Title:
MULTIPLE STAIN REMOVER DISPENSER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dispenser configured to house multiple discrete stain removing compositions, wherein each composition is directed towards a particular type of stain. A first wand-type dispenser includes interchangeably and mutually attachable reservoirs. A second wand-type dispenser includes multiple reservoirs and a moveable applicator for selection between the reservoirs. A multi-position dispenser includes multiple reservoirs and applicators oriented such that orientation of the dispenser facilitates selection of the stain remover to be dispensed.



Inventors:
Lawshe, Jessica (Chandler, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/675734
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALCZAK, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SNELL & WILMER, LLP (Dial Corp) (PHOENIZ, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multiple stain remover dispenser comprising: a first stain remover in a first reservoir of said dispenser, said first stain remover selected to treat a first type of stain; and a second stain remover in a second reservoir of said dispenser, said second stain remover selected to treat a second type of stain different from said first type, said dispenser configured to facilitate selective dispensing of said first and second stain removers.

2. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said dispenser further comprises a common applicator selectively associable with said first and second reservoirs.

3. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said first and second reservoirs are configured for mutual attachment.

4. The dispenser of claim 3, wherein said first and second reservoirs are interchangeably and mutually attachable at respective first and second ends thereof, such that a selected one of said first and second reservoirs may be positioned for said selective dispensing.

5. The dispenser of claim 4, wherein said first and second reservoirs are attachable by at least one of a snap fit, threaded fit, friction fit, and interlocking fit.

6. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said first and second reservoirs are positioned within said dispenser such that selective orientation of said dispenser facilitates said selective dispensing from said first and second reservoirs.

7. The dispenser of claim 6, wherein said first and second reservoirs are positioned at one of different ends, different sides, different arc segments and different facets of said dispenser.

8. The dispenser of claim 6, wherein said first and second stain removers are selected for multi-stage treatment addressing different elements of a stain.

9. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said dispenser is configured to selectively expose said first and second reservoirs.

10. The dispenser of claim 9, wherein said dispenser is configured to selectively facilitate use of said first and second reservoirs by movement of a portion of said dispenser.

11. The dispenser of claim 10, wherein said first and second reservoirs are configured to selectively extend from within said dispenser during use.

12. The dispenser of claim 11, wherein said first and second reservoirs comprise respective first and second stick applicators.

13. The dispenser of claim 12, wherein said extension of said respective first or second stick applicator is facilitated by at least one of sliding and twisting action.

14. The dispenser of claim 12, wherein said first and second stick applicators are substantially aligned with a common longitudinal axis and deployable along said axis from within said dispenser.

15. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said first and second types of stains comprise at least two of oily stains, waxy stains, sebum stains, protein stains, starchy stains, food stains, and particulate stains.

16. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein said dispenser is configured as a wand-type dispenser having a moveable portion configured for selection between said first and second reservoirs.

17. The dispenser of claim 16, wherein said moveable portion is rotatable and comprises one of an opening and an applicator for selective association with said first and second reservoirs.

18. The dispenser of claim 17, further comprising one of a pour spout, roll-on applicator, sponge applicator and fibrous tip to dispense said respective first or second stain remover from said respective first or second reservoir.

19. The dispenser of claim 1, further comprising one of a pour spout, roll-on applicator, sponge applicator, pressure release valve and pump.

20. The dispenser of claim 1, wherein at least one of said first and second reservoirs is squeezable to facilitate said selective dispensing.

21. A multiple stain remover dispenser comprising multiple discrete stain remover compositions associated together within said dispenser, each of said compositions selected to treat a different type of stain and each of said compositions being selectively dispensable by one of a stick applicator, roll-on applicator, sponge applicator, pour spout, pump, pressure release valve and fibrous tip.

22. The dispenser of claim 21, wherein selection between said compositions is performed by the overall position of said dispenser.

23. The dispenser of claim 21, wherein selection between said compositions is performed by movement of one of a dispenser opening and a common applicator.

24. The dispenser of claim 21, wherein at least two of said compositions are selected for multi-stage treatment of a particular type of stain.

