Title:
Laundry soap dispenser holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The holder for large liquid containers is a tray-like receptacle having a floor member and perimeter walls disposed about the perimeter of the floor member, the perimeter walls extending upward from a top surface of the floor member. A centering wedge is formed on the bottom surface of the floor member, the centering wedge extending along a longitudinal centerline of said floor member. The holder is placed atop washing machine and dryer that are positioned side-by-side, with the centering wedge positioned within a space between the washing machine and the dryer to prevent the holder from moving or sliding atop the washing machine and dryer. A liquid container placed into the holder for large liquid containers is retained by the perimeter walls, and thus held in place atop the washing machine and dryer.



Inventors:
Huber, David (Sacramento, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/356232
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RAMIREZ, RAMON O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A holder for large liquid containers, comprising: a floor member having top and bottom surfaces and a perimeter; a plurality of perimeter walls disposed about the perimeter of said floor member and extending upward from the top surface of said floor member; and centering wedge means extending from the bottom surface of said floor member, for stabilizing the holder when placed on adjacent, spaced surfaces, the centering wedge means being located approximately on a longitudinal centerline of said floor member.

2. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of perimeter walls include a front wall having a top edge, the front wall having a recess defined therein, the recess being generally centered along the top edge of the front wall, said recess being configured and dimensioned to accommodate the dispensing spout of a liquid container.

3. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said floor member bottom surface includes non-skid material thereupon.

4. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 3, wherein said floor member bottom surface non-skid material comprises a plurality of non-slip pads.

5. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 3, wherein said floor member bottom surface non-skid material comprises a continuous non-slip surface across substantially the entire said bottom surface.

6. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 3, wherein said floor member bottom surface non-skid material is integrally formed as part of said bottom surface.

7. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said centering wedge means is formed as a pair of separated, aligned wedges, formed on said centerline.

8. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said centering wedge means is formed as a pair of posts, extended downwardly from said bottom surface, approximately along said centerline.

9. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said holder is fabricated from molded, non-skid plastics material.

10. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 9, wherein said holder material is rubber.

11. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 9, wherein said holder material is a rubberized plastic material.

12. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, wherein said holder is fabricated as an open frame wire network structure.

13. The holder for large liquid containers according to claim 1, further comprising in combination, a large liquid container formed integrally as a part of said holder.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/653,493, filed Feb. 17, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to liquid consumer product containers and, more particularly, to a holder for large liquid containers.

2. Description of the Related Art

Consumer products are increasingly marketed in large unit quantities or volumes, often at a discount relative to a smaller quantity or volume. The popularity of club or warehouse type stores underscores consumers' desire to save money by making bulk purchases.

In some instances an increased quantity of conventionally sized product units are simply packaged or boxed together. Certain products, however, are better sold in a single quantity package especially designed to contain a greater product volume. One such type of product is liquid consumer products, such as liquid detergents, fabric softeners, and the like. Larger volume containers for liquid consumer products need to withstand the stress of additional product weight, thus leading to an increased weight of the container itself as well as the additional product weight.

While consumers benefit from bulk-purchase discounts, the increased size and weight of large volume containers of liquid consumer products presents problems of storage and handling of the product. Laundry detergent, for example, is typically used in small quantities in a home washing machine (perhaps a half-cup to a cup of detergent for a typical laundry load). Using a smaller volume container, the consumer might simply pour detergent from a container held in one hand into a measuring cup held in the other, measuring the detergent over the washing machine so that any spillage simply falls into the washing machine, thereby avoiding a potential mess to be cleaned up. The same procedure, using a large volume container such as a 300-ounce container presently used in packaging of liquid consumer products, might be unwieldy or even impossible for some consumers, given the size and weight of the container.

Such large volume containers are often fitted with a pouring or delivery spout for delivery of the contained liquid consumer product. Thus, a large volume container may be best suited to use in a fixed position, such as placed on a shelf near the place the liquid consumer product is to be used. For a laundry detergent, fabric softener, or the like, the large volume container is best located near the washing machine or laundry appliances. Any distance between the large volume container and the laundry appliances increases the opportunity for spillage of the liquid product.

An optimal placement of the large volume container might be on a top surface of a laundry appliance itself. However, such a placement must remain clear of any appliance door and must provide clearance for access to the container's pouring or delivery spout. A tendency of a large volume container to slide or move about the top surface of the laundry appliance, either due to handling of the large volume container to access the liquid product or due to vibrations of the laundry appliance during operations, may render the placement of the large volume container on the laundry appliance undesirable.

Thus, a holder for large liquid containers solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The holder for large liquid containers is a tray-like receptacle having a floor member and perimeter walls disposed about the perimeter of the floor member, the perimeter walls extending upward from a top surface of the floor member. A centering wedge is formed on the bottom surface of the floor member, the centering wedge extending along a longitudinal centerline of the floor member.

In use, the holder for large liquid containers is placed atop a washing machine and dryer that are positioned side-by-side, so that the holder is supported in part by the washing machine and in part by the dryer. The centering wedge lies within a space between the washing machine and the dryer to prevent the holder from moving or sliding from side-to-side atop the washing machine and dryer. A large liquid container placed into the holder is retained by the perimeter walls, and thus held in place atop the washing machine and dryer.

