Title:
DISPENSER FOR MOIST TOWELETTES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A moist towelette dispenser is provided. The dispenser is substantially of the same size and shape as a conventional roll of toilet paper so that it can be placed in any toilet paper holding device or area. The dispenser further includes a support arm for preventing the dispenser from rotating as a roll of toilet paper generally would, therefore ensuring that the dispenser opening always facing the user and therefore is easily accessible at all times.



Inventors:
Collado, Elquiza (Yonkers, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/167566
Publication Date:
04/22/2010
Filing Date:
07/03/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20120216329DISPOSABLE HAND COVERAugust, 2012Dennis
20030183644Tri-fold sheet dispenserOctober, 2003Sarnoff et al.
20130168407APPARATUS, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISPENSING INCONTINENCE PRODUCTSJuly, 2013Silagy
20030006243Display apparatus for beverage dispensersJanuary, 2003Looney
20120160861SYSTEM FOR WRITING TO AND DISPENSING SOLID-STATE STORAGE DEVICESJune, 2012Fletcher
20070295743Composite note containerDecember, 2007Chen
20090108019ICE CREAM PACKAGINGApril, 2009Kronfle
20160258927DEVICE FOR SINGULATING AND DISPENSING RIGID AND SEMI-RIGID STRIPSSeptember, 2016Sawa
20090321466Hygienic Door Operating DeviceDecember, 2009Shannon
20040149768Method and apparatus for selling a baby bottleAugust, 2004Scoville et al.
20060273100Tabletop napkin dispenser with display window for promotional materialDecember, 2006Cittadino et al.



Primary Examiner:
RANDALL, JR., KELVIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOTTLIEB RACKMAN & REISMAN PC (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A towelette dispensing apparatus comprising: a cylindrical shaped body for storing a plurality of dispensable towelettes and having an annular surface and two substantially circular ends; wherein the body has a tubular hole running therethrough and between said ends for defining an axis thereof; an opening formed along the annular surface through which one or more towelettes are selectively dispensed; and a support depending from the annular surface of the cylindrical body in a direction that is substantially parallel to said vertical axis of the cylinder.

2. The dispensing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body is shaped substantially like a roll of toilet paper.

3. The dispensing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the opening has a flower shape.

4. The dispensing apparatus of claim 3, wherein the flower shaped opening defines a plurality of outwardly directed petal shaped elements.

5. The dispensing apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support depends from the surface of said body in a location adjacent to said opening.

6. The dispensing apparatus of claim 4, wherein the support curves away from the opening.

7. The dispensing apparatus of claim 5, wherein the support is curved to approximately the same extent as the surface of the cylindrical body.

8. The dispensing apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: an indentation in a wall; and a cylindrical holder selectively attached to the edges of the indentation; wherein the dispensing apparatus is selectively held in a substantially fixed position by both the cylindrical holder and the support arm.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a personal hygiene product and, more particularly, to a moist towelette dispenser shaped like a roll of toilet paper.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of moist towelettes has increased in recent years as an alternative to conventional towels, tissues or toilet paper. Moist towelettes are softer and more comfortable to use. Many individuals find that conventional paper products cause irritation to their skin, especially when used in sensitive areas such as the rectum or genitals. This is even more prominent when it comes to infants, the elderly, patients following a surgical procedure or those with certain types of medical conditions.

Moist towelettes cannot be stored in the same manner as conventional paper products. If left exposed to air, moist towelettes will dry out and lose their benefits. For this reason, moist towelettes must be stored in a substantially air tight box.

Almost all bathrooms are constructed with a toilet paper holder. In most cases, the holder is an indent in the wall within arms length of the toilet. The indent is in the shape of a cylinder bisected along the vertical axis. At what would be the center of the cylinder, there is a cylindrical shaft which can be removed and replaced from the wall. A roll of toilet paper can be placed around the shaft and then stored half within the wall for easy access.

Many varieties of toilet paper holders are available, but they all contain a center shaft with a radius that is small enough to fit the inside a conventional roll of toilet paper.

United States Patent Publication No. 2007/0175914 to Warke (“Warke”) discloses the manufacture of a sanitary wipe dispenser in the shape of a roll of toilet paper. One problem associated with such a dispenser is that, like the toilet paper roll it resembles, the dispenser will rotate around the center. This means that the wipe dispensing area may become positioned such that it is not convenient for the user, e.g. the dispensing area is facing inwardly to the wall.