25. The dispenser of claim 21, wherein each composition is disposed within a reservoir and each reservoir is color coordinated to indicate the type of stain for which the respective composition is selected.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/743,335, filed on Feb. 22, 2006 and entitled “MULTI-STAIN REMOVER APPLICATION DEVICE” and is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for delivering stain removing compositions based upon the nature of a particular stain. More particularly, the device comprises an all-in-one dispenser housing multiple stain removal compositions selected for treatment of various encountered types of stains.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Stain removers have long been used in the context of laundry care. Generally, stain remover compositions are applied as pre-wash treatments to facilitate removal of a stain during subsequent laundering. The stain removers are typically dispensed onto the soiled area and allowed to soak in to “loosen” the components of the stain. Various embodiments exist to facilitate application of a stain removing composition, and, generally, the stain removing composition comprises a liquid, solid, or semi-solid form applied directly to the stain. Regardless of the application, the composition is generally selected to facilitate removal of a variety of stains one might encounter during general laundering. For example, a stain removing composition is generally not specifically selected to remove particular stains (e.g., grass, blood, ink, dirt, food and the like) but, rather, selected to facilitate general removal of a variety of types of stains.

What is needed is a selection of discrete stain removal compositions that can be associated together yet individually dispensed to facilitate removal of particular types of stains one may encounter during laundering. Furthermore, to facilitate use of a variety of such compositions, a dispenser is needed to contain the various compositions and allow for easy application and storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

As set forth in the detailed description and accompanying figures, the present invention includes, in various exemplary embodiments, a dispenser configured to facilitate using a variety of stain removing compositions and that also has the ability to contain the various compositions, further configured for easy application and storage.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a dispenser to contain a variety of stain removing compositions is configured in a “wand” configuration wherein the wand comprises at least two linearly nested reservoirs containing the individual compositions. The reservoirs are mutually and interchangeably attachable end to end to form a wand with the selected composition at the wand tip.

In accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the invention, the wand comprises a variety of stain removing compositions within separate reservoirs or divided compartments of the wand, one variety for each reservoir. The tip of the wand, suitably configured to act as the applicator, has the ability to rotate so as to align a dispenser opening or applicator with the desired reservoir to dispense the particular stain removing composition housed within that reservoir.

In accordance with yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a multi-position dispenser having a variety of stain removing compositions therein is configured with at least two reservoirs arranged such that selection between compositions is effected by selective orientation of the dispenser. For example, the dispenser may include multiple ends, sides, facets, or arc segments variously associated with discrete compositions and/or applicators.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Additional embodiments of the invention will become evident upon reviewing the non-limiting embodiments described in the specification and the claims, in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein;

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment showing the dispenser in a “wand” configuration comprising linearly nested reservoirs;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment showing a multi-reservoir wand configuration having a rotatable applicator tip; and

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary embodiment showing a multi-position selectable configuration having multiple reservoirs, each reservoir associated with an applicator disposed on a respective region of the dispenser for selective orientation of the dispenser.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of the invention herein makes reference to the accompanying figures. While these exemplary embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized and that logical and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the detailed description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not of limitation.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a dispenser is configured to house various discrete stain-removing compositions in separate reservoirs. “Stain remover” as used herein, generally may be construed to mean any stain treatment or pre-wash treatment composition for use in washing stained articles such as clothing, carpets, or other launderable fabrics or textiles. Thus, a stain remover may be used alone or in combination with a second stain remover composition to remove of a stain from fabrics before or during laundering.

A “dispenser” is any device including a composition reservoir or associate reservoirs and optionally an applicator suitably configured to dispense the various stain-removing compositions. A “reservoir” is any compartment suitable to contain a composition in any form. Suitable reservoirs include rigid or squeezable bottles, sticks, or segments of a larger container, and the like. An “applicator” may be associated with the reservoir to better control treatment of a stained article with a composition. Exemplary applicators include a pour spout, roll-on applicator, sponge applicator, stick, dispenser opening, pump and pressure release valve.

