with flip-up tops or push button lids to keep wipes moist. However, none of these products are specifically designed to be optionally wall-mounted, incorporate an interlocking slide track mechanism locking a refill into the dispenser nor designed to facilitate a series of stacked dispensers.

Furthermore, existing products do not allow for various wipe refill packages from different cleaning, polishing, disinfecting, antibacterial and/or protectant and personal and pet care categories to be used quickly and interchangeably in the same reusable/semi-permanent dispenser. Current dispensing products in the market address only a single, specific container for that particular type of wipe. No existing dispenser system provides a particular slot or window to expose the wipes refill label when loaded into the dispenser so that the user readily recognizes the unique color-coded identifier indicating the specific functional use of the wipes and a common use location of the wipes.

Applicant has identified the need for a dispensing system for storing and organizing pre-impregnated household, workplace, car, utility and personal and pet care wipes in convenient locations, immediately available to users, while enabling the functionality of the wipes to be easily identifiable (formulation, description and branding). The present invention addresses this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a dispensing apparatus, system and method for dispensing pre-impregnated cleaning, polishing, disinfecting, antibacterial and/or protectant wipe products for household, workplace, utility areas, car and/or personal and pet care. More specifically, the present invention relates to a wipes dispensing system that allows a wipes cartridge of wipes to connect to a front cover that attaches to a back mounting shell. The wipes cartridge may have a raised portion with grooves that accept tracks from the front cover piece to connect the wipes cartridge to the front cover. The front cover may connect to the back mounting shell by friction, click tabs or other like connecting means. The back mounting shell may have an angled protrusion that projects toward the wipes cartridge if the wipes cartridge is attached to the front cover to position the wipes for access.

A plurality of wipes dispenser units may be connected to provide different wipes for different intended uses. The wipes dispenser units may be mounted to a wall or placed upon a flat surface. The wipes of the plurality of wipes dispenser units may be differentiated by a color, text, graphic symbol and/or fragrance associated with intended uses of the wipes. Thus a variety of wipes may be provided by the plurality of wipes dispenser units without uncertainty as to the intended use of each one of the wipes.

In an embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for dispensing wipes is provided. The apparatus has a back piece having a planar surface that is generally rectangular; a front piece having a front surface wherein the front piece attaches to the back piece wherein attaching the front piece to the back piece defines an interior wherein the front surface is positioned opposite to the planar surface; an opening in the front surface of the front piece wherein the opening provides access to the interior; a wipes cartridge in the interior wherein the wipes cartridge has an opening that resides within the opening of the front piece wherein the opening of the front piece and the opening of the wipes cartridge provide access to the wipes; and a protrusion that extends from the planar surface of the back piece into the interior wherein the protrusion has an end portion wherein the end portion of the protrusion extends in a direction toward the front piece and contacts the wipes cartridge to push the wipes in a direction toward the opening in the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has walls in the back piece wherein the walls extend from the planar surface to connect the back piece to the front piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has walls in the front piece wherein the walls extend from the front surface and connect the front piece to the back piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a raised portion of the wipes cartridge that abuts the opening of the wipes cartridge wherein the raised portion of the wipes cartridge has a size and a shape approximately identical to a size and a shape of the opening in the front surface of the front piece wherein connecting the wipes cartridge to the front piece connects fits the raised portion into the opening in the front surface of the front piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has grooves in the wipes cartridge that insert into tracks in the front piece to connect the wipes cartridge to the front piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a door that is spring-loaded wherein the door opens to provide access to the wipes.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a door on the wipes cartridge wherein the door opens to provide access to the wipes.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a door on the front piece wherein the door opens to provide access to the opening on the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a label on the wipes cartridge wherein the label is visible through the opening in the front surface of the front piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a protrusion that extends from the back piece in a direction toward the wipes cartridge wherein the projection contacts the wipes cartridge and positions the wipes adjacent to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a plate in the wipes cartridge wherein pushing the plate toward the opening in the front surface of the front piece positions the wipes adjacent to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the back piece is made from a first material and the front piece is made from a second material wherein the first material is more flexible than the second material.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a tab on the front piece wherein pushing the tab allows the front piece to separate from the back piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has a hole in the planar surface of the back piece wherein a screw through the hole mounts the back piece.

