Title:
Wall mounted back scrubbing and washing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wall mounted back scrubbing and washing device that has a scrubbing element with bristle like projections is disclosed that is removably mounted to a wall so that a person can wash their back against the device when in a shower or bathtub. A supply of soap can be applied to the washing device from a separate soap container when desired. The soap may be applied to the washing device from a pressurized soap container, or by manually pumping the soap, or by gravity feed.



Inventors:
Chysna, Richard J. (Worcester, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/268360
Publication Date:
04/15/2004
Filing Date:
10/10/2002
Assignee:
CHYSNA RICHARD J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/110, 15/160, 601/136, 4/606
International Classes:
A47K7/02; A47K7/03; (IPC1-7): A47K7/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080041319Disposable wet nonwoven implementFebruary, 2008Rasmussen et al.
20030074754Surface treatment toolApril, 2003Holden
20070130718CLEANER HAVING STEAM GENERATORJune, 2007Chung et al.
20090031526Handle arrangement on a vacuum cleaner hoseFebruary, 2009Linhart et al.
20070028407APPARATUS FOR BUFFING WORK SURFACEFebruary, 2007Jones
20090235473Modular portable frost and snow removerSeptember, 2009Subramanian
20060179597Wiper blade and method of producing the sameAugust, 2006Hoshino et al.
20020004963Method for forming variable paint applicatorsJanuary, 2002Woodnorth et al.
20080006640Mop bucket and methodJanuary, 2008Natale
20090020141FLOOR CARE APPARATUS WITH PHOTOELECTRIC QUASI-AUTOMATIC HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTJanuary, 2009Dever
20090178223WEAR INDICATOR FOR A FLOCKED SCOURING MATERIALJuly, 2009Martin Rivera et al.



Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph E. Funk (Londonderry, NH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A back washing and scrubbing apparatus comprising: a flat, flexible base element having a front surface and a rear surface, the front surface having means for washing and scrubbing a person's back; a supply of soap separate from the base; and means for transferring some of the soap from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means.

2. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein the means for transferring some of the soap to the washing and scrubbing means comprises a flexible bottle that is squeezed by the person using the washing and scrubbing apparatus to force soap to be transferred to the washing and scrubbing means.

3. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein the soap supply comprises a pressurized container containing the soap that, when actuated by the person using the washing and scrubbing apparatus, the soap is transferred to the washing and scrubbing means.

4. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein the soap supply separate from the base may be mounted with respect to the base so that gravity causes the soap to be transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means.

5. The invention in accordance with claim 4 further comprising means for adjustably mounting the soap supply separate from the base so that the soap supply may easily be repositioned to adjust the rate of transfer of the soap to the washing and scrubbing means under the influence of gravity.

6. The invention in accordance with claim 5 further comprising means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface so that a person can wash and scrub their back.

7. The invention in accordance with claim 6 where in the means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface comprises suction cups attached to the rear surface of the basic element.

8. The invention in accordance with claim 7 wherein the means for transferring some of the soap further comprises a hose connecting the flexible bottle to the washing and scrubbing means.

9. The invention in accordance with claim 2 further comprising means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface so that a person can wash and scrub their back.

10. The invention in accordance with claim 9 where in the means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface comprises suction cups attached to the rear surface of the base element.

11. The invention in accordance with claim 3 further comprising means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface so that a person can wash and scrub their back.

12. The invention in accordance with claim 11 where in the means for removably mounting the rear surface of the base element to a flat surface comprises suction cups attached to the rear surface of the base element.

13. The invention in accordance with claim 2 where the base element has a plurality of holes between its front surface and its rear surface and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the holes.

14. The invention in accordance with claim 13 wherein the based element has internal channels communicating with the holes and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the channels to reach the holes.

15. The invention in accordance with claim 3 where the base element has a plurality of holes between its front surface and its rear surface and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the holes.

16. The invention in accordance with claim 15 wherein the based element has internal channels communicating with the holes and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the channels to reach the holes.

17. The invention in accordance with claim 4 where the base element has a plurality of holes between its front surface and its rear surface and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the holes.

18. The invention in accordance with claim 17 wherein the based element has internal channels communicating with the holes and soap transferred from the soap supply to the washing and scrubbing means passes through the channels to reach the holes.

