Title:
Spray bottle and golf ball washer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spray bottle and golf ball washer body having opposing brushes inside, such that one brush set is turnable and the pair engages a golf ball held between them in a wash chamber such that both the lower brush and the upper brush engage a golf ball. A piston separates wash chamber from the top to form a cleaner supply chamber for cleaning solution. The piston including at least one port for transferring cleaning solution to the wash chamber. An opening on the top accepts a solid cleaning effervescent wafer and a liquid to form the cleaning solution in the supply chamber.



Inventors:
Lockhart, Ronald R. (Downingtown, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/316793
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
12/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John S. Munday (Isanti, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A spray bottle and golf ball washer, comprising: a body sized to enclose a golf ball and having a top end and a bottom end; a cap portion removably attached on said bottom end; a lower golf ball engaging portion removably attached on said bottom end between said bottom end and said cap portion, said lower golf ball engaging portion including a lower brush for engaging said golf ball, said lower brush including a handle for turning said lower brush in contact with said golf ball, said cap portion enclosing said handle; a central portion in said body having an upper brush mounted therein facing said lower brush and spaced therefrom by a distance substantially equal to a golf ball diameter to define a wash chamber, such that both said lower brush and said upper brush engage a golf ball in said wash chamber; a piston in said central portion in said body separating said central porting having said upper brush and the top end to form a cleaner supply chamber for holding a quantity of cleaning solution, said piston including at least one port for transferring cleaning solution from said cleaner supply chamber to said upper brush and lower brush in said wash chamber upon buildup of pressure in said cleaner supply chamber; and a removable cap on said top end, said cap covering an opening on said top end, said opening on said top end being sized to accept a solid cleaning effervescent wafer and a liquid to form a cleaning solution in said chamber; whereby said device is adapted to clean a golf ball by supplying a cleaning solution to said chamber, inserting a golf ball in said lower golf ball engaging portion and reattaching said lower golf ball engaging portion, and removing said cap portion to engage said handle.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said body is cylindrical in shape.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein said handle is foldable to recess inside said cap portion.

4. The device of claim 1, which further includes a spray nozzle on said upper cap for spraying said cleaning solution.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein said solid cleaning effervescent wafer is a wafer comprised of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate.

6. The device of claim 5, wherein said citric acid and sodium bicarbonate are compressed together sufficiently to produce effervescence for at least 15 minutes.

7. A spray bottle and golf ball washer, comprising: a body sized to enclose a golf ball and having a top end and a bottom end; a cap portion removably attached on said bottom end; lower golf ball engaging means removably attached on said bottom end between said bottom end and said cap portion fpr engaging a golf ball, said lower golf ball engaging means including a lower brush means for engaging said golf ball, said lower brush means including handle means for turning said lower brush means in contact with said golf ball, said cap portion enclosing said handle means; a central portion in said body having an upper brush means mounted therein facing said lower brush means and spaced therefrom by a distance substantially equal to a golf ball diameter to define a wash chamber means for holding a cleaning solution, such that both said lower brush means and said upper brush means engage a golf ball in said wash chamber means; a piston in said central portion in said body separating said central porting having said upper brush and the top end to form a cleaner supply chamber means for holding a quantity of cleaning solution, said piston including at least one port for transferring cleaning solution from said cleaner supply chamber means to said upper brush and lower brush in said wash chamber means upon buildup of pressure in said cleaner supply chamber means; and a removable cap on said top end, said cap covering an opening on said top end, said opening on said top end being sized to accept a solid cleaning effervescent wafer and a liquid to form a cleaning solution in said cleaner supply chamber means; whereby said device is adapted to clean a golf ball by supplying a cleaning solution to said wash chamber means, inserting a golf ball in said lower golf ball engaging means, reattaching said lower golf ball engaging means, and removing said cap portion to engage said handle means.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein said body is cylindrical in shape.

9. The device of claim 7, wherein said handle means is foldable to recess inside said cap portion.

10. The device of claim 7, which further includes a spray nozzle on said upper cap for spraying said cleaning solution.

11. The device of claim 7, wherein said solid cleaning effervescent wafer is a wafer comprised of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate.

