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Soap dish receptacle for liquid containment and with overflow relief

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Title: Soap dish receptacle for liquid containment and with overflow relief.
Abstract: A soap dish receptacle has a top cover detachably removable from the bottom, which serves as a receptacle for soap residue drained from the top cover. The soap residue can be removed by detaching the top cover or by a self-draining outlet in the bottom. ...


- Indialantic, FL, US
Inventor: Henry J. Black
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060202097 - Class: 248346010 (USPTO) - 09/14/06 - Class 248 


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Related Patent Categories: Supports, Supporting Base
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060202097, Soap dish receptacle for liquid containment and with overflow relief.





FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention is in the area of soap dishes or receptacles for holding a bar of wet soap with a slippery surface and a dripping residue

BACKGROUND

[0002] In using soap, for washing hands where the soap is lathered and then placed on the side away from the water, or in the shower or tub, where the soap may continually be exposed to water, adding to the lather and residue overflowing from the soap bar, a continuing problem is how to restore the surface of the soap as close as possible to a dry condition, so it may be grasped and held with minimum slipping.

[0003] In using soap, for washing hands where the soap is lathered and then placed on the side away from the water, or in the shower or tub, where the soap may continually be exposed to water, adding to the lather and residue overflowing from the soap bar, a continuing problem is how to restore the surface of the soap as close as possible to a dry condition, so it may be grasped and held with minimum slipping.

[0004] Another problem faced when using soap, especially where use is in connection with a hand lavatory and the soap is placed on the side after lathering the hands, is dealing with the soap residue, which drips off the soap. Sinks, for example, are provided with a depression and a drain, for catching the soap residue and redirecting it into the lavatory sink.

[0005] In a similar manner, a soap holder for a shower may use a soap dish with ribs allowing the residue to drain away from the soap and into the shower stall.

[0006] However, while the problem addressed of reducing the amount of soap residue on the soap, by draining ribs or holes, allowing the residue to drain away from the soap surface, there remains the problem of how to manage the residue, which coats and forms a film on the lavatory or shower surface and presents a new problem of cleaning the soap residue. Another problem faced when using soap holders is to allow the soap receptacle to catch the soap residue, in an enclosure while permitting an overflow from the enclosure so room is provided for new residue to flow from the soap into the soap dish, and the overflow may be directed, rather than spill over in random directions.

[0007] Another problem faced by soap holders or receptacle is the presenting the soap without obstructions, for examples, lips or recesses, forcing the user to reach in, grasp and lift rather than use a simple motion of grasping and sliding the soap off the receptacle.

[0008] It is the object of this invention to address these and other problems in using soap dishes, as will be apparent from the Detailed Description of the Invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The invention, as shown and described in a preferred embodiment, is a box like receptacle with a top substantially in a planar relief surface for supporting a soap bar when not in use, above the plane of the top. In a disclosed preferred embodiment, the box like receptacle includes sides and a bottom, as would be understood by one skilled in the art. The top surface may be coextensive with the sides or extend only a part of the full width or length of the receptacle, leaving an opening into the hollow interior.

[0010] The top planar relief surface includes raised separated surfaces for supporting the soap above the top planar surface, allowing any soap residue to fall by gravity onto the top surface, leaving the soap substantially residue free. To catch the soap residue, which would coat or leave a residue on the lavatory or shower or tub surfaces, openings are provided in the top surface to allow the soap residue to drain from the top surface into the hollow receptacle.

[0011] In a preferred embodiment, the top surface extends less than the full length or width of the receptacle, or the full extend of the top surface of the soap receptacle, leaving an opening to the interior of the receptacle. In use of the disclosed invention, the flow of the soap residue from the soap onto the top surface and through the top surface drains into the interior of the receptacle, accumulates and the accumulated soap residue may drained without contacting any of the lavatory or tub or shower surfaces, or leaving a residue on these surfaces. However, should the soap residue build to fill the interior, an opening to the interior of the receptacle will permit the overflow to drain and allowing the soap residue to continue to drain through the top surface into the receptacle interior.

