US20070212157A1 - Fringeless cleaning or dusting pad - Google Patents

Fringeless cleaning or dusting pad Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070212157A1
US20070212157A1 US11426525 US42652506A US2007212157A1 US 20070212157 A1 US20070212157 A1 US 20070212157A1 US 11426525 US11426525 US 11426525 US 42652506 A US42652506 A US 42652506A US 2007212157 A1 US2007212157 A1 US 2007212157A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
cleaning
fiber
sheet
pad
fibers
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11426525
Inventor
David Hoadley
Ralph Schwarz
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Hoadley David A
Ralph Schwarz
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/16Cloths; Pads; Sponges
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/20Mops
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/26Other cleaning devices with liquid supply arrangements
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/38Other dusting implements
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/42Details
    • A47L13/46Securing scouring or polishing cloths or sponges to the handles by gripping means, tongs, or the like

Abstract

A cleaning pad or cleaning article 1001 is disclosed. The cleaning article 1001 includes a combination of fibers 1003 bonded to an uncut solid unperforated base sheet 1002. A first joining portion 1007 joins each of the one or more fibers to the base sheet 1002 and at least one second joining portion 1014 joins fibers 1003 in at least to the base sheet 1002.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. No. 11/373,931 filed Mar. 13, 2006, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to the field of cleaning devices such as hand held dusters and dust mops. More particularly, the present invention relates to an improved “fringeless” cleaning article or cleaning pad that exhibits more free fiber, greater fluffiness and greater dust adhesion.
  • [0004]
    2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    For decades, hand held feather dusters, dust rags and other cleaning implements have been used as cleaning tools for the removal of dust adhering to furniture such as dressers and coffee tables, electrical appliances such as computers, lights, interior walls, lintels and the like, Thus, it is generally well known to remove dust or dirt from floors, furniture, and other household surfaces by rubbing a dust rag, cloth or other cleaning implement against the surface such that the dust or dirt adheres to the cleaning implement.
  • [0006]
    Throughout the last half-century, new cleaning implements have been developed to assist the individual in dusting and similar cleaning chores. While hand held dusters and other cleaning implements are generally well known in the art, numerous drawbacks exist with the current commercially available designs.
  • [0007]
    In general, the majority of improvements to hand held dusters and mops have been directed at improving the basic mechanical components of the cleaning device. These improvements have been directed at providing an inexpensive yet robust implement for dry dusting or cleaning. However, notably absent in the prior art is any attempt to provide a hand held cleaning implement that allows for selective wet, damp or dry dusting.
  • [0008]
    The addition of water or other cleaning solution to most cleaning pads or systems has been known to increase the efficiency of the cleaning device in absorbing dust and other debris. Despite this knowledge, there are presently no hand held cleaning systems that include an attached water or cleaning fluid reservoir accessible on the cleaning implement to allow a user to single handedly alternate between wet, damp or dry dusting. To date, prior art dusting and cleaning devices require a user to obtain a separate spray bottle or other liquid application means if one desires wet dusting or cleaning. In light of the need for a wet or damp dusting or cleaning system and methods, there is an additional need for improvements in the cleaning solution associated with such systems and methods.
  • [0009]
    There is an additional need to improve the cloths associated with such systems and how they are used. Many of the known disposable dusting or cleaning cloths include a base sheet that includes a plurality of strips or cuts. It has been found that such strips may actually entangle the fiber bundle resulting in a less open fiber bundle with a lower amount of free fiber. A fringeless base sheet has been shown to provide a greater amount of open fiber.
  • [0010]
    While some improvements to dusting cloths are disclosed in the art, there remains a need for an improved cleaning pad and fiber orientation that maximizes the wet and dry absorbency of the dusting pad, while at the same time fully facilitating the advantages of the liquid in the cleaning system.
  • SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    Consistent with the foregoing, and in accordance with the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, preferred embodiments of a cleaning article or cleaning pad are disclosed in suitable detail to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention.