In an embodiment, the apparatus has an additional dispensing unit attached to the back piece wherein the additional dispensing unit provides access to a second set of wipes.

In another embodiment, a method for dispensing wipes is provided. The method comprises the steps of: providing a first dispensing unit wherein a wipes cartridge within the first dispensing unit has the wipes wherein the first dispensing unit has an opening that provides access to the wipes cartridge wherein an opening in the wipes cartridge provides access to the wipes; pushing the wipes in a direction toward the opening using a protrusion within the first dispensing unit wherein the protrusion projects in a direction toward the opening and contacts the wipes cartridge; opening a door attached to the first dispensing unit wherein the door covers the opening in the wipes cartridge to seal the wipes within the wipes cartridge wherein the door opens to provide access to the opening in the wipes cartridge; and removing one of the wipes from the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: closing the door to reseal the wipes within the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: mounting the dispensing unit on a wall using connecting means inserted through the first dispensing unit.

In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: providing a second dispensing unit adjacent to the first dispensing unit.

In another embodiment, a system for dispensing wipes is provided. The system has a wipes cartridge that contains the wipes wherein the wipes cartridge has an opening and a raised portion that abuts the opening wherein the raised portion has a left side and a right side wherein the right side is in a position opposite to the left side; a left groove on the left side of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge; a right groove on the right side of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge; a front cover having a front surface wherein the front surface has a first wall and a second wall wherein the first wall and the second wall extend from the front surface; an opening in the front surface of the front cover wherein the opening has a left side and a right side wherein the right side is in a position opposite to the left side; a left track that projects from the left side of the opening of the front cover and a right track that projects from the right side of the opening of the front cover wherein connecting the left groove of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge to the left track of the front cover and connecting the right groove of the raised portion of the wipes cartridge to the right track of the front cover connects the wipes cartridge to the front cover; and a back shell having a rear surface wherein the rear surface has a top wall and a bottom wall wherein the top wall and the lower wall connect the back shell to the front cover.

In an embodiment, the system has a protrusion on the rear surface of the back shell wherein the protrusion projects in a direction toward the opening in the front cover and contacts the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the system has a latch attached to the back shell wherein the latch connects an additional dispensing unit.

In an embodiment, the system has a door attached to the front surface of the front cover that opens to provide access to the opening in the wipes cartridge.

In an embodiment, the system has a window in the front surface of the front cover that allows a label on the wipes cartridge to be visible through the window.

It is, therefore, an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that allow a front piece of the wipes dispensing unit to connect to a wipes cartridge.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that have a front cover that connects to a back mounting shell to form a dispenser unit.

Further, an advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that provide wipes at an opening of a wipes dispenser unit.

Still further, an advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that incorporate a sliding track mechanism to attach a wipes cartridge to a front cover of the wipes dispenser unit.

Still further, an advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that have a door that covers the wipes cartridge opening.

Still further, an advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that have a door on the wipes cartridge.

Still further, an advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that have a door on the front cover of the wipes dispenser unit.

An additional advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that has a protrusion from the back piece of the dispenser unit that makes contact with a plate in the wipes cartridge in order to uniformly push the wipes toward the opening in the wipes cartridge and toward the opening in the front surface of the front cover of the wipes dispenser unit.

Moreover, another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing wipes that link multiple dispenser units together.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments and from the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wipes dispenser unit in various configurations in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a wipes dispenser unit and a wipes cartridge in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a wipes cartridge in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a wipes dispenser unit in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a wipes dispenser unit and a wipes cartridge according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a sliding track system as it may pertain to a vacuum bag cartridge according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of grooves in a raised cover frame on a wipes cartridge and projected tracks on a front cover of a wipes dispenser unit according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a table showing icon indicia that may be printed on wipes to identify an intended use for each wipe in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a depiction of wipes that may be color coded and/or printed with icon indicia to identify an intended use for the wipes in an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus, a system and a method for dispensing pre-impregnated cleaning, polishing, disinfecting, antibacterial and/or protectant wipes for household, workplace, utility areas, car and/or personal and pet care. More specifically, the present invention relates to a wipes dispenser unit that allows a wipes cartridge to connect to a front cover of the wipes dispenser unit that attaches to a back mounting shell of the wipes dispenser unit.