19. The invention in accordance with claim 3 wherein the soap supply further comprises a receptacle connected to the means for transferring soap, and the pressurize container containing soap is inserted into and held by the receptacle, and when the pressurized container is activated soap passes through the soap transferring means to the washing and scrubbing means.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention related to bathroom aids and more particularly to devices for both washing and scrubbing the back.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Numerous bathing implements have been provided in the prior art that are adapted to aid people when washing in the shower or bathtub, such as brushes, scrubbers or the like. While these units may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they would not be as suitable for the purposes of the present invention as described hereinafter.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 4,047,259 issued Sep. 13, 1977 to Leonard L. Lotis and entitled “Body Washing Apparatus” discloses a flexible, rubber-like mat having a plurality of suction cups affixed to one surface thereof for fastening the apparatus to a shower wall. The opposite or outer surface of the mat is covered with a pile fabric-like material having cut pile ends and against which a user of the apparatus may move themselves to scrub their back. Attached to the outer surface is a sponge-like container having a pocket in which is placed a bar soap, and the soap within the pocket is fluidly communicated with the exterior porous surfaces of the container. The soap container also has cut pile ends that join to the cut pile ends of the mat and is easily attached to and the detached from the mat. When shower water strikes the soap container penetrates the sponge-like material and dissolves so therein which is then carried to the exterior of the container to be applied to the back of a person using the body washing apparatus. Because the release of soap from the soap container is dependent upon the water striking the container, soap passing through the sponge-like container is erratic and not very controlled. In addition, the soap is only applied to a small portion of the mat and is not uniformly applied to the back of a user of the apparatus.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 4,696,068 issued Sep. 29, 1987 to Mary B. Kenner and entitled “Shower Wall and Bathtub Mounted Back Washer” discloses a foam plastic pad having a plurality of suction cups affixed to one surface thereof for fastening the apparatus to a shower wall. Over the opposite surface a terry cloth or similar fabric cover is detachably mounted. The cover has a pocket on its interior surface to receive soap scraps in a net bag. Because the release of soap from the net bag is dependent upon the water striking the cover, soap passing through the cover is erratic and not very controlled. In addition, the soap is only applied to a small portion of the cover and is not uniformly applied to the back of a user of the apparatus.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 4,890,352 issued Jan. 2, 1990 to George E. Stowers and entitled “Backwasher” discloses a backwasher that consists of a flat, flexible rubber base element or base plate that is removably mounted to a shower wall via a plurality of suction cups. A sponge rubber washing member is affixed to the front surface of the baseplate. Each suction cup has a hollow chamber into which liquid soap is placed. When a person presses their back against washing member the liquid soap is squeezed out of chambers of the suction cups into the washing member to help wash the back of the person. There is inherent difficulty in filling the hollow chamber of each suction cup. There is no way for a person to easily alternate between pressing their back against the washing member to squeeze out liquid soap, and to just scrub their back without additional soap.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,517,705 issued May 21, 1996 to Horace L. Jackson and entitled “Back Scrubbing Device” discloses a back scrubbing device is adapted to be secured to or adjacent to a shower wall primarily by replacing a tile of the shower wall with a tile to which is attached a soap dispenser, or alternatively by using one or more expandable spring rods that reach to and press against opposing walls in a shower. The device has a complex, double compartment container into one compartment of which liquid soap is inserted and is dispensed with a manually operated pump that is well known in the art and used for dispensing such things as hand lotions. One or more brushes are affixed to a side of the soap dispenser that is furthest from the wall, and when the pump is operated soap is dispensed and falls onto the nearest brush. If the pump of the soap is operated to vigorously the dispensed liquid soap can miss the brush and fall on the bottom of the shower or tub in which the scrubbing device is mounted. In addition, with a liquid soap is properly dispensed it only contacts one brush. A supply of water is continuously input into the second compartment of the container and exits via a plurality of small holes into the bristles of a brush.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is designed to improve on the prior art discussed above. In accordance with the illustrative embodiments of the present invention, there is provided a back scrubbing and washing device that has a flat scrubbing element that can be removably attached to a shower wall via a plurality of suction cups. A separate container, adapted to hold and dispense a supply of liquid soap, is also mounted on the shower wall via suction cups adjacent the scrubbing element. The soap container is easily and quickly filled.

[0008] The flat scrubbing element is large enough to cover a substantial portion of a user's back and comprises a large plurality of outwardly extending, resilient and deformable polymeric projections or fingers projecting substantially vertically from the surface of the scrubbing element. Within the scrubbing element are channels having a plurality of exits or holes spaced about the scrubbing element, and an input that is connected to the separate soap dispenser that is mounted in proximity to the scrubbing element. When the soap dispenser is manually actuated the soap is dispensed through the plurality of holes about the surface of the scrubbing element to uniformly apply soap to the back of a user of back scrubbing and washing device. If a user of the device only wishes to scrub their back without soap the soap dispenser is not actuated.