12. The device of claim 7, wherein said citric acid and sodium bicarbonate are compressed together sufficiently to produce effervescence for at least 15 minutes.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for cleaning golf balls and other sports equipment while on the golf course. More particularly, the present invention relates to a device that uses an effervescent cleaning wafer mixed in water to form a cleaning solution that contacts the golf ball. The ball is scrubbed by the device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Another facet of modern life has become concerned with cleaning specific objects quickly and without fuss. That facet is in the game of golf, which has become an integral part of society all over the world and particularly in the United States. Imported from Scotland, golf has become one of the largest participant sports and it is also a great spectator sport. As a spectator sport, with touring professional golfers and the many who help and serve them, golf is an elite game where no one ever gets dirty. The professional golfers dress as trend setting fashion leaders, with the most up-to-date clothing. Of course, they are spotlessly clean since the caddies and assistants do everything but swing the club. Clubs and balls are cleaned for them at the clubhouse, by pro-shop attendants or manufacturer's representatives. Everything is clean and nice for the touring professional golfer.

Another class of golfers, perhaps one level down in status, are the exclusive country club golfers who have membership at one or more of the finest golf clubs in the country. The lifestyle at these upscale establishments is comfortable though expensive. Once again, the persons playing golf are treated with deference befitting the prices that are paid for the opportunity or privilege of playing at these courses. Once again, the clubs and balls are cleaned for them at the clubhouse. Everything is nice for the country club golfer.

By far the majority of golfers in the United States are neither touring professionals nor members of exclusive golf clubs. Rather, the average golfer is a lot like the average person in the United States, perhaps a bit more affluent than the bottom of the middle class, but certainly not members of the wealthiest class who can afford to have everything done for them. Yet the ambiance and aura of golfing proclaims that it is a sport or game played with style and good appearances. Finishing touches are important, whether in selecting a color coordinated shirt, slacks and socks, or in having golfing equipment that is bright and shinny, looking as though it is well cared for.

This means that the golfer has to clean the golf clubs and the golf balls, most often for himself or herself, in anticipation of the game to be played at a later date. This means that dirt, mud, grass stains, and the like will have dried on the clubs, clogging the face of the clubs. Golf balls will be stained and dirty, as is inevitable at the end of a round of golf. And while the first hour or so after the game is completed is the most effective time to clean the golf equipment, it is the least opportune time from a social perspective. The golf “culture” has just not developed an attitude that equipment must be cleaned as soon as it is used, such as is done when fishing or hunting. One goes to the “19th tee” for social discussion and replaying the round in conversation.

One does not take the time to scrub golf balls, wash tees, scrape and clean golf club heads. That comes later, at home or when there is an anticipated game to be prepared for. The alternative is to leave the equipment with an attendant in the pro-shop or club house to have it cleaned, adding to the cost of the game. In either case, persons seeking to relax and enjoy the game of golf have to use either their time or their money to clean their golf equipment, and neither of these opportunities are relaxing. It would be a great advantage to those who play golf to have some way to clean their equipment conveniently and quickly, preferably as soon as the game is completed, and without involving a lot of difficulty or time.

It would be another great advantage to those who play golf to have some way to clean their equipment on site, on the golf course between holes, quickly and conveniently, so that the desired social aspects of the game can be conducted without distraction.

One advantage of the present invention is to provide a device that efficiently and quickly cleans golf balls without subjecting the user of the device to contact with a cleaning solution.

Another advantage is to provide a device for cleaning golf balls that also allows one to clean club faces, shoes and other parts of the golfer's equipment.

Other advantages will appear hereinafter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is admirable suited for cleaning golf balls while on the golf course. The device includes a body, preferably cylindrical, sized to enclose a golf ball. A cap portion is removably attached on the bottom end and has a lower golf ball engaging portion removably attached between the bottom end and the cap portion. This portion has brushes for engaging the golf ball and a handle for turning the lower brush in contact with the golf ball.

A central portion of the device has an upper brush facing the lower brush and spaced from it by a distance substantially equal to a golf ball diameter. This forms a wash chamber in which both the lower brush and the upper brush engage a golf ball.

A piston is positioned in the central portion to separate the upper brush from the top end and thus form a cleaner supply chamber for holding a quantity of cleaning solution. The piston including at least one port for transferring cleaning solution from the cleaner supply chamber to the upper brush and lower brush in the wash chamber upon buildup of pressure in the cleaner supply chamber.