Thus, any number of stain remover compositions may be contained in any number of reservoirs associated together in a dispenser. A common applicator may be associated with the dispenser for use with a selected reservoir. Alternatively, individual applicators may be associated with particular reservoirs. Stain removal compositions may be selected for use in a multi-stage treatment. Reservoirs may be color coordinated to indicate the type of stain for which a composition is to be used.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a dispenser is configured in a “wand” configuration with at least two stain-removing compositions contained within at least two linearly nested modules. The nested modules allow the user to maintain the various stain-removing compositions in a single location.

With reference to FIG. 1, a dispenser 100 having at least two linearly nested modules 110 is shown. As illustrated, module 110 is detachably connected to an adjacent module and may be detachably connected to the distal end of other modules, such that all of the modules are kept together in a single dispenser, thus easily accessible and readily available. Each module 110 comprises a reservoir 120 to house the stain-removing composition, and a cap 130 to encase an applicator 140. Each module 110 comprises a proximate end, the end comprising applicator 140 and cap 130, and, as mentioned, a distal end. Cap 130 further comprises an engagement portion 150 that is configured to engage the receiving portion 160 at the distal end of module 110.

In accordance with an aspect of the invention, engagement portion 150 is configured to detachable connect to receiving portion 160. Various configurations are provided such that each module 110 is connected to another module 110 in a suitably secure manner. For example portions 150 and 160 comprise male-female connectors that are a snap-fit type connection. Alternatively, they may comprise a male-female friction type connection. Portions 150 and 160 may also comprise a threaded or screw-type connection. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other embodiments may be provided such that portions 150 and 160 are detachably connected in a secure manner.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, applicator 140 comprises any type of applicator suitably configured to operate in connection with reservoir 120 to dispense the housed, stain-removing composition. Illustrated in FIG. 1, applicator 140 comprises a fibrous tip that is securely connected to reservoir 120. The tip operates by capillary action and provides a user with the ability to dispense the stain-removing composition onto the desired location. Alternatively, applicator 140 comprises a pour spout, a roll-on applicator, a saturated sponge, pump, a pressure release valve (e.g., for use with a pressurized or squeezable reservoir), and the like application devices.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, reservoir 120 is configured to house the various stain-removing compositions. Illustrated in FIG. 1, reservoir 120 comprises a geometrically regular configuration, such that, as part of module 110, reservoir 120 is configured to attach to other like modules. To facilitate such attachment, it may be beneficial to configure the reservoirs in regular shapes, for example, circular, oval, square, rectangular, and the like. In an exemplary embodiment, reservoir 120 is fairly rigid, to maintain the overall stability of the various detachably connected modules, however, reservoir 120 may comprise an appreciable amount of flexibility, for example, to accommodate a “squeezable” type module. In accordance with another aspect, reservoir 120 may be pressurized, for example by propellant or by squeezing and may include a pressure release valve.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a dispenser is suitably configured to have multiple reservoirs to house various stain removing compositions, and an opening or applicator is configured to rotate so that it aligns with the desired reservoir. With reference to FIG. 2, an exemplary dispenser is illustrated. Dispenser 100 comprises reservoirs 120 suitably connected to rotatable portion 170, wherein rotatable portion 170 comprises applicator 140 and cap 130. Portion 170 turns to align with the desired reservoir 120 so that the particular composition housed in reservoir 120 may be used. In accordance with various aspects, reservoir 120 and applicator 140 comprise various configurations described briefly above.

In accordance with an alternative exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the dispenser comprises a positional embodiment, wherein the dispenser is configured to have at least two reservoirs to house the various stain removing compositions. Suitably connected to each reservoir is a stain removing applicator tailored to dispense the composition. Selection of a composition depends on position of the dispenser, for example, through orientation of one of multiple ends, sides, facets, or arc segments of the dispenser relative to the stained article.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, an exemplary embodiment shows the disk configuration having the various reservoirs 120. Each reservoir 120 is suitably connected to an. applicator 140 having an enclosing cap 130. The user merely, determines which composition is desired based upon the encountered stain, and then applies the appropriate composition housed in one of the reservoirs.

