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This application claims priority to provisional application No. 60/914,864 filed on Apr. 30, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to washcloths for bathing, cleaning, and/or washing the skin
Washcloths used for cleaning and/or washing the skin throughout the body are very well known. Washcloths are typically made of a water absorbent material such as cotton terry. The material is generally soft to the touch as it will be used directly against the skin. The surface of a washcloth typically is not smooth as that promotes friction to aid in the cleansing process. The surface can be composed of various soft cotton loops or fabric strands that stick up from the surface. When wet, the washcloth will be able to generate a lather from a bar of soap and will allow the user to softly clean their body by rubbing the washcloth across the body. Being a solid fabric, the user will be able to hold it and use it in bathing. The cleaning effect occurs by the user's exerting pressure on the body and scrubbing the skin. The combination of the lather from the soap and the friction from the scrubbing action will remove any dirt or materials that are on the body. However, the washcloth has very little value when exfoliating the skin. In addition, the area in which the washcloth can clean is limited to the areas that the user can reach with their hand and press the washcloth against the body with enough force to simulate a scrubbing motion. Generating a lather from gel soaps or liquid soaps is more difficult with a washcloth.
Another bath cleaning device is a nylon mesh sponge. The nylon mesh sponge typically is composed of layers and layers of a thin nylon mesh that is bunched into a ball shape. Each layer of nylon mesh is flexible and relatively soft to the touch. It is much easier to generate a lather from gel soaps or liquid soaps with a mesh sponge. Being a mesh, when rubbed against the body, it will aid in exfoliation of the skin while still maintaining a soft touch to the skin. However, each layer of the mesh is relatively thin and is hard for a user to hold onto while rubbing against the skin. When multiple layers are bunched together in a ball, the user can hold multiple layers and press other layers against the skin to exfoliate the skin. However, creating a compact ball limits the surface area that can be cleaned by the mesh sponge and it is difficult for the individual to properly cleanse their back and other hard to reach areas on the body.
The present invention solves the problems of the prior art by creating a two-sided cloth used for bathing or washing that has an exfoliating mesh nylon netting on one side of the cloth. The other side of the cloth is the bathing cloth material that allows the individual to thoroughly cleanse the entire body. The cloth also has ropes or a string like devices on the corners of the cloth or anywhere on the cloth to make it easy for the individual to clean and exfoliate their back. This invention is used to bathe the skin and to deliver a soapy lather as well as an exfoliating effect. The soap is rubbed onto the cloth and the lather is created and is then spread through out the cloth.
The following important objects and advantages of the present invention are: (1) to provide a washcloth that lathers, cleans and exfoliates the entire body; (2) to provide a bathing instrument that allows the individual to only have to use one item for a through body cleansing; (3) to provide a washcloth that allows the individual to exfoliate and clean their back; (4) to provide a washcloth that will deliver the same lathering results using a body wash product or a bar of soap.
FIG. 1 shows a top view of the washcloth in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows a bottom view of the washcloth in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows a side view of the washcloth in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 shows one proposed use of the washcloth in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
For the purposes of understanding the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings. It will be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications in the described embodiments, and any further applications of the principles of the invention as described herein are contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
Referring to FIG. 1, the top view of a washcloth in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The washcloth 101 is generally made of a soft cotton material that is polygonal in shape. FIG. 1 depicts the washcloth as being a square, but different shapes can be used and still be within the ambit of the invention. The soft cotton material will be water absorbent.
The top surface 103 of the main body of the washcloth 101 is composed of a large number of fabric loops that are small and close to the surface. The fabric loops can be loose fabric strands that stand out from the surface or be made of a cotton with a dense weave to create a non-smooth surface to the top portion. However, the surface will be composed of the soft cotton fabric so that it will remain soft to the human skin.
The edges of the washcloth 101 will have a border 105. The border 105 will be composed to be sturdier than the main body of the washcloth 101 since the edges of the washcloth 101 will maintain the shape of the washcloth. If the edges of the washcloth become frayed, then the washcloth will begin to lose its shape.
Fabric strings 107 extend from the corners of the washcloth 101. The fabric strings will be composed of a soft, but strong material that will be used to extend the reach of the washcloth in cleaning the user's body. The strings 107 are shown as being attached to the corners of the washcloth 101 because that will maximize the length of the square washcloth 101, but the strings can be located at any edge of the washcloth and still extend the reach of the user. In addition, the strings are shown as a fabric loop, which provides an advantage in that the loop can be used to hang the washcloth from a hook when drying. However, a single strand of string can be used and still be within the scope of the invention. The length of the string 107 will depend on the size of the washcloth and placement of the string 107 along the border. If the string 107 is placed along the corners, then the string 107 can be shorter in length.
Alternatively, borders 105 can be composed of a folded edge and string 107 can be inserted into folded edges of the washcloth 101. This provides the advantages that the borders are strengthened by folding the edges over to avoid fraying of the edges and the washcloth and it also benefits in securing the attachment of the strings 107 to the washcloth 101.
Referring to FIG. 2, the bottom side of the washcloth 101 is shown. As can be seen, mesh netting 203 is attached to the washcloth 101. The mesh netting 203 is shown as being five strips of netting attached to the washcloth, but any number of strips of netting can be used. Each strip of netting consists of one layer of mesh fabric, but multiple layers of mesh fabric can be used for each strip.
The netting 203 can be attached to the washcloth 101 by being sewn to the washcloth 101. In sewing the mesh netting 203 to the washcloth, the sewing stitches should minimally interfere with the top surface of the washcloth. The stitching can be along a line in the middle of each strip of mesh netting 203 and along the edges of each strip. In this manner, the mesh netting will cover the majority of the surface area of the bottom surface of the washcloth 101. In addition, by stabilizing the mesh netting 203 against the body of the washcloth 101 with the three stitches, it ensures that the fragile mesh netting 203 will be stabilized enough able to rub against the skin to create the exfoliating effect and not just run along the skin.
FIG. 3 shows a side view of the washcloth 101. As can be seen, the washcloth 101 has the mesh netting 203 on the bottom surface and the cotton fabric strands on the top surface. The mesh netting 203 should extend from the surface of the washcloth 101 and/or be of sufficient material such that if the user rubs the bottom side of the washcloth 101 against the skin, the mesh netting 203 will primarily contact the skin and the wash cloth will exfoliate the skin via the mesh netting 203. The mesh netting 203 can be layered or gathered up in bunches when being attached to the bottom surface of the wash cloth 101.
In operation, the user will be able to use both sides of the washcloth 101 to effectuate exfoliation and cleansing of the body. The user will first be able to create a lather by using either the mesh netting 203 for soap gels or liquid soaps or the top side if using a bar of soap. The porous nature of the mesh netting will allow the soap gel or liquid to lather up quicker than the solid top side of the washcloth. In contrast, the solid top side of the washcloth 101 will be more effective in creating a lather with a solid bar of soap. In contrast to the solid fabric of the washcloth, the mesh netting 203 will only have a partial abrasive effect.
Once a lather has been created, the lather will permeate through the washcloth 101 and the user can use either the mesh netting or the top side of the washcloth 101 during the bathing process simply by flipping the washcloth over so that the desired side contacts the skin. If the user wishes to use the washcloth 101 in a hard to reach area such as the back, the user can grab the strings and use the strings to extend his reach to their back. FIG. 4 shows the use of the invented washcloth in this manner.