  • [0012]
    In a first embodiment, a cleaning article includes a fusible base sheet having an unperforated, uncut outer edge, a fusible holding sheet and a fiber bundle layer including fusible fibers. The fiber bundle layer is laid on one side of the base sheet and the holding sheet is laid on the other side of the base sheet. Preferably, the fiber bundle layer and the holding sheet are fusion-bonded in a direction to cross fibers in the fiber bundle layer, and the holding sheet is shorter than the base sheet. A holder and two holding spaces are provided between the base sheet and the holding sheet and the holder is detachably inserted into the holding spaces.
  • [0013]
    In one embodiment, the outer edge of the base sheet is rectangular and is defined by a straight uncut upper edge, a straight uncut lower edge and two straight unperforated, uncut side edges. The outer edge may be linear or nonlinear.
  • [0014]
    In yet another embodiment, the holder includes a handle portion having an opening configured to allow access to a cradle and a cleaning pad support member moveably attached to the handle portion. The support member may be moveable between a first cleaning position and a second cleaning pad liquid application position. A cleaning fluid dispenser, such as a pump spray bottle, may be placed within the cradle.
  • [0015]
    In yet another embodiment, a cleaning article having a brush portion, includes a fusible sheet having an unperforated, uncut outer edge and a fiber bundle layer including fusible fibers. The fiber bundle layer is fusion-bonded to the fusible sheet to provide a brush portion and two holding spaces into which a holder is to be inserted. The brush portion is defined by the fusible sheet and fibers of the fiber bundle layer.
  • [0016]
    In another embodiment, the cleaning article is attached to a handle defining an interior recess for receiving a fluid reservoir, and a cleaning article support pivotably attached to the handle capable of pivoting rearwardly from a cleaning position and a fluid reservoir attached to the handle in the cradle. The reservoir is capable of applying fluid to a surface to be cleaned and to the surface of the fiber bundle layer.
  • [0017]
    In one embodiment, the cleaning article support includes a pair of parallel laterally extending attachment prongs. The attachment prongs may include a plurality of projections extending generally vertically from the prongs and have an angled side sloping away from the handle. The support may also include a pivot member at one end including a plurality of indentations configured to receive a semi-flexible engagement tab projecting downward from the handle.
  • [0018]
    In yet another embodiment, a cleaning article includes a soft and fusible base sheet including a solid uncut outer edge and one or more fiber bundle layers including fusible filaments. One or more fiber bundle layers are laid on one side of the base sheet and a first joining portion joins each of the one or more fiber bundle layers to the base sheet. At least one second joining portion joins fibers in at least one of tile one or more fiber bundle layers to the base sheet.
  • [0019]
    In another embodiment, the cleaning article further comprises a handle portion defining a cradle for a fluid reservoir and a cleaning article support member attached to the handle portion. The cleaning article support member is movably attached to the handle portion. In one embodiment, the cleaning article support member is pivotally attached to the handle portion. In an alternative embodiment, the cleaning article support member is slidably attached to the handle portion. In a final embodiment, the cleaning article support member includes a detachable cleaning fluid dispenser within the cradle.