Referring to FIG. 1, the wipes dispensing apparatus, system and method may have at least one wipes dispenser unit 10. Multiple wipes dispenser units 10 may be mounted in a linked manner. The wipes dispenser unit 10 may be affixed to a surface 50, such as, for example, an inner surface of a door of a cabinet, a closet and/or a pantry, or may be installed on a flat surface and/or a wall of a high usage area such as, for example, a baby room, a kitchen, a workshop and/or a garage. The wipes dispenser unit 10 may be affixed in a conventional manner using connecting means, such as, for example, screws and/or adhesive pads. The wipes dispenser unit 10 may be affixed by connection with a mounting bracket or may be connected directly to the flat surface. The mounting bracket may accommodate several other wipes dispenser units 10. The connecting means may enable the wipes dispenser unit 10 to be positioned as desired.

As generally shown in FIG. 2, the wipes dispenser unit 10 may be designed to accommodate a wipes cartridge 12. The wipes cartridge 12 may contain wipes 14 for an intended use, such as, for example, window cleaning, multi-surface cleaning, disinfecting, antibacterial sanitization, grease/paint/heavy stains cleaning, polishing or protecting a specific material (leather/furniture) and/or other personal or pet care cleaning situations. The wipes cartridge 12 may have a bottom side 13 and/or a top side 15 wherein the top side 15 is may be positioned opposite to the bottom side 13. The wipes 14 may be made from a material such as a non-woven paper sheet impregnated with formulated personal or pet care, cleaning, disinfecting, polishing, antibacterial and/or protective solutions.

The wipes 14 may be folded into a plastic and/or foil package 60 and/or may be sealed with a protective adhesive seal (not shown) that may remain sealed until opened. If the protective adhesive seal is opened, a flap opening 19 may provide access to the wipes 14 within the wipes cartridge 12. A door 18 attached to the wipes cartridge 12 may cover the flap opening 19. The door 18 on the front side 15 of the wipes cartridge 12 may be opened to provide access to a leading end portion 20 of one of the wipes 14 within the wipes cartridge 12. A user may pull the leading end portion 20 of one of the wipes 14 within the wipes cartridge 12 to dispense one of the wipes 14 from the wipes dispenser unit 10. Further, the door 18 may close to seal the wipes cartridge 12 and/or to keep the wipes 14 moist. The door 18 may be manufactured from plastic or other like material.

The wipes cartridge 12 may have a raised portion 22 attached to the top side 15 of the wipes cartridge 12 abutting the flapped opening 19 in the wipes cartridge 12. The raised portion 22 on the wipes cartridge 12 may have grooves 24 in perimeter sides of the raised portion 22. The grooves 24 may be parallel to sides of the door 18 and/or the flapped opening 19 in the wipes cartridge 12. The grooves 24 may permit the wipes cartridge 12 to connect to tracks 52 on the front cover 28 if the wipes cartridge 12 is positioned vertically.

The wipes dispenser unit 10 may be rectangular in shape and/or may be formed from a front cover 25 and a back mounting shell 30. The front cover 25 and/or the back mounting shell 30 may be manufactured from molded plastic, such as, for example, ABS, PS, PP, and/or HIPS. The dispensing module 10 may also be manufactured from stainless steel, acrylic and/or other like materials.

The front cover 25 may have a front planar surface 27 and/or side walls extending from the front planar surface. The front planar surface 27 may have a left side and a right side that may be positioned opposite to the left side. A left wall 26 may be connected to the left side of the front planar surface 27 and/or a right wall 29 may be connected to the right side of the front planar surface 27. The left wall 26 and the right wall 29 may be generally parallel. Alternatively, the left wall 26 and the right wall 29 may taper toward the front planar surface so that the left wall 26 and the right wall 29 may not be generally parallel. In a preferred embodiment, the left wall 26 and the right wall 29 may be parallel and the front cover 25 may have a left tapered portion 28 and/or a right tapered portion 31 that connect the left wall 26 and/or the right wall 29 to the planar front surface 27, respectively.

