Title:
Disposable toilet shield
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a disposable toilet shield. In one embodiment of the present invention, the disposable toilet shield includes a seat cover, a front tongue that attaches to the seat cover along a tongue-shaped perforation, and a rear tongue that attaches to the seat cover near a rear edge of the seat cover. The front tongue can be separated from the seat cover along the tongue-shaped perforation, and remains attached to the seat cover near a front edge of the seat cover. The seat cover shields a user from contacting a toilet seat, the front tongue shields a user from contacting the front of a toilet bowl, and the rear tongue dampens splashing of toilet water and reduces the amount of user waste left in the toilet bowl after the toilet is used and flushed.



Inventors:
Revelo, Omar (Auburn, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/442582
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/26/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/14; A47K13/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OMAR REVELO (AUBURN, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A disposable toilet shield for shielding a toilet-user from directly contacting a toilet that contains a toilet seat and toilet water in a toilet bowl, the disposable toilet shield comprising: a seat cover with a front edge and a rear edge; a front tongue attached to the seat cover along a first tongue-shaped perforation in the seat cover; and a rear tongue attached to the seat cover in proximity to the rear edge of the seat cover.

2. The disposable toilet shield of claim 1 wherein the front tongue remains attached to the seat cover in proximity to the front edge of the seat cover when the front tongue is separated from the seat cover along the first tongue-shaped perforation.

3. The disposable toilet shield of claim 2 wherein the front tongue further includes a front-tongue distal edge that is approximately opposite the front tongue from where the front tongue attaches to the seat cover.

4. The disposable toilet shield of claim 3 wherein the rear tongue further includes a rear-tongue distal edge that is approximately opposite the rear tongue from where the rear tongue attaches to the seat cover.

5. The disposable toilet shield of claim 4 wherein the front-tongue distal edge is attached to the rear-tongue distal edge to form a continuous tongue that attaches to the seat cover in proximity to the front edge of the seat cover and also attaches to the seat cover in proximity to the rear edge of the seat cover.

6. The disposable toilet shield of claim 1 wherein the rear tongue is attached to the seat cover along a second tongue-shaped perforation.

7. The disposable toilet shield of claim 1 wherein the seat cover further includes a top panel and a bottom panel.

8. The disposable toilet shield of claim 7 wherein the top panel contains the first tongue-shaped perforation.

9. The disposable toilet shield of claim 8 wherein the first tongue-shaped perforation in the top panel is oriented in a first direction.

10. The disposable toilet shield of claim 7 wherein the bottom panel contains the second tongue-shaped perforation.

11. The disposable toilet shield of claim 10 wherein the second tongue-shaped perforation in the bottom panel is oriented in a second direction that is approximately opposite to the first direction.

12. The disposable toilet shield of claim 7 further including a fold line between the top panel and the bottom panel.

13. The disposable toilet shield of claim 12 wherein the bottom panel can be folded under the top panel along the fold line to create a folded seat cover containing at least two layers.

14. The disposable toilet shield of claim 1 wherein the disposable toilet seat cover is impregnated with one or more of: an antibacterial agent; a scent; an antimicrobial agent; a cream; a lotion; and a disinfectant.

15. The disposable toilet shield of claim 1 wherein the rear tongue floats on the surface of the toilet-bowl water.

16. A method for shielding a toilet user from directly contacting a toilet that includes a toilet seat and toilet water in a toilet bowl, the method comprising: providing a disposable toilet shield with a seat cover that includes a front edge and a rear edge, a front tongue attached to the seat cover along a first tongue-shaped perforation in the seat cover, and a rear tongue attached to the seat cover in proximity to the rear edge of the seat cover; separating the front tongue from the first tongue-shaped perforation; folding the rear tongue under the seat cover; and placing the seat cover on the toilet seat.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein the front tongue remains attached to the seat cover in proximity to the front edge of the seat cover when the front tongue is separated from the first tongue-shaped perforation.

18. The method of claim 16 wherein the front tongue hangs into the toilet bowl from approximately the front of the toilet seat when the seat cover is placed on the toilet seat.

19. The method of claim 16 wherein the rear tongue hangs into the toilet bowl from approximately the rear of the toilet seat when the seat cover is placed on the toilet seat.

