Title:
Knit Cleaning Pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A knit cleaning pad for cleaning a surface, such as a flooring surface, is provided that is formed with a knitted construction having a holding stitch disposed between adjacent stitched layers. The holding stitch enables the pad to maintain its shape without any significant stretching or pulling to the original shape of the pad. The knitted construction also enables the pad to be used in a reversible manner and to be secured directly to the head of a suitable cleaning device without the need for any additional securing mechanisms.



Inventors:
Weichelt, Joel (Kewaunee, WI, US)
Opicka, Ronald (Casco, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/969026
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
01/03/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/209.1, 300/21
International Classes:
A47L13/10; A46D99/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020002984Surgical scrub brush and methodJanuary, 2002Loy
20050115008Combination floor & ergonomic hand held cleaning toolsJune, 2005Cassar
20070221247Scouring Element For Cleaning Points That Are Difficult To AccessSeptember, 2007Duda et al.
20040055104Apparatus and method for cleaning a vacuum systemMarch, 2004Cutforth
20090089967Suction nozzle for use in vacuum cleanerApril, 2009Yang et al.
20030204927Foot brushNovember, 2003Kelly
20090173805COMBINATION BLOWER AND HERBICIDE SPRAYING DEVICEJuly, 2009Loaces
20040025277Smoother with a friction sleeve on handleFebruary, 2004Chen
20060075592Foldable lotion applicator and pad thereforApril, 2006Sommers et al.
20080222826Cleaning Appliance With a Cleaning Sponge For Floors, Walls and/or WindowsSeptember, 2008Tran et al.
20090151114Portable Household ApplianceJune, 2009Pineschi



Primary Examiner:
BOYD, JENNIFER A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOYLE FREDRICKSON S.C. (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cleaning pad comprising: a) a first stitching layer; b) a second stitching layer; and c) a holding stitch connected to the first layer at one end, and to the second layer at the opposite end, wherein the holding stitch extends across the entire cleaning pad to prevent the first layer and the second layer from stretching.

2. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the holding stitch is integrally formed with the first layer.

3. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the holding stitch is integrally formed with the second layer.

4. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the first layer and the second layer are formed from materials attachable to a hook portion of a hook and loop closure.

5. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the holding stitch extends diagonally across the pad between the first layer and the second layer.

6. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the first layer and the second layer are generally rectangular in shape.

7. The cleaning pad of claim 1 wherein the first layer is formed from knit stitches and the second layer is formed from purl stitches.

8. A method for forming a cleaning pad, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing an amount of a suitable cloth material in a knittable form; b) forming a first stitching layer of the material; c) forming a holding stitch of the material across the first stitching layer; and d) forming a second stitching layer of the material over the first stitching layer and the holding stitch.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the holding stitch is formed as an integral extension of the first stitching layer.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the second stitching layer is formed as an integral extension of the holding stitch.

11. The method of claim 8 further comprising the step of repeating steps b)-d) as many times as necessary to form a cleaning pad with the desired size.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/900,871, filed on Feb. 12, 2007, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cleaning devices and more specifically to cleaning pads developed for use with various cleaning devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In interior environments within a home or in a commercial location, such as kitchen environments, numerous devices have been created to assist in cleaning those environments. A large number of these devices utilize pads or other implements that are attached to the device in order to more effectively pick up dirt and other debris from a surface to clean that surface. The pads are often formed of a fabric or cloth material and are secured to the devices in various manners to permanently or releasably hold the pads on the device. Those devices that utilize a releasable attachment of the pads to the device allow the pads to be easily removed and disposed of after use in cleaning a surface or surfaces, such as a floor or countertop.

However, the prior art pads constructed for use with these types of devices are constructed such that the pads can only be attached to the device in a specified orientation and manner. More particularly, the attachment of the pads to the devices necessitates that the pads only have a single surface that is, or that can be exposed during use of the pad on the device, thereby reducing the utility of the pads constructed for use with these types of devices. Furthermore, because the majority of these cleaning pads for use with these types of cleaning devices are designed to be disposable, a significant amount of waste is generated through the use and disposal of these cleaning devices and pads.