[0012] As shown for a preferred embodiment, the top surface of the receptacle is a relief surface containing protuberances, for example, ribs or other protruding devices, to hold the soap above and away from the top planar surface. In a preferred embodiment, the ribs are shown arranged at relative angles to prevent the soap from sliding off the receptacle in a plurality of directions. As would be understood by those skilled in the art, the arrangement of the ribs may be varied to present the greatest resistance to movement of the soap. In a preferred embodiment, the top surface may be set at an incline or gradient to direct or increase the flow of the soap residue in a particular chosen direction.

[0013] In a preferred embodiment, the top surface is detachable from the receptacle. The detachable top surface allows the enclosed part of the receptacle interior, to be open for draining and cleaning. In a preferred embodiment, where the top surface does not extend the full length or width of the receptacle, the detachable top allows the receptacle to be open for cleaning, while allowing the soap residue to over flow from the interior when the interior is filled to its capacity. In a preferred embodiment, a lip is provided in the receptacle body, to permit the soap residue to drain from the receptacle interior, when the soap residue reaches a level below the detachable top.

[0014] The top surface may be level with the bottom or inclined to increase the flow of soap residue from the top surface. For example, the top surface may be overweighed with drain holes to one side or to the back or front and the incline may be made toward that side or end with the overweight of drain holes. In a preferred embodiment, where the top surface is smaller than the receptacle and does not extend for the full top length or width of area of the soap dish receptacle, the incline may be toward the opening, into the receptacle interior, or toward a lip placed in the receptacle body and opening to the interior, for draining the soap residue.

[0015] As would be understood by those skilled in the art, the invention may be in other known shapes enclosing a defined volume, and the principles of the disclosed invention is not restricted to a box like shape. Where the soap receptacle is made to fit into an enclosure, the shape of the receptacle may be made to accommodate the enclosure. What is shown in a preferred embodiment is a soap receptacle for holding soap in a position allowing a secure placement and removal of the soap residue when not in use and for draining the accumulated soap residue, comprising, an enclosed body including a top part, a front part and side parts; said enclosed body including a top relief surface and an interior defined by said enclosed body; said top relief surface including a plurality of relief structures placed in a pattern; said top relief surface including a plurality of drain holes communicating from said top relief surface to said interior; said top relief surface partially covering said interior and with said interior exposed through an opening partially defined by said top relief surface and by said enclosed body. In a preferred embodiment, the projecting ribs and the drain holes area may be arranged in a plurality of spaced apart replicated patterns, on the said top planar surface.

[0016] As shown for a preferred embodiment, the interior is a reservoir for the soap residue draining from the top relief surface, an opening is provided in the reservoir, shown for a preferred embodiment as an opening in the top relief surface or a lip opening to the interior of the enclosed body. As would be understood by those skilled in the art, the lip shown in a preferred embodiment is depressed in elevation relative to the top of the interior, so soap residue may drain at a level below the top of the receptacle, or at a level below the full capacity of the receptacle is filled.

[0017] A soap receptacle is shown in preferred embodiment, for holding soap in a position allowing a secure placement and removal of the soap residue when not in use and for draining the accumulated soap residue, comprising, a enclosed body including a top part, a front part and side parts; said enclosed body including a top relief surface and an interior defined by said enclosed body; said top relief surface including a plurality of relief structure placed in a pattern; said top relief surface including a plurality of drain holes communicating from said top relief surface to said interior; said top relief surface partially covering said interior and with said interior exposed through an opening partially defined by said top relief surface and by said enclosed body. The soap receptacle as described, wherein, said opening includes a lip with a surface level lower than said top relief surface.

[0018] The soap receptacle is shown in a preferred embodiment with said lip is in said front part and the top relief surface includes a gradient in a direction from said top relief surface to said opening.

[0019] These and other features of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, from the detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the soap dish receptacle in a preferred embodiment where the top part is shown comprising projecting ribs extending away from the top part planar surface and drain holes extending between the top planar surface and the interior and with an opening to an interior reservoir.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the soap dish receptacle of FIG. 1 and in a preferred embodiment where the top surface containing projecting ribs and drain holes for holding the soap and draining the residue, extend across area within the top of the receptacle, in a pattern, and an indenture or opening to the interior reservoir is provided in a side.