The front cover 25 may have a generally U-shaped opening 51 on the front planar surface 27. The U-shaped opening 51 may have a size and a shape such that the size and the shape of the U-shaped opening 51 may be generally the same as a size and a shape of the raised portion 22 of the wipes cartridge 12. As generally shown in FIGS. 2 and 7, the grooves 24 on the raised portion 22 of the wipes cartridge 12 may allow the wipes cartridge 12 to slide into tracks 52 on the front cover 25 of the wipes dispenser unit 10. Thus, the wipes cartridge 12 may be positioned to align the flapped opening 19 in the front surface 27 of the wipes cartridge 12 with the U-shaped opening 51 of the front cover 25. The grooves 24 may be any type of rails and/or grooves that may insert into the tracks 52 on the front cover 25. Insertion of grooves 24 into the tracks 52 may allow the wipes cartridge 12 to attach to the front cover 25 so that connecting the front cover 25 to the back mounting shell 30 forms the wipes dispenser unit 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The front cover 25 may have any form of the tracks 52 that the grooves 24 in the raised portion 22 of the wipes cartridge 12 may be inserted into. Alternatively, tracks on the raised portion 22 of the wipes cartridge 12 may insert into grooves on the front cover 25 to connect the wipes cartridge 12 to the front cover 25. The wipes cartridge 12 may connect to the front cover 25 by any generally known connecting means.

Connection of the grooves 24 in the raised portion 22 of the wipes cartridge 12 to the tracks 52 may be used in other applications in addition to the wipes dispenser unit 10, such as, for example, with vacuum cleaner bags, as shown in FIG. 6, appliances, electronics equipment, and/or any product that may require a component that may need replacement. The connection of the front cover 25 with the back mounting shell 30 may provide an upper wall 57 and/or a lower wall 59 above and/or below the front cover 25, respectively. The upper wall 57 may extend above the U-shaped opening 51 so that the U-shaped opening 51 and the upper wall 57 surround the wipes cartridge 12. The lower wall 59 may extend below the front cover 25 and/or the wipes cartridge 12 inserted into the tracks 52 on the front cover 25. Connection of the upper wall 57 and the lower wall 59 may maintain a position of the wipes cartridge 12 within the U-shaped opening 51. As generally illustrated in FIG. 5, a window 175 may be attached to the U-shaped opening 151 so that the U-shaped opening 151 and the upper piece surround the door 118. In this embodiment, the grooves 124 on raised portion 122 of the wipes cartridge 112 may attach to the tracks 190 on the front cover 125.

Referring again to FIG. 2, the door 18 may be attached to the wipes cartridge 12. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 5, the door 118 may be attached to the front cover 125 of the wipes dispenser unit 110 so that replacement of the door 118 requires replacement of the front cover 125 of the wipes dispenser unit 110. Attachment of the door 18 to the wipes cartridge 12 may prevent a need to replace the door 18, since attachment of a new wipes cartridge 12 to the front cover 25 provides a new door 18. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the door 18 of the wipes cartridge 12 may have a cap 33 that may project from the door 18 and may allow the user to open the door 18 using only one finger. As generally shown in FIG. 5, the door 118 may have a touch pad 133 that may allow the user to open the door 118 with a push of a finger. The door 18, 118 may be spring loaded so that if the cap 33 is pulled the door 18 or the touch pad 133 is pushed the door 118 may open to a position generally perpendicular to the front surface 27, 127 of the front cover 25, 125.

If the door 18, 118 is opened on the wipes dispenser unit 10, 110, the user may dispense one of the wipes 14 by pulling the leading end portion 20 of one of the wipes 14 through the flapped opening 19 in the wipes cartridge 12, 112 and the U-shaped opening 51 in the front cover 25, 125. As generally illustrated in FIG. 3, the door 18 on the wipes cartridge 12 may have a molded male protrusion 34 that fits into a female silicon seal 35 positioned at the flapped opening 19 over the wipes 14. The molded male protrusion 34 and the female silicon seal 35 may provide a seal each time that the door 18 is closed.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, a label 36 may be displayed through a window 175 above the door 118 of the wipes dispenser unit 110. The label 36 may provide identification of the intended functional use of the wipes within the wipes cartridge 112.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the functional intended use of the wipes may be based on the formulated solution used to impregnate the wipes 14, a material used to produce the wipes 14 and/or a size and/or a shape of the wipes 14. The label 36 may use indicia such as, for example, text, graphics, symbols, icons, brand logos and/or color to convey the intended use of the wipes 14 to the user or a message or sensation to the user. If the wipes cartridge 12 is connected to the front cover 25, the front cover 25 may position the indicia on the wipes cartridge 12 at the front of the wipes dispenser unit 10 to make the intended functional use of the wipes identifiable to the user.