Therefore, it is desirable to develop a cleaning pad that can be used on various cleaning devices that is easily removable from the device and that can be reused to clean multiple surfaces. It is also desirable that the cleaning pad be attachable to the device without the need for any special attachment means.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, a cleaning pad is provided that it is formed of a yarn or cloth material. This material is formed into the cleaning pad in a knitting procedure in order to form the pad with a configuration adaptable to various cleaning devices. The pad configuration enables the pad to be reversibly secured to the various cleaning devices such that more than one surface of the pad can be utilized for cleaning purposes. Further, because the pad is formed of a cloth material, when removed from the cleaning device, the pad can be cleaned in a manner similar to that utilized to clean other cloth material items in order to extend the useful life of the pad.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the cloth material forming the cleaning pad functions as the attachment means for securing the cleaning pad to a particular cleaning device. The nature of the cloth material essentially forms a loop component of a conventional hook and loop fastener normally utilized in conjunction with existing cleaning devices. Therefore, in addition to providing the cleaning function, the material forming the cleaning pad functions as the attachment means to secure the pad to the particular cleaning device.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, the pad is formed of a cloth material in a knitting process where, in addition to the knit and purl stitches, a secure run of the material, or a holding stitch, is created between each row of stitches. This holding stitch effectively locks or prevents the stitched material from stretching in the manner commonly associated with items formed utilizing the conventional knit one, purl one knitting pattern. Thus, the locking stitch enables the pad to maintain its shape over an extended period of use.

Numerous other features, objects and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate the best mode currently contemplated of practicing the present invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of a knit cleaning pad constructed according to the present invention attached to a cleaning device;

FIG. 2-4 are top plan views illustrating the manufacturing steps in the process for forming the cleaning pad of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference now to the drawing figures in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the disclosure, a cleaning device for use in removing dirt and other debris from a surface is indicated generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The device 10 can take any desired shape, or have any suitable construction, but in the preferred embodiment is formed with a handle 12 secured at one end to a pad-engaging head 14. In order to secure the pad to be used in cleaning the surface to the head 14, the head 14 also includes a securing means 16, preferably formed of one half of a hook-and-loop-type closure 18 that is disposed on the head 14 opposite the handle 12.

Looking now at FIG. 1, a cleaning pad 20 is illustrated as being attached to the head 14 of the device 10. The pad 20 is formed of a yarn or cloth material capable of being formed by knitting into the pad 20 using a method to be described. While the material utilized to form the pad can be any suitable synthetic or natural fiber-based material, a preferred material is an industrial microfiber yarn. This industrial-type microfiber yarn has a large surface area that enables the yarn to trap small particles of dirt and other debris in comparison to more conventional fabric material fibers that are currently used in mop pad constructions. The microfiber yarn material is also highly absorbent, allowing the pad 20 formed of this material to absorb multiple times the dry weight of the pad 20 in liquid.

Further, while the pad 20 is illustrated as having a pair of opposed cleaning surfaces 21 that have generally rectangular shape and are generally identical to one another in the preferred embodiment shown in the drawing figures, the pad 20 can be formed with any desired shape in order to conform to the construction of a particular device 10 with which the pad 20 is to be used, such as a circular or triangular shape, among others. Additionally, the cleaning faces 21 of the pad 20 are formed to have a surface area larger than the area of the head 14 of the device 10. This allows the edges of the cleaning surfaces 21 of the pad 20 to reach more easily into hard to reach areas of the surface being cleaned, such as the corners or along the baseboards of a floor, using the pad 20. Also, the softness and flexibility of the pad 20 formed of the microfiber yarn enables the pad 20 to be compressed into tight spaces by the device 10.