Again, one skilled in the art should appreciate that various reservoir and applicator configurations discussed herein, earlier, may also apply to this exemplary embodiment. It will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the various reservoirs described herein may comprise a transparent or semi-transparent configuration, such that a user may determine to what level, a particular amount of composition remains. Alternatively, the reservoirs may be color coordinated according to the type of stain to be treated.

As described herein, the present invention is directed towards a dispenser that may accommodate a variety of stain-removing compositions tailored to combating a particular stain. Thus, in accordance with various exemplary embodiments of the present invention, various stain removing compositions comprise, in various combinations and amounts, a composition for pre-treating and removing stains and/or soils on fabric articles and other launderable textiles before laundering, comprising: (i) a cleaning component; (ii) optionally, water; (iii) optionally, at least one enzyme; and (iv) optionally, at least one anti-redeposition agent.

In accordance with a further exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a cleaning composition for facilitating at least partial removal of a stain from a fabric article is provided, which comprises: (i) a cleaning component; (ii) at least one solvent; (iii) optionally, at least one anti-redeposition agent; (iv) optionally, at least one liquid carrier; and (v) optionally, at least one enzyme.

In yet a further embodiment of the present invention, a stain remover for facilitating at least partial removal of a stain from a fabric comprises: (i) a nonionic surfactant blend; and (ii) at least one solvent.

A stain remover in accordance with various exemplary embodiments of the present invention generally comprises at least a cleaning component element. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the cleaning component includes a blend of nonionic surfactants. Suitable nonionic surfactants for use in the nonionic surfactant blend in accordance with one aspect of the present invention include linear primary alcohol ethoxylates. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the nonionic surfactant blend of the stain remover may comprise a linear primary alcohol ethoxylate such as L48-3, such as is available as Surfonic 48-3 as manufactured by Huntsman, having an alkyl chain length of C14 to C18 and 3 moles of ethylene oxide.

In accordance with another exemplary embodiment, the nonionic surfactant blend may include a linear primary alcohol ethoxylate such as L24-12, such as is available as Surfonic 24-12, as manufactured by Huntsman, having an alkyl chain length of C12 to C14 and 12 moles of ethylene oxide. A wide variety of LPAE's are manufactured for use in cleaning products, and any now know or hereafter devised LPAE suitable for use in the compositions of the present invention may be used. Preferably, the water soluble EO-hydrophile ranges from about 3 to about 15 EO units, and the alkyl portion comprises on the order of about 6 to about 22 carbons. Other suitable LPAE's may include Surfonic L12-3 to L12-15 and L46-3 to L46-20 (Huntsman), Tomadol 1-3 to 1-9 and Tomadol 25-3 to 25-9 (Tomah), and Biodac 39 to 89 (Sasol/Condea)

In accordance with yet another exemplary embodiment of the invention, the nonionic surfactant blend may include a mixture of linear primary alcohol ethoxylates having a range of alkyl chain lengths with a range of moles of ethylene oxide. For example, a suitable nonionic surfactant blend for use in the present invention may include a mixture of L48-3 and L24-12 linear primary alcohol ethoxylates. Nonionic surfactant blends comprising primary alcohols having varying alkyl chain lengths and varying numbers of moles of ethylene oxide groups may increase the efficiency of cleaning while also stabilizing the composition.

The nonionic surfactant blend, in still yet another exemplary embodiment, may also comprise iso-branched primary alcohol ethoxylates. In one exemplary embodiment of the invention, a suitable iso-branched primary alcohol ethoxylate may include TDA-3, such as is available as Surfonic TDA-3, as manufactured by Huntsman. The surfactants based upon Iso-branched alcohols are likewise ethoxylated as the linear alcohols above. Among the ethoxylated alcohols, the low wt % TDA-3 combines a strong hydrophobe for efficient cleaning and a low degree of ethoxylation for fluid structure. Iso-branched primary alcohol ethoxylates can be effective cleaners for stains such as dirty motor oil stains, greasy stains, which are susceptible to the fluidity of the branched alkyl chains. Further, while not wishing to be bound by any particular theory, it is believed that branched chain lengths disrupt the “packing” of the surfactant into liquid and solid crystals, thus improving stability of the composition. In addition, branched chain lengths tend to be fluid at lower temperatures as compared to linear chain lengths, thus providing cleaning over a broader range of temperatures.