[0009] To clean the back scrubbing and washing device the soap may be easily I quickly removed from its dispensing container, the container rinsed, filled with water and used to force water through the soap dispensing channels to clean them out.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0010] Other features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following Detailed Description of a preferred embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a frontal view of the back scrubbing element with the outwardly extending, resilient and deformable polymeric projections used to scrub user's back;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a rear view of the back scrubbing element showing the suction cups used to affixed to a shower wall, how the liquid soap container is connected to describing element, and how liquid soap is dispensed into various points of the back scrubbing element;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the liquid soap container;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the liquid soap container;

[0015] FIG. 5 shows a pre-pressurized container of liquid soap in use;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a side view of an alternate assembly of the back scrubbing element;

[0017] FIG. 7 shows another view of the alternate assembly of the back scrubbing element; and

[0018] FIG. 8 is a cutaway view of the pre-pressurized container of liquid soap in a receptacle used for dispensing the soap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] FIG. 1 shows a frontal view of the back scrubbing and washing element 10 with outwardly extending, resilient, deformable polymeric projections 11 that is used to scrub and wash a user's back. Projections 11 may be an arrangement of intermixed soft and relatively stiff projections or bristles. Also shown are two representative holes 12 through element 10 through which soap is applied to the scrubbing projections 11. Only two holes 12 are shown, but there may be any number of holes. Scrubbing element 10 is preferably fabricated from a flexible plastic material and many types of plastic are suitable.

[0020] FIG. 2 shows a rear view of the back scrubbing element 10 showing a plurality of suction cups 13 used to removably affix element 10 to a shower wall in a manner well known in the art. Also shown are two representative elbow shaped, fluid connector elements 14 through which liquid soap 19 is dispensed through scrubbing element 10 to holes 12 on its front side as shown in FIG. 1. How the liquid soap 19 is carried to and dispensed through element 10 is described further in this description. Suction cups 13 space scrubbing element 10 just far enough from the surface of a shower wall on which element 10 is mounted that there is clearance room for fluid connectors 14. Soap may be applied to scrubbing element 10 as and when the user wishes it.

[0021] A container 15 with a cap 19 is used to hold the liquid soap. Container 15 has two suction cups 13 affixed to its side and they are used to removably affix container 15 to a shower wall. As shown in FIG. 2 liquid soap container 15 is alongside scrubbing element 10. In this position container 15 would have to be manually squeezed to force soap to flow out of container 15 via a fluid connector 16, through flexible tube 21, Y connector 22 and flexible tubes 23 to fluid connectors 14 to be dispensed through holes 12 onto scrubbing projections 11 on the front side of scrubbing element 10. For the squeeze operation cap 10 must be a screw on cap with a seal in its lid to permit container 15 to be squeezed to dispense liquid soap without the soap escaping around cap 19. While only two fluid connector elements 14 are shown in FIG. 2, more connectors 14 may be utilized to provide liquid soap to more areas on the front surface of scrubbing element 10.

[0022] The user of the novel back scrubbing element 10 may also position liquid soap container 15 at different positions vertically with respect to element 10. When container 15 is moved upward from the position shown in FIG. 2 liquid soap in container 15 may be fed by gravity through tubes 21 and 23 and connectors 14 to the front side of scrubbing element 10. The rate of flow of liquid soap to scrubbing element 10 is thereby determined by the position of soap container 15 on the wall of a shower. When gravity feed is utilized, cap 19 must be loosened to keep pressure inside and outside container 15 equalized so that the liquid soap will flow.

[0023] In an alternative embodiment of the invention a separate, flat mounting piece (not shown) is provided that is mounted to the shower wall with the suction cups 13. This separate mounting piece has side lips (not shown) that snugly engage lips (not shown) formed on container 15. The lips on the separate mounting piece (not shown) and on container 15 permit the user of scrubbing element 10 to manually move container 15 up and down. When container 15 with its separate mounting piece are position on the shower wall for gravity feed of liquid soap in container 15 to scrubbing element 10, the user may easily adjust the vertical position of container 15 to adjust the flow rate of the liquid soap to scrubbing element 10. As described in the previous paragraph cap 19 must be loosened for gravity feed of the liquid soap.

[0024] FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of liquid soap container 15 showing the suction cups 13 affixed to its side, connector 14a at the bottom of container 15 to which flexible hose 21 is attached and through which liquid soap exits container 15 via fluid connector 16 into flexible hose 21. Further description of these elements are found elsewhere in this description so are not repeated here.

[0025] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the liquid soap container 15, showing suction cups 13 affixed to the side of container 15, and fluid connector 16 through which soap exits container 15.