  • [0020]
    These, and other, aspects and objects of the present invention will be better appreciated and understood when considered in conjunction with the following description and the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the following description, while indicating preferred embodiments of the present invention, is given by way of illustration and not of limitation. Many changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modifications.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    A clear conception of the advantages and features constituting the present invention, and of the construction and operation of typical mechanisms provided with the present invention, will become more readily apparent by referring to the exemplary, and therefore non-limiting, embodiments illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming a part of this specification, wherein like reference numerals designate the same elements in the several views, and in which:
  • [0022]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of an assembled cleaning system capable of wet or dry cleaning, the cleaning system shown in a first cleaning position;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the component parts of the cleaning system illustrated in FIG. 1;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 3 is a side view of the cleaning system in the storage position;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 4 is a side view of the cleaning system in the liquid application position with the cleaning pad support and a human finger shown in phantom;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the underside of the cleaning system illustrating a preferred construction of the fluid-receiving cradle;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the cleaning system taken along the longitudinal axis of the device illustrated FIGS. 1-5;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 6;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 6;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 10 is side view of a cleaning system in the liquid application position further illustrating an alternative embodiment of the cleaning pad attached to the cleaning system;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 11 is an exploded partial perspective view of the pivot assembly of the inventive cleaning system illustrated in FIGS. 1-5;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective view of the component parts of an alternative embodiment of the cleaning system;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 13 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the alternative cleaning system illustrated in FIG. 12 taken along the longitudinal axis of the system;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 14 is a bottom plan view of one preferred embodiment of the cleaning pad of the cleaning system;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 15 is a plan view of the base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating the preferred bonding regions;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the cleaning pad of FIG. 14 taken along line A-A;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of the cleaning pad of FIG. 14 taken along line B-B;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 18 is a top plan view of another preferred cleaning pad;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view of FIG. 18 taken along line C-C;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 20 is a bottom plan view of the cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 18;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional end view of the cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 18 taken along line D-D;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 22 is a top plan view of one embodiment of a retaining sheet for use with the cleaning pad;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 23 is a cross sectional end view of the retaining sheet taken along line G-G of FIG. 22;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 24 is a perspective view of the placement of the retaining sheet onto the base sheet of the cleaning pad;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 25 is a plan view of a base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating an alternative bonding orientation and an uncut outer edge;
  • [0047]
    FIG. 26 is a plan view of a base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating another alternative bonding orientation;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 27 is a plan view of a base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating another alternative bonding orientation and triangular shaped spots;
  • [0049]
    FIG. 28 is a plan view of a base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating another alternative bonding orientation and star shaped spots;
  • [0050]
    FIG. 29 is a plan view of a base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrating another alternative bonding orientation;
  • [0051]
    FIG. 30 is a top plan view of the cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 18 using a base sheet without strips;
  • [0052]
    FIG. 31 is a perspective view of the placement of the retaining sheet onto the base sheet of the cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 30;
  • [0053]
    FIG. 32 is a plan view of a base sheet with a non linear outer edge; and
  • [0054]
    FIG. 33 is a perspective view of a prior art base sheet.
  • [0055]
    FIG. 34 is a perspective view showing an additional embodiment of a cleaning pad or cleaning article according to an alternative embodiment of the invention;
  • [0056]
    FIG. 35 is a partially enlarged perspective view showing a brush portion of the cleaning article of FIG. 34;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 36 is a perspective view showing the cleaning article of FIG. 34 from the back side;
  • [0058]
    FIGS. 37A and 37B are perspective views showing a base sheet of the cleaning article of FIG. 34 and a laminate of the base sheet and a first fiber bundle layer, respectively;
  • [0059]
    FIG. 38 is a perspective view showing a laminate of a second fiber bundle layer and a secondary sheet of the cleaning article of FIG. 35; and
  • [0060]
    FIG. 39 is a perspective view showing a modification of the cleaning article of the cleaning article of FIG. 35.
  • [0061]
    In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention, which is illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, it is not intended that the invention be limited to the specific terms so selected and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents, which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose. For example, the word connected or terms similar thereto are often used. They are not limited to direct connection but include connection through other elements where such connection is recognized as being equivalent by those skilled in the art.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0062]
    The present invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained more fully with reference to the non-limiting embodiments described in detail in the following description.
  • [0063]
    1. System Overview
  • [0064]
    In a basic form, the inventive cleaning pad or cleaning article includes a cleaning pad that includes a combination of fiber bonded to a base sheet. The base sheet or nonwoven sheet preferably includes a uniform outer edge, such as a solid, unperforated, uncut outer edge and a combination of fibers connected to the nonwoven sheet. The inventive cleaning pad results in a fiber layer that is more open, fluffier and exhibits greater dust adhesion.
  • 2. Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments
  • [0065]
    Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be further described by the following, non-limiting examples which will serve to illustrate various features of significance. The examples are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the present invention may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the present invention. Accordingly, the below examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present invention.