Due to the construction of the pad 20 from the microfiber cloth material, the pad 20 can additionally be cleaned in a manner similar to other items formed from cloth or fabric materials. Thus, after use in cleaning a surface, the pad 20 can simply be hand washed and wrung out or machine washed, rather than needing to be disposed of. This greatly increases the utility of the pad 20 over prior art pads, as the pad 20 can be cleaned and reused numerous times to clean surfaces.

To enable the pad 20 to be attached to the head 14 for use with the device 10, the fabric forming the pad 20 can effectively function as the loop portion of a hook and loop type closure such that the microfiber yarn forming the pad 20 allows the pad 20 to be directly secured to the securing means 16 disposed on the head 14. This occurs as a result of the fibers of the yarn material forming the pad being engaged by the hooks forming the means 16 on the head 14. The engagement between the means 16 and the fibers of the pad 20 is sufficiently strong to hold the pad 20 on the head 14 when in use, and is weak enough to allow the pad 20 to be easily removed from the head 14 for cleaning after use with the device 10. However, additional securing means (not shown) can also be attached to the pad 20 and/or to the head 14 to assist in securing the pad 20 to the head 14 of the device 10.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, to construct the pad 20, the microfiber yarn or other fabric is initially wound in a serpentine pattern between a number of posts 22 that are disposed on a stationary knitting machine (not shown). After the microfiber yarn has been disposed about the posts 22 to the length desired for the resulting pad 20, the adjacent yarn sections 26 extending between the respective posts 22 are secured to one another by stitches 28 formed utilizing a suitable knit and purl knitting pattern. The particular pattern of stitches 28 utilized to form the pad 20 can vary depending upon a number of factors, including the desired width of the pad and/or the length of each stitch, which directly affects the number of stitches required to form the pad 20 having the desired shape and size.

After the yarn sections 26 have been secured to one another by the desired pattern and/or number of stitches 28, a secure run or holding stitch 30 of the yarn material is formed by directing the leader yarn or free end of the yarn material across the unfinished pad 20, preferably in a diagonal direction as best shown in FIG. 4. This secure run 30 effectively prevents the material forming the pad 20 from stretching or being pulled apart, which results in a more stable structure for the pad 20 over the entire useful life of the pad 20. When the secure run 30 is positioned around the opposite post 22, the yarn material is again wound about each of the posts 22 in order to form a second layer of yarn sections 26, as best shown in FIG. 4. The yarn sections 26 in the second layer are then secured to one another utilizing the knitting pattern used in securing the yarn sections 26 of the first layer to one another, and a second secure run or holding stitch 30 is formed to repeat the entire process for the first layer of yarn sections 26 illustrated in FIG. 4. This process is subsequently repeated as many times as is necessary to construct a pad 20 having a desired width and length. In one embodiment, the pattern results in a pad 20 that is approximately four inches wide, with the length dependent upon the number of repeats of the knitting process described previously. In another embodiment, the pad 20 is formed to have dimensions of approximately three (3) to five (5) inches in width, and approximately nine (9) to eleven (11) inches in length so as to conform generally to the size of the head 14 of a conventional cleaning device 10.

In addition to the enhanced features present in the pad 20 of the present invention as discussed previously, the structure of the pad 20 formed in this manner also includes a number of channels 32 and apertures 34 are disposed therein capable of attracting and retaining large particles of dirt within the pad 20. Thus, while the properties of the material forming the yarn used to form the pad 20 are able to easily pick up and retain smaller dirt and debris particles when used to clean a surface, the larger channels 32 and apertures 34 are able to pick and retain larger particles of dirt and debris therein. These particles can later be easily disengaged from the pad 20 by flexing the pad 20 during washing after use, which effectively opens the channels 32 and apertures 34 to release any of the dirt and debris collected and retained therein.

Additionally, this construction for the pad 20 results in a pad that is identically shaped on the opposite rectangular cleaning surfaces 21. As a result, the pad 20 is formed with a reversible construction, with each rectangular cleaning surface 21 being attachable to be securing means 16 on the head 14 and able to be utilized in cleaning a surface.

Various alternatives are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as the invention.