[0022] FIG. 3a shows in cross sections, examples of projections protruding from and extending away form the top planar surface, as shown in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2.

[0023] FIG. 3b shows in cross section, examples of drain holes in the top part of the soap dish, as shown in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2.

[0024] FIG. 4 shows the soap dish receptacle of FIG. 1 or 2, with the drain holes and relief surfaces, in a cross section, section line A-A shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] The inventive principles are disclosed for a preferred embodiment in FIG. 1, showing the soap receptacle in a perspective view. The soap receptacle is shown generally by numeral 11, as a box like structure with sides 13a, 13b, 13c, and 13d. For purpose of explanation, the orientation of the receptacle is shown with a front end 15, and a rear end 17. A top part 19 comprises a top planar surface 20 and a top part opposed bottom surface 22. The top part is shown with an exposed edge 24 between and defined by, the top part planar surface 20, and the top part opposed bottom surface 22.

[0026] The receptacle is shown with an interior reservoir 23. An opening 21 is provided from the top, into the interior reservoir 23. The opening 21 is defined by sides 13b, at least a part to sides 13b, and 13c, and by the top part exposed edge 24. In FIG. 2, the top part 19 is shown extending the full area of the interior reservoir 23, between the sides 13d, 13a, 13b, 13c.

[0027] The top planar surface 20 is shown with a plurality of protrusions or projections 33, mounted on the top planar surface 20 and orthogonally extending upward and away from the top planar surface 20, as shown in the cross section A-A' Each of the protruding ribs 33 has a contact area, shown for example by numeral 26, spaced from the top planar surface 20, as shown in FIGS. 1,2, and in FIG. 4 by space 28.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 4, the contact area 26 at the top of the ribs 33, is the highest point on the ribs or the locus of points on the ribs spaced farthest from the top planar surface 20 by defining space 28. The ribs 33, spaced from the top planar surface, support the soap when placed on the ribs 33, in a spaced apart relationship with the top planar surface, as shown by the defining space 28 in FIG. 4. The soap, held above and spaced from the top planar surfaces 20, by the ribs 33, allows the soap residue to drain across the space 28, onto the top planar surface 20 and through the drain holes 31 into the interior reservoir of the soap receptacle, shown as numeral 23. The soap residue may drain from the interior reservoir 23 when the level reaches the opening 32 as shown in FIG. 1, or 36, as shown in FIG. 2.

[0029] As shown for a preferred embodiment, the top part 19, as shown, FIG. 1, and FIG. 2, is disclosed as including drain holes 31 extending from the top relief surface 20, at a first end of the drain holes 31, to the interior 23 of the soap dish receptacle 11, at a second end at the opposed bottom surface 22. as as shown in the cross section view of FIG. 4. Other drain holes from the top planar surface 20, through the top part 19, to the interior 23, may be added at any locations, without departing from the disclosed inventive principles, as would be apparent to those skilled in the art.

[0030] The ribs 33 and drain holes 31, are shown in a pattern generally identified by numeral 46 in FIGS. 1 and 46a in FIG. 2. As would be apparent to those skilled in the art, the pattern may be extended, or replicated, across the top surface 19, as shown by the area within the dashed lines 27 and the ribs may be replicated in smaller patterns on the top surface or the top surface may contain different or non identical patterns similar or distinguished from that shown herein, as would be apparent to those skilled in the art, and without departing from the disclosed inventive principles.

[0031] The pattern 46 disclosed in FIG. 1, the top surface 20 is shown arranged in orthogonal and non orthogonal, on top surface 20. In the pattern 46a, as shown in preferred, the ribs are arranged orthogonally. As would be apparent to those skilled in the art, the patterns 46 and 46a, may be varied without departing from the disclosed inventive principles.