As generally illustrated in FIG. 4, the back mounting shell 30 may have a back surface 34. The back surface 34 may have an upper side 53 and a lower side 55 that may be positioned opposite to the upper side 53. An upper wall 57 may extend from the upper side 53 of the back surface 34 and a lower wall 59 may extend from the lower side 55 of the back surface 34. The upper wall 57 and the lower wall 59 may be generally parallel. Alternatively, the upper wall 57 and the lower wall 59 may taper toward each other so that the upper wall 57 and the lower wall 59 are not generally parallel.

The front cover 25 may connect to the back mounting shell 30 via friction that may allow the front cover 25 to maintain attachment to the back mounting shell 30 and/or may allow the front cover 25 to be separated from the back mounting shell 30 for replacement of the wipes cartridge 12. The connection of the front cover 25 to the back mounting shell 30 may form a box-like structure for the wipes dispenser unit 10. The wipes dispenser unit 10 may have a click tab 43 on a side of the wipes dispenser unit 10 so that the click tab 43 may maintain the attachment of the front cover 25 to the back mounting shell 30 and/or may be pushed in to release the front cover 25 from connection with the back mounting shell 30. The front cover 25 and the back mounting shell 30 may connect together in a manner other than by friction or the click tab 43, such as by, for example, locking tabs, screws and/or other generally known interlocking means.

In the depicted embodiment of FIG. 2, the front cover 25 may provide the left wall 26 and/or the right wall 29, and the back mounting shell 30 may provide the top wall 57 and/or the lower wall 59. However, in an alternative embodiment, the front cover 25 may provide the upper wall 57 and/or the lower wall 59, and/or the back mounting shell 30 may provide the left wall 26 and/or the right wall 29. As generally shown in FIG. 5, the front cover 125 may provide the left wall 126, the right wall 129 and the lower wall 159, and the back mounting shell 130 may provide the upper wall 157. Further, the wipes dispenser unit 110 may have a shape that is not rectangular and/or not box-like. The wipes cartridge 112 may be positioned within the wipes dispenser unit 110 by sliding the grooves 124 in the raised portion 122 of the wipes cartridge 112 into the tracks 190 on the front cover 125.

As generally shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the back mounting shell 30 of the wipes dispenser unit 10 may have an angled protrusion 38 that extends from the back surface 34 of the back mounting shell 30 toward the front cover 25 to apply constant pressure to the bottom side 13 of the wipes cartridge 12. The pressure applied by the angled protrusion 38 may position the wipes 14 within the wipes cartridge 12 at the front side 15 of the wipes cartridge 12, allowing access to the wipes 14. As the wipes 14 are used, the wipes 14 may sustain the position at the front side 15 of the wipes cartridge 12 due to the pressure of the angled protrusion 38. The back mounting shell 30 may have a plurality of angled protrusions 138 as generally shown in FIG. 5.

The wipes cartridge 12 may have a plate 60 within the wipes cartridge 12 at the back side 13 of the wipes cartridge 12. The plate 60 may be a piece of cardboard or plastic, for example. The wipes 14 may be positioned within the wipes cartridge 12 on the plate 60. The plate 60 may provide rigidity to the back side 13 of the wipes cartridge 12. If the wipes cartridge 12 is positioned in the wipes dispenser unit 10, the angled protrusion 38 may apply force against the back side 13 of the wipes cartridge 12, pushing the plate 60 against the wipes 14 to position the wipes 14 uniformly toward the flap opening 19 in the wipes cartridge 12 so that the user may access the wipes 14. The angled protrusion 38 and/or the plurality of angled protrusions 138 may be located on the back surface 34, 162 of the wipes dispenser unit 10, 110 to allow the user to replace and/or change the angled protrusion 38 and/or the plurality of angled protrusions 138. For example, differing wipes 14 of varying thickness may require different amounts of the force applied by the angled protrusion 38, and thus, the wipes dispenser unit 10 may require different angled protrusions 38 based on the wipes 14 that may be used.