A removable cap on the top end covers an opening of sufficient size to accept a solid cleaning effervescent wafer and a liquid to form a cleaning solution in the chamber.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is hereby made to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is cross section view taken along line 1-1 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing one feature of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing another feature of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is shown in the drawings. The spray bottle and golf ball washer of the present invention, 10 generally, includes a cylindrical body 11 sized to enclose a golf ball. The body 11 includes a top end 13 and a bottom end 15. A cap 17 is threaded on to the bottom end 15.

Also on the bottom end 15 is a lower golf ball engaging portion 19 removably attached on said bottom end 15 between bottom end 15 and cap 17 as seen in FIG. 3. The preferred threads 21 are similar to the thread structure of an automobile gasoline tank cap. The lower golf ball engaging portion 19 has a lower brush 23 for engaging a golf ball and has a handle 25 for turning lower brush 23 in contact with a golf ball 27. The cap 17 encloses the handle 25, which has a foldable part 29 that recesses in cap 17 when not in use and the cap 17 is attached to the device. Handle 25 is attached to lower brush 23 by shaft 31, shown in FIG. 2, to permit rotation of the lower brush 23.

Body 11 also has a central portion 33 having an upper brush 35 mounted therein facing lower brush 23 and spaced by a distance substantially equal to a golf ball diameter, such that both said lower brush 23 and said upper brush 35 engage a golf ball 27 in the body at lower portion 19 in what is wash chamber 37.

Central portion 33 includes a piston 39 that forms a chamber 41 for holding a quantity of cleaning solution. Piston 39 includes at least one port 43 for transferring cleaning solution from chamber 41 to upper brush 35 and lower brush 21 upon buildup of pressure in chamber 41. Body 11 also has a removable cap 45 on top end 13, which is sized to accept a solid cleaning effervescent wafer and a liquid such as water to form a cleaning solution in an upper chamber 41 bound by the upper side 49 of piston 39 and cap 45.

As seen in FIG. 2, piston 37 includes a plurality of leaf springs 51 or biasing means to keep tension on the golf ball 27 so that the upper brush 35 engages the ball 27 and lower brush 23 rotates by handle 25 when folding part 29 is extended and shaft 31 turns. Folding part 29 is then folded into lower portion 19 and cap 17 is returned to the device.

In a preferred embodiment, a spray attachment 53 is mounted on cap 45, so that use of trigger 55 allows the device to spray through nozzle 57,

The present invention is admirably suited for use with an effervescent cleaning tablet such as that made by. Such a cleaner is disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,578,562, issued Nov. 26, 1996, and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The wafer is an effervescence source comprising citric acid and sodium bicarbonate compressed together, preferably in an amount effective to give a compaction sufficient to produce effervescence for at least 15 minutes.

The amount of citric acid in the wafer ranges from about 10% to about 30% by weight of the total wafer, and. the quantity of sodium bicarbonate ranges from about 35% to about 55% by weight. Citric acid is preferably about 18% to about 24% by weight of the weight of the formulation and the amount of sodium bicarbonate preferably ranges from 40% to about 44% by weight of the total weight.

Also included in the wafer is a cleaning effective amount of detergent admixed into the wafer prior to compression. The preferred detergent is an anionic detergent. As noted in the above referenced patent, the wafer is sensitive to water and the wafer is sealed in an outer package protecting the wafer from air and moisture until the package is opened for use.

When the device is used, the lower portion 19 is unscrewed and a golf ball 27 is inserted into the lower brush 23 as seen in FIG. 3, and then lower portion 19 is screwed back on to the end 15. Top cap 45 is unscrewed and a wafer is inserted in the opening along with water. The top cap 45 is then replaced and the wafer dissolves in the cleaner supply chamber 41 and puts pressure on piston 39 and forces some cleaner solution through the port 43 into wash chamber 37.

The bottom cap 17 is unscrewed and folded portion 29 of handle 25 is extended. Rotation of the handle 25 causes the lower brushes 23 to rotate, causing the ball 27 to rotate and bear against the lower and upper brushes 23 and 35 together. Once the ball is clean, lower portion 19 can be unscrewed, the dirty cleaning solution discarded, and lower portion is repositioned on the device with or without another golf ball, and the handle is put away inside bottom cap 17.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended to limit the invention, except as defined by the following claims.