20. The method of claim 16 wherein the rear tongue rests on the toilet water when the seat cover is placed on top of the toilet seat.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of disposable toilet shields, and, in particular, to a disposable toilet shield with toilet-bowl-liner functionality.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Using public toilets can be aggravating, humiliating, and dangerous. Many people do not treat public toilets with the same level of care and respect that they do for toilets in their own homes. As a result, public toilet seats and toilet bowls can quickly become marred with user waste. Consequently, many different forms of harmful bacteria can inhabit public toilets, potentially causing people to become sick following use of a bacteria-infected public toilet.

In order to minimize exposure to potentially harmful bacteria, many people try to limit the amount of direct physical contact that they make with public toilets. Many caretakers of public toilets have responded to the public's fear and disgust of contacting public toilets by providing disposable toilet-seat covers. However, many currently-used disposable toilet-seat covers do not adequately provide the protection the public desires. Although many types of toilet-seat covers limit direct user contact with toilet seats, many toilet seat covers do little to protect users from bacteria in the toilet bowl and in the toilet-bowl water. Moreover, many toilet-seat covers do not lessen the amount of work that caretakers of public toilets need to perform to keep public toilets looking clean. Public-toilet users and caretakers have, therefore, recognized a need for a disposable toilet-seat cover that more thoroughly protects public-toilet users from harmful bacteria growing in a public toilet, while also lessening the amount of maintenance needed to keep a public toilet looking clean.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a disposable toilet shield. In one embodiment of the present invention, the disposable toilet shield includes a seat cover, a front tongue that attaches to the seat cover along a tongue-shaped perforation, and a rear tongue that attaches to the seat cover near a rear edge of the seat cover. The front tongue can be separated from the seat cover along the tongue-shaped perforation, and remains attached to the seat cover near a front edge of the seat cover. The seat cover shields a user from contacting a toilet seat, the front tongue shields a user from contacting the front of a toilet bowl, and the rear tongue dampens splashing of toilet water and reduces the amount of user waste left in the toilet bowl after the toilet is used and flushed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B illustrates the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield shown in FIG. 1A with the front tongue separated from the seat cover and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a toilet partially covered by a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the toilet shown in FIG. 2 partially covered by a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A shows a first sheet that can be folded into a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A partially folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4C illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A completely folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4D illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A completely folded with separated front and rear tongues and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5A shows a second sheet that can be folded into a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A partially folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5C illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A completely folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5D illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A completely folded with separated front and rear tongues and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6A illustrates a top view of a disposable toilet shield with a single continuous tongue that represents one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the toilet shield shown in FIG. 6A and represents one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a disposable toilet shield that shields a user from directly contacting various parts of a toilet, including the toilet seat, the toilet bowl, and toilet-bowl water. The disposable toilet shield also shields the toilet bowl from directly contacting deposited user waste. FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention. The dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 includes a seat cover 102 and a rear tongue 104 that attaches to the seat cover 102 in proximity to a rear edge 106. The rear tongue 104 includes a rear-tongue distal edge 107 opposite to the seat cover 102 attachment. The seat cover 102 further includes a front tongue 108 attached to the seat cover 102 along a tongue-shaped perforation 110. When the front tongue 108 is separated from the seat cover 102 along the tongue-shaped perforation 110, the front tongue 108 remains attached to the seat cover 102 in proximity to a front edge 112. The front tongue includes a front-tongue distal edge 113 opposite to the seat cover 102 attachment.

FIG. 1B illustrates the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield shown in FIG. 1A with the front tongue separated from the seat cover and represents one embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 1B, the front tongue 108 is shown separated from the seat cover 102 along the tongue-shaped perforation 110. The front tongue 108 and the rear tongue 104 each extend from the proximity of opposite edges of the seat cover 102, with the front tongue 108 extending from an inner edge of the seat cover 102, and the rear tongue 104 extending from an outer edge of the seat cover 102. The rear tongue 104 can be folded underneath the seat cover 102 along a rear-tongue fold line 114, shown as a dotted line in FIG. 1B, when a user places the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 on a toilet. When the rear tongue 104 is folded under the seat cover 102, the rear tongue 104 and the front tongue 108 are oriented in opposite directions.