A recess may be defined in a top edge of a front perimeter wall to accommodate a pouring or delivery spout extending from the large liquid container.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 3A is a bottom perspective view of a first embodiment of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 3B is a bottom perspective view of a second embodiment of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 3C is a bottom perspective view of a third embodiment of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a holder for large liquid containers according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a laundry soap dispenser having a centering wedge formed along a bottom surface thereof.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a holder for large liquid containers, designated generally as 10 in the drawings and also referred to herein as “the holder.” Referring to FIG. 1, the holder for large liquid containers 10 is adapted to hold a large liquid container 96, such as a 300-ounce large liquid container, in place in proximity to laundry appliances, such as a washing machine 94 and a dryer 92. The holder for large liquid containers 10 allows placement of a large liquid container 96 atop the washing machine 94 and dryer 92, preventing the large liquid container 96 from moving or sliding about the top surfaces of the washing machine 94 and dryer 92.

In a typical configuration, a washing machine 94 and a dryer 92 are positioned side-by-side, often with a small gap or space 93 left between the washing machine 94 and dryer 92. The holder for large liquid containers 10 is a tray-like receptacle having low perimeter walls to retain a large liquid container 96, and having a centering wedge 20 extending lengthwise along its bottom.

In use, the holder for large liquid containers 10 is placed atop the washing machine 94 and dryer 92, supported in part by the washing machine 94 and in part by the dryer 92, with the centering wedge 20 fitted within the space 93 between the washing machine 94 and the dryer 92. The centering wedge 20 prevents the holder 10 from moving or sliding from side to side atop the washing machine 94 and dryer 92. A large liquid container 96 placed into the holder 10 is retained by the perimeter walls and held in place atop the washing machine 94 and dryer 92.

Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3A, the holder 10 is described in greater detail. The holder for large liquid containers 10 is a tray-like receptacle having a floor member 12 and perimeter walls extending upward from the floor member 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the floor member 12 is generally rectangular and planar. Alternatively, the floor member 12 may be shaped to conform to a bottom portion of a large liquid container 96 or the like, although at least a portion of the bottom surface of the floor member 12 should be flat, or legs or similar supports included to support the holder 10 on a flat surface.

The perimeter walls include sidewalls 14, a rear wall 16, and a front wall 18. In the illustrated embodiment, the sidewalls 14 and the rear wall 16 are generally uniform, thin walls extending vertically along side and rear edges, respectively, of the floor member 12. The front wall 18 extends vertically along the front edge of the floor member 12, and is similar to the side walls 14 and the rear wall 16, except that the front wall 18 has an recess or depression 19 formed therein, generally centered along the length of the front wall 18, to accommodate the pouring or delivery spout 98 of a large liquid container 96 placed into the holder 10.

As shown in FIG. 3A, the centering wedge 20 extends along the bottom surface of the floor member 12. The centering wedge 20 is a ridge, fin, or other protrusion extending from the bottom surface of the floor member 12, centered along the bottom surface and between side edges of the floor member 12, extending lengthwise from front to rear of the holder 10. The addition of non-slip pads 28, made of rubber or another material having a relatively high coefficient of friction, on the bottom surface of the floor member 12 may increase the resistance of the holder 10 to moving or sliding. Alternatively, the bottom surface of the floor member 12 may be coated entirely or in part with a non-skid material, such as rubber.

Alternative configurations are shown in FIGS. 3B and 3C. In FIG. 3B, a pair of short centering wedges 22 replace the single elongate centering wedge 20 seen in FIG. 3A. A short centering wedge 22 is located at each of the front and rear ends of the holder 10. In FIG. 3C, the short centering wedges 22 seen in FIG. 3B are replaced by centering posts 26 disposed at each end of the holder 10, the posts 26 extending from the bottom surface of the floor member 12.

The holder for large liquid containers 10 may be fashioned from a variety of materials. Embodiments similar to those shown in FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C may be formed of from molded plastic in a single piece, or assembled from plural parts made from plastic or other materials. It should be noted that, as an alternative to affixing non-slip pads 28 to the bottom surface of the floor member 12 to prevent the holder 10 from moving or sliding, the holder 10 may be made entirely from a material having a non-skid or non-slip characteristic, such as rubber or a rubberized plastic.

Referring to FIG. 4, additional embodiments may be fashioned, such as a holder for large liquid containers 100 comprising a wire frame structure. The holder 100 is comprised of a plurality of lateral bottom frame members 112 and a plurality of longitudinal bottom frame members 114, together defining the bottom of the holder 100. Ends 113 and 115 of the lateral bottom frame members 112 and the longitudinal bottom frame members 114, respectively, bend upward to support at least one side rim 116 extending around the perimeter of the holder 100. A “U” bend 120 is formed in each of the lateral bottom frame members 112 that extends downward from the holder 100, whereby a centering wedge is formed collectively by the lateral bottom frame members 112.

Turning now to FIG. 5, a liquid container 200 is shown having a centering wedge 220 formed as an integral part of the liquid container 200. The centering wedge 220 is formed along a bottom side 212 of the liquid container 200, generally in the manner of the centering wedge 20 shown previously in the holder 10.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.