[0032] In a preferred embodiment of FIG. 2, the top surface 20 is disclosed as extending across the top of the soap receptacle 11, with an area 27, shown in a preferred embodiment as a place for an extension of the pattern 46a, or for a different pattern. As would b known and understood by those skilled in the art, the pattern 46, or 46a, or any other suitable relief pattern, may extend across the top 20 of the soap receptacle or may be limited to selected parts of the top 20, or may be varied or mixed, as would be apparent to those skilled in the art.

[0033] As would be known to those skilled in the art, the pattern of drain holes 31 and rib 33, and the shape of the drain holes and ribs, may be varied without departing from the disclosed inventive principles. The ribs may be any suitable shape for impeding the sliding movement of the soap.

[0034] FIG. 4, shows the soap receptacle 11, of FIG. 1, in cross section taken on section line A-A', as shown in FIG. 1. As seen for a preferred embodiment in FIG. 4, the top surface 20, ribs 33, and drain holes 31, are viewed in cross section. As shown for a preferred embodiment in FIG. 4, the soap receptacle 11 is in separable pieces with the top surface 19 separable from the soap receptacle 11 along joint 51, extending around the body of the soap receptacle 11. The joint 51, shown in a preferred embodiment as an interlocking joint, may be any suitable joint as would be known to those skilled in the art, for example a friction fit o sliding interlocking fit or any other suitable joint as would be known to those skilled in the art. The soap receptacle may be made from any suitable plastic or other moldable or shaped material, as would be known to those skilled in the art.

[0035] In the examples of ribs 33 shown in FIG. 3a, for a preferred embodiment, the ribs may be rounded as shown by numeral 41 or with an upper edge as shown by rib 43 or with a serrated upper edge as shown by numeral 45. In the examples of drain holes shown in FIG. 3b, for a preferred embodiment, the drain holes may be round, as shown by numeral 50 or polygon shaped, for example in a star as shown by numeral 52, or in a cross or X shape with oblong arms, shown by numeral 54, for a preferred embodiment.

[0036] In operation, the soap is placed on contact area 26 of the ribs 33 and supported displaced by the space 28 from the top planar surface 20. The soap residue may drain off the soap, across the the space 28, and onto the top planar surface 20, and into the drain holes 31 and into the interior reservoir 23. The path for the soap residue is shown for the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 as in the gradient direction of path 25 into the opening 21. The flow of the soap residue along the direction shown by numeral 25 may be accelerated by increasing the gradient, as shown by arrow 25. The soap residue is collected in the interior 23 and may be discarded by pouring the soap residue out of the interior reservoir 23, or by draining from the opening made in a side, for example side 13b, by indenture 27, at level 32 or from opening 34 at level 36.

[0037] In the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1, the an indenture 27 may be placed in a side wall at a location coextensive with the interior reservoir opening 21, as shown in a preferred embodiment as indenture 27 in the front 15, side 13b, of the receptacle 11. The indenture 27 is spaced from the level of the opposed bottom surface 22, of the top part 19, to a level within the interior reservoir, as shown for example by arrow 32 at approximately one eighth to one quarter of the depth of the interior reservoir 23 from the top part 19 opposed bottom surface 22. The indenture allows the soap residue to self drain and flow out of the interior 23, at the level 32 of the indenture 27.

[0038] The receptacle 11, shown as fully enclosed in FIG. 2, may comprise an opening 34, shown for example and in a preferred embodiment, in side 13a. The level of the opening may be suitably positioned as described with regard to the indenture 27. For the indenture or opening 34 into the interior reservoir, as shown in FIG. 2, the opening may be set relative to or at, the level of the top part opposed bottom surface 22 and with the depth of the opening defined by the level 36. For a preferred embodiment, the depth 36, of the opening, 34 may be set approximately one eighth to one quarter of the depth of the interior reservoir.

[0039] For a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2, the top surface 19 may be separated from the soap receptacle 11 at joint 51, exposing the interior 23 for removal of the soap residue or for cleaning.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20060202097 A1
Publish Date
09/14/2006
Document #
File Date
04/20/2014
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
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