When a user desires to use a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield, the user can separate the front tongue from the seat cover along the front-tongue perforation, fold the rear tongue underneath the seat cover along the rear-tongue fold line, and place the seat cover on a toilet seat. FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a toilet partially covered by a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 2, dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 is shown resting on a toilet 200. The toilet 200 includes a toilet seat 202, shown as a dashed line in FIG. 2. The toilet seat 202 further includes an inner edge 204, an outer edge 206, a front portion 208, and a rear portion 210. The dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 is positioned with the front edge 112 in proximity to the front portion 208 of the outer edge 206 of the toilet seat 202. The front tongue 108 of the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 hangs from the inner edge 204 of the toilet seat 202, in proximity to the front portion 208 of the toilet seat 202. The rear tongue 104, shown as a line of alternating dashes and dots in FIG. 2 when obstructed from view, hangs from the inner edge 204 of the toilet seat 202, in proximity to the rear portion 210 of the toilet seat 202.

FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the toilet shown in FIG. 2 partially covered by a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Toilet 200 includes the toilet seat 202 (discussed above with reference to FIG. 2), a toilet bowl 302, and toilet-bowl water 304. Seat cover 102 is positioned on the toilet seat 202 with the front tongue 108 and rear tongue 104 hanging into the toilet bowl 302 and floating on the toilet-bowl water 304. In FIG. 3, the front tongue 108 is shown overlapping the rear tongue 104 on the surface of the toilet-bowl water 304. The seat cover 102, the front tongue 108, and the rear tongue 104 are each shown thick in FIG. 3 for clarity of illustration. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, one or more of the seat cover, front tongue, and rear tongue are fabricated from a thin material.

The dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 directly protects a user by shielding the user from contacting the toilet seat 202, the toilet bowl 302, and the toilet-bowl water 304. The seat cover 102 shields a user from contacting the toilet seat 202 by covering the top surface of the toilet seat 202. The front tongue 112 shields a user from directly contacting the front of the toilet bowl 302 by covering the inside front of the toilet bowl 302. The rear tongue 104 shields a user from directly contacting the toilet-bowl water 304 by covering the surface of the toilet-bowl water 304 underneath the toilet seat 202 and dampening splashing of the toilet-bowl water 304 when user waste is deposited in the toilet bowl 302.

The dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 also indirectly protects a user by potentially lessening the amount of harmful bacterial growth on the toilet bowl 302 and in the toilet-bowl water 304. The rear tongue 104 covers a large portion of the surface of the toilet-bowl water 304 directly beneath the toilet seat 202. Waste deposited from a user on, or over top of, the toilet seat 202 lands on the rear tongue 104. When the toilet 200 is flushed, the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100 is pulled into the toilet-bowl water 304 and wraps around the deposited user waste. The deposited user waste is subsequently whisked down the drain of the toilet 200 while wrapped inside the dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield 100. Consequently, the deposited user waste is prevented from contacting the inner walls of the toilet bowl 302 while being flushed down the toilet 200. By preventing the deposited user waste from contacting the inner walls of the toilet 200, there may be less risk of leaving behind streaks inside the toilet bowl 302 when the toilet 200 is flushed. By reducing the amount of streaks, less subsequent harmful bacterial growth may occur on the toilet bowl 302 and in the toilet-bowl water 304. Additionally, less cleaning supplies need to be used, and less maintenance needs to be performed on the toilet 200 to keep it looking clean. Also, less toilet-bowl water 304 may be needed because users may perform fewer multiple flushings to remove streaks.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the front-tongue distal end is attached to the rear-tongue distal end to form a single continuous tongue that attaches to opposite ends of the seat cover. FIG. 4A illustrates a top view of a disposable toilet shield with a single continuous tongue that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Disposable toilet shield 400 includes a seat cover 402 and a continuous tongue 404 attached to a front edge 406 and a rear edge 408 of the seat cover 402. FIG. 4B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the toilet shield shown in FIG. 4A and represents one embodiment of the present invention. When disposable toilet shield 400 is placed on a toilet, seat cover 402 rests on the toilet seat and continuous tongue 404 drops down into the toilet bowl and rests on the toilet-bowl water. In additional alternate embodiments of the present invention, the front tongue is smaller than the rear tongue and the front tongue does not overlap the rear tongue when front tongue and rear tongue both hang into the toilet bowl.

Various layouts can be patterned into a single sheet of material to create a dual-tongue disposable toilet seat cover. FIGS. 4A-5D show two different dual-tongue, disposable toilet shields. Each dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield is created from a single sheet of material and is associated with a different layout that represents one of many possible embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 4A shows a first sheet that can be folded into a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention. First sheet 400 includes a horizontally-oriented, front tongue-shaped perforation 402 within a top panel 404, a horizontally-oriented, rear tongue-shaped perforation 406 within a bottom panel 408, and a fold line 410. First sheet 400 can be folded along the fold line 410, in the direction identified by directional arrow 412, to align the corner marked “X” 414 with the corner marked “O” 416.