In accordance with various exemplary embodiments of the invention, the cleaning component may comprise any surfactant or surfactant blend that provides a cleaning benefit to the stain remover. For example, it will be appreciated that any suitable anionic, nonionic, ampholytic, zwitterionic, cationic or other surfactant or surfactant mixture may be used. Preferably, the surfactant or surfactant blend is formulated so as to exhibit a cleaning benefit for a variety of stains such as oily stains, waxy stains, sebum stains, protein stains, starchy stains, food stains, and particulate stains.

In accordance with a further aspect of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the stain remover may comprise at least one solvent. One example of a class of solvents suitable for use in the stain remover according to various embodiments of the present invention is glycol ethers, such as Dowanal® DB glycol ether manufactured by Dow Chemical Company. Moreover, in addition to acting as a solvent, Dowanal® DB facilitates thickening of the foam of the stain remover. Another example of a solvent suitable for use in the stain remover of the present invention includes propylene glycol. A wide variety of glycol ethers are available commercially for use in cleaning products.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, the solvent may comprise any suitable solvent that provides a cleansing benefit for oily, waxy, particulate or sebum stains. The solvent may comprise a low volatility and may be formed of any suitable glycolic, alcoholic or esteric, etheric hydrocarbon.

In accordance with various exemplary embodiments, the stain remover may comprise one or more enzymes that provide additional cleaning performance and/or fabric care benefits. A preferred enzyme suitable for use in the stain remover of the present invention includes the protease enzyme, such as that sold under the trademark Savinase® by Novo-Nordisk A/S. Protease provides an effective cleaning benefit for protein-based stains, such as, for example, blood and grass. Another enzyme suitable for use in the stain remover of the present invention is the amylase enzyme, such as that sold under the trademark Duramyl® by Novo-Nordisk A/S. The amylase enzyme may be included to facilitate removal of carbohydrate-based stains, such as those caused by puddings, cooked cereals, starchy foods and the like. Starchy stains can be problematic as they can be invisible until particulates absorb onto them. Other enzymes suitable for use in the stain remover of the present invention include those selected from cellulases, hemicellulases, peroxidases, gluco-amylases, lipases, cutinases, pectinases, xylanases, reductases, oxidases, phenoloxidases, lipoxygenases, ligninases, pullulanases, tannases, pentosanases, malanases, glucanases, arabinosidases or mixtures thereof.

A stain remover in accordance with the present invention may also include, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment, a liquid carrier. Typically, the liquid carrier comprises water, as water is a readily available and a relatively inexpensive liquid carrier. In addition, water may facilitate the cleaning of water-soluble stains. However, other suitable liquid carriers may include Propylene glycol, glycerin or other aforementioned glycol ethers or blends thereof.

A stain remover in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention may also contain other optional ingredients. For example, the stain remover may include one or more anti-redeposition agents, such as, maleic acid/acrylic acid polymers, such as, for example, Acusol® 505, 602 445, available from Rohm and Haas Company. Other anti-redeposition agents include Acusol® 460, or other now known or hereafter devised anti-redeposition agents.

The stain remover also may include one or more preservatives, such as, for example, Dowicil® 75 manufactured by Dow Chemical Company. Moreover, the stain remover may include one or more enzyme stabilizers that stabilize the enzymes in the stain remover. Examples of enzyme stabilizers suitable for use in accordance with various embodiments of the stain remover of the present invention include Na2B4O.10H2O, which facilitates stabilization of the protease enzyme, and CaCl2.2H2O, which facilitates stabilization of the amylase enzyme. The stain remover may also include fragrances, dyes, pH adjusting agents, antibacterial agents, and the like.

Finally, various principles of the invention have been described in illustrative embodiments. However, many combinations and modifications of the above-described structures, arrangements, proportions, elements, materials and components, used in the practice of the invention, in addition to those not specifically described, can be varied without departing from those principles.





 
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