A wipe dispensing area pointing towards the wall is a problem because it creates an unsanitary condition. The user has likely just defecated and his hands may be unsanitary. This could also be true if the user was in the process of cleaning himself after defecation. In either case, his hands may be unsanitary and touching the dispenser could transmit the unsanitary condition to the dispenser, where it could be transferred to a subsequent user.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a towelette dispenser which overcomes these disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention consists of a cylindrical body, a moist towelette dispensing opening and a support. The cylindrical body has a hole running through its center along the vertical axis. The hole and the body are constructed so that the overall apparatus is shaped substantially like a roll of toilet paper.

The apparatus stores moist towelettes which can be withdrawn one at a time. The dispenser is shaped like a roll of toilet paper, so that the user can position the dispenser where a toilet paper roll would conventionally be stored.

Moist towelettes are softer and gentler than conventional paper products and may be preferable to conventional toilet paper products for young children, the elderly, those with certain medical conditions or those recovering from certain medical and/or surgical procedures.

The dispenser further includes a support arm. The support arm prevents the dispenser from rotating as a conventional roll of toilet paper would, by extending beyond the radius of the cylinder such that the support arm contacts the wall when the dispenser is rotated. The support arm further allows the dispenser to rest on a flat surface such as a table without being able rotate or roll along that surface.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a towelette dispenser that can be placed in a conventional toilet paper holder or on a flat surface.

Other objectives and advantages will become apparent from the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

To further satisfy the recited objectives, a detailed description of a typical embodiment of the invention is provided, reference being made to the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a moist towelette dispenser of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a right side elevation view of the moist towelette dispenser of the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a left side elevation view of the moist towelette dispenser of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, positioned within a wall toilet paper holding unit.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A moist towelette dispenser 100 of the present invention is constructed in a cylindrical shape. Dispenser 100 has a cylindrical tubular hole 102 running through the center thereof and thereby defining a vertical axis. Dispenser 100 is constructed to be the approximate size and dimensions of a standard roll of toilet paper. This includes hole 102, which is approximately the same size as an equivalent tubular hole in a standard roll of toilet paper.

Dispenser 100 contains a multitude of moist towelettes. These towelettes are removed through a dispensing area/opening 104. Opening 104 is configured to allow a user to remove a single towelette without removing any other towelettes. At the same time, the removal of one moist towelette does not disturb the substantially air tight seal of the container. This can be achieved by the use of a flexible cover 110.

A depending support arm 106 is attached along the outer surface of dispenser 100 slightly below opening 104. One purpose of support arm 106 is to prevent rotation of the dispenser by selectively contacting a wall surface 112 below or above a cutout that is formed in the wall 112. A cutout of this nature is a common and widely used form of toilet paper holder, which additionally includes a toilet paper holding rod 114. Cylindrical tubular hole 102 is constructed so that rod 114 can fit through it. Arm 106 includes an extending edge 108, which will abut against the wall surface. This will allow easy and guaranteed access to opening 104 and prevent the user from having to rotatably contact dispenser 100 at a time when his hands may be unsanitary.

Support arm 106 of dispenser 100 also makes dispenser 100 more versatile. Dispenser 100 can be placed on a flat surface and the support arm 106 will prevent it from rolling. In this case, the edge 108 will be horizontal and abut against a surface on which the dispenser is resting. Opening 104 will be oriented in an outward and upward direction to make access to the stored moist towelettes as easy as possible.

Support arm 106 of dispenser 100 also functions as a guide for the moist towelettes as they are electively pulled through opening 104.

In an exemplary embodiment, support arm 106 is curved as shown in the attached figures. Notwithstanding, support arm 106 can be straight or in any other shape so long as it prevents rotating of dispenser 100 when dispenser 100 is mounted within a wall indent.

In a preferred embodiment, opening 104 is a flower shaped opening having a plurality of outwardly facing petal-shaped members. Such a flower-shaped opening is advantageous, because the opening is intermittently wider along its outer edge due to the plurality of petal-shaped members 114 and 116. Therefore the moist towelettes are easier to grip with one's fingers as they are being selectively dispensed.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not as restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims and their combination in whole or in part rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.