FIG. 4B illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A partially folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention. The corner “X” 414 of the first sheet 400 is in proximity to the corner “O” 416. FIG. 4C illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A completely folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention. First sheet 400 is folded along the fold line 410 and the corner “X” 414 of the first sheet 400 is aligned with the corner “O” 416. The front tongue-shaped perforation 402 and the rear tongue-shaped perforation 406 are aligned in opposite horizontal directions. FIG. 4D illustrates the first sheet shown in FIG. 4A completely folded with separated front and rear tongues and represents one embodiment of the present invention. The front tongue 418 is separated from the top panel 404 along the front tongue-shaped perforation 402, and the rear tongue 420 is separated from the bottom panel 408 (not shown in FIG. 4D) along the rear tongue-shaped perforation 406. The front tongue 418 remains attached to the first sheet 400 in proximity to a left edge 422 of the first sheet 400, and the rear tongue 420 remains attached to the first sheet 400 in proximity to the fold line 410 in the first sheet 400. Accordingly, when the folded first sheet 400 is used as a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield, the left edge 422 of the first sheet 400 is the front edge of a seat cover and the fold line 410 is the rear edge of the seat cover. By folding the bottom panel 408 (not shown in FIG. 4D) underneath the top panel 404, the first sheet 400 offers additional protection to a public-toilet user because the seat cover includes two layers of material, top panel 404 and bottom panel 408.

FIG. 5A shows a second sheet that can be folded into a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield that represents one embodiment of the present invention. Second sheet 500 includes a vertically-oriented, front tongue-shaped perforation 502 within a top panel 504, a vertically-oriented, rear tongue-shaped perforation 506 within a bottom panel 508, and a fold line 510. Second sheet 500 can be folded along the fold line 510, in the direction identified by directional arrow 512, to align the corner marked “X” 514 with the corner marked “O” 516.

FIG. 5B illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A partially folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5C illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A completely folded and represents one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5D illustrates the second sheet shown in FIG. 5A completely folded with separated front and rear tongues and represents one embodiment of the present invention. The front tongue 518 is separated from the top panel 504 along the front tongue-shaped perforation 502, and the rear tongue 520 is separated from the bottom panel 508 (not shown in FIG. 5D) along the rear tongue-shaped perforation 506. The front tongue 518 remains attached to the sheet 500 proximal to a top edge 522 of the sheet 500, and the rear tongue 520 remains attached to the second sheet 500 in proximity to a bottom edge 524 of the second sheet 500. Accordingly, when the folded second sheet 500 is used as a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield, the top edge 522 of the second sheet 500 is the front edge of a seat cover and the bottom edge 524 is the rear edge of the seat cover. By folding the bottom panel 508 (not shown in FIG. 5D) underneath the top panel 504, the second sheet 500 offers additional protection to a public-toilet user because the seat cover includes two layers of material, top panel 504 and bottom panel 508.

In alternate embodiments of the present invention, a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield is created from multiple sheets of material. For example, a top panel with a front tongue-shaped perforation can be fabricated from a first material. A bottom panel with a rear tongue-shaped perforation can be fabricated from the first material, or from a second material. The first panel can be affixed to the second material in similar orientations as shown in FIGS. 4C and 5C. The top and bottom panels can also be used together without being affixed to one another. The top and bottom panels can be either of similar dimensions, or of different dimensions.

Additional modifications within the spirit of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, a dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield can be fabricated by a number of different disposable materials, such as tissue paper and recycled materials. Variations in the sizes and shapes of the seat cover, the front tongue, and the rear tongue may occur to better accommodate different types of toilets, to lower manufacturing costs, to promote ease of use, and for other reasons. A dual-tongue, disposable toilet shield can be fabricated in any number of different colors, patterns, and textures. Scents, antibacterial agents, antimicrobial agents, creams, lotions, and disinfectants can be impregnated into a dual-tongue disposable toilet seat cover.

The foregoing detailed description, for purposes of illustration, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice the invention. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention are presented for purposes of illustration and description; they are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Obviously many modifications and variation are possible in view of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications and to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.