Referring to FIG. 4, the angled protrusion 38 may have an end portion 39 that contacts the bottom side 13 of the wipes cartridge 12 and/or the plate 60. A connecting portion 44 of the angled protrusion 38 may attach the end portion 39 of the angled protrusion 38 to the back surface 34 of the back mounting shell 30. The angled protrusion 38 may be made from a material that is more flexible relative to a material of other components of the wipes dispenser unit 10. The flexible material of the angled protrusion 38 may allow the end portion 39 of the angled protrusion 38 to be positioned adjacent to the back mounting shell 30 if the wipes cartridge 12 is full of the wipes 14. Further, the flexible material of the angled protrusion 38 may allow the end portion 39 of the angled plate 38 to be positioned toward the U-shaped opening 51 in the front surface 27 of the front cover 25 if the wipes 14 are diminished in number.

The back mounting shell 30 of the wipes dispenser unit 10 may have mounting holes 40 to support screws 45 that connect the wipes dispenser unit 10 to the wall and/or other like surface. Alternatively, or in conjunction with the screws 45, adhesive on the back mounting shell 30 may attach the wipes dispenser unit 10 to the wall. If the back mounting shell 30 is connected to the wall, the front cover 25 and the wipes cartridge 12 may be attached to the back mounting shell 30 to provide the wipes dispenser unit 10 in a mounted position. Alternatively, the wipes dispenser unit 10 may sit on a surface, such as, for example, a counter top. The wipes dispenser unit 10 may have rubber pads (not shown) attached to the back mounting shell 30 and/or the lower wall 59 of the back mounting shell 30 to prevent movement of the wipes dispenser unit 10.

Referring again to FIG. 1, additional wipes dispenser units 10 may be stacked and/or aligned with the wipes dispenser unit 10. The additional wipes dispenser units 10 may be oriented so that the U-shaped opening 51 of the front cover 25 of the wipes dispenser unit 10 faces a direction the same as a direction of the U-shaped openings 51 of the additional wipes dispenser units 10. The additional wipes dispenser units 10 may be positioned so that the U-shaped openings 51 of the additional wipes dispenser units 10 are adjacent. The additional wipes dispenser units 10 may be utilized in conjunction with each other to provide wipes 14 of various intended functional utilities.

As generally illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, a color coded/icon system may be used to identify the intended function of the wipes 14. Each area within a residence, school, entertainment venue, restaurant or workplace may be given a color, for example, blue for a kitchen/bathroom, magenta for a closet, yellow for baby and personal care in a bathroom/baby room, green for a workshop and/or orange for a garage. Each wipe 14 may be given a functional icon printed directly on the wipe 14, such as, for example, a table 103 for a furniture polishing wipe, a baby face icon 104 for use upon a baby, a sledgehammer symbol 105 for heavy duty cleaning use, a steering wheel 106 for leather car interior cleaning, a car and shield 107 for a car protectant, a cross on a shield 109 for disinfectant wipes, a stack of surfaces 112 for multi-surface use, a roll of toilet paper 113 for personal hygiene wipes, etc. The wipes 14 may be grouped according to the area of common use as indicated by the color and/or the functional icon as discussed above; i.e. blue for multi-surface 112 and disinfectant 109 in the kitchen/bathroom, green for sledgehammer 105 in the workshop, etc. Thus, the colored icon may differentiate each wipe 14. The color and/or the icon may be imprinted upon the wipes 14 using an aqueous ink.

Fragrances may be incorporated into the wipes 14 as indicia so that each distinct scent may signal different functionality. Association of one of the fragrances with an intended use may assist a visually impaired user in selecting and/or using the wipes 14. The indicia may eliminate confusion as to the intended use of the wipe 14. This may solve a problem of utilizing the wipe 14 for a wrong use and/or may provide organization of the wipes 14 in the house, the workplace and/or any location of use. In addition, printing information directly onto the wipe 14 may serve as a communication tool for providing organization and functionality, entertainment, education, aesthetics, sensation, branding & advertising and/or consumer promotions to the user.

The embodiments described above are not limited to storing pre-impregnated cleaning, polishing, disinfecting, antibacterial and protectant wipes for the household, workplace, utility area and for personal and pet care, but rather can be used to store other items. It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages. It is, therefore, intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.