[0026] FIG. 5 shows a pre-pressurized container of liquid soap used to dispense soap to scrubbing element 10 in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention.

[0027] Pre-packaged, pre-pressurized containers of liquid soap container 17 may be purchased and used with the invention to eliminate the need for manually filling soap container 15 in FIG. 2. To allow this a hollow receptacle 18 with an open top is provided that has suction cups 13 affixed to its side for use in mounting receptacle 18 to a shower wall. The bottom of receptacle 18 is closed and has fluid connector 16 mounted hereto for connecting container 17 and receptacle 18 to flexible tube 21.

[0028] The packaged soap container 17 has a dispensing nozzle 20 that is co-axial with the axis of soap container 17. Container 17 is inserted upside down into receptacle 18. The tip of nozzle 20 is pushed into a seal at the bottom of receptacle 18. The seal prevents liquid soap from escaping up around container 17. This seal is described in greater detail with reference to FIG. 8. As container 17 normally sits in receptacle 18 as described its nozzle 20 is not depressed and no liquid soap is dispensed. When the user presses downward on the bottom of soap container 17, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 5, nozzle 20 is depressed and soap flows from container 17 as a result of the pressurization of the container. The operation of a pressurized container with a nozzle such as this is well known in the art so is not described further. While container is depressed downward the pressure causes the liquid soap to flow through tube 21 to the front surface of scrubbing element 10 as previously described.

[0029] FIG. 6 shows a top, side view of an alternative embodiment of the invention where back scrubbing element 10 is comprised of two layers. A first layer 10a is identical to element 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2, but may be a little thinner. A second layer 10b has suction cups 13 affixed to its backside as shown. In the front side of layer 10b is a recessed channel 17 that extends to the edge of layer 10b on one side, but does not extend to the edge of the other side. At the entrance of channel 17 on the one side of layer 10b is fastened a connector 18 to which the flexible hose 21 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 is connected to introduce liquid soap into channel 17.

[0030] Although in FIG. 6 second layer 10b is shown separated slightly from first layer 10a, this is only done for the sake of presentation, and in reality layers 10a and 10b our fashion together by any one of a number of methods known in the prior art, including a rubber adhesive. When finished together the backside of layer 10a encloses and seals the open side of channel 17. Holes 12 through first layer 10b are in registration with a communicate with channel 17.

[0031] When liquid soap under pressure travels through the flexible hose 21 into channel 17 the channel is first filled and the soap then exits through holes 12 into scrubbing projections 11 for the purpose of washing the back of the user.

[0032] FIG. 7 shows another view of the alternate assembly of the back scrubbing element. This view is a rear view of the back scrubbing and washing device showing the rear of second layer 10b with suction cups 13 thereon. In dotted line form recessed channel 17 is seen in registration with holes 12. As described in previous paragraphs flexible hose 21 is connected to connector 18. As soap flows into channel 17 it exits through holes 12 into scrubbing projections 11 on the front side of first layer 10a.

[0033] FIG. 8 shows a cutaway view of the pre-pressurized container of liquid soap 17 mounted in receptacle 18 for dispensing the soap. Receptacle 18 has a flat, annular shaped rubber member 24 attached to the bottom of the receptacle as shown. In addition, receptacle 18 has a tapered extension 26 inside of which is attached another rubber member 25. When liquid soap container 17 is inserted into receptacle 18 it sits on rubber member 24, and its nozzle 20 rests against a hard rubber member 25. The normal resiliency of rubber member 24 lets container 17 rest in a position where its nozzle 20 barely rests against member 24. In this rest position nozzle 20 is not depressed and no soap flows from pressurized soap container 17. Rubber member 25 provides a seal around nozzle 20 that presents soap released from pressurized soap container 17 from flowing upward around nozzle 20. All released liquid soap flows through connector 16 into flexible hose 21.

[0034] When a user presses down on soap container 17, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 5, rubber member 24 compresses and nozzle 20 has pressure placed against it by hard rubber member 25. The result is that nozzle 20 is depressed enough to release pressurized liquid soap from soap container 17. When the manually applied pressure is released from soap container 17, the combination of the resiliency of rubber member 24 and the normal spring pressure of nozzle 20 moves soap container 17 upward enough to allow nozzle 20 to return to its normal state where no liquid soap is released from soap container 17.

[0035] While what has been described herein is the preferred embodiment of the invention and some alternative embodiments of the invention, it will be appreciated by those skilled the art that numbers changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, if a person wishes to only massage their back without washing it, they will not dispense any soap from soap container 17.