  • a. The Apparatus
  • [0066]
    Turning initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, the cleaning system 20 of the inventive method is illustrated according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Cleaning system 20 is generally comprised of a cleaning tool 22, including a holder, handle portion or handle 24 and pivotally attached cleaning pad support member, cleaning implement support member, cleaning article support or cleaning media support 26, a liquid delivery system, cleaning fluid dispenser or reservoir 30 and a cleaning pad, cloth, cleaning article or cleaning media 28 attached to the cleaning tool 22 via the cleaning pad support member 26.
  • [0067]
    Holder or handle portion 24 is preferably a curved ergonomically designed member configured to comfortably fit within the palm of a hand of a user. Handle portion 24 includes an integral top 29, first sidewall 21 a, second sidewall 21 b, rear wall 23 and bottom 31. Handle portion 24 may be constructed from a variety of synthetic resins, plastics or other suitable materials. In the preferred embodiment, handle portion 24 is constructed from polypropylene. Although the handle portion 24 may be constructed in a wide variety of sizes depending on the intended use, in the preferred embodiment, handle portion 24 is approximately 8.5 inches long, 1.3 inches wide and 1.7 inches high. The preferred dimensions allow for ease of use, manipulation, packaging, shipping and storage of the cleaning system 20 as well as increasing the overall ergonomics of the design. Handle portion 24 may be constructed in a variety of colors for increased aesthetic appeal. It may additionally be constructed from a translucent material.
  • [0068]
    As will be described in greater detail below, handle portion 24 preferably defines a fluid reservoir-receiving cradle, recess or bay 36 (FIG. 6). In the preferred embodiment, the insertion of the fluid dispenser or reservoir 30 into the cradle 36 finishes the ergonomic design or form of the handle portion 24. Thus, the palm of a user's hand extends over the top 29 handle portion 24 and the user's fingers extend at least partially around the fluid reservoir 30 when using the device. Additionally, the preferred curved ergonomic design of the of the handle portion 24 is constructed in a manner such that the pivot point defined by the pivot member receiving cavity 50 is located below the horizontal plane defined by the fluid reservoir 30 within the cradle 36. Such an orientation is advantageous in maximizing fluid application as discussed in greater detail below.
  • [0069]
    Near the center of the handle portion 24 is preferably an opening or hole 32 extending through handle portion 24 into the bottom 31 of the handle portion. In the illustrated embodiment, opening 32 is approximately 2.5 inches from a pivot member receiving cavity 50 located at the forward end 25 of the handle portion 24. As illustrated in FIG. 4, opening 32 provides a user single-handed access into a fluid reservoir-receiving cradle, recess or bay 36 defined in the bottom 31 of the handle portion 24. Near the forward end 25 of the handle portion 24, above the pivot member receiving cavity 50 is a cantilevered pivot engagement tab 38, extending downwardly into the pivot member receiving cavity 50 described in greater detail below.
  • [0070]
    FIG. 2 illustrates one preferred embodiment of a fluid reservoir 30 of the cleaning system 20. In the illustrated embodiment, fluid reservoir 30 is in the form of a fluid dispenser or a pump-activated spray bottle configured to retain water or a specialized fluid. The fluid may be comprised of a variety of known products. Preferably the fluid is selected from the commercially available Pledge® Multi-Surface Cleaner, Pledge® Wood and Glass Cleaner, End Dust®, Fantastic® all purpose cleaner, Windex® glass cleaner, anti-bacterials such as Oust® or Lysol®, fragrances such as Glade®, leather or vinyl treatment such as Armor All®, fabric protectors such as Scotch Guard®, or fabric fresheners such as those manufactured by S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. of Racine, Wis., or Fabreze®. The fluid may alternatively generally comprise, without limitation: any all-purpose cleaner, anti-allergen or antigenecity reducing compound, oil or water based dust inhibitor, anti-static, anti-microbial, antibacterial, sanitizing and de-odorizing agent, dusting agent glass cleaner, furniture polish, leather or vinyl treatment, other cleaning agent, wax, polish or shining agent, softening agent, friction-enhancing compound, perfumes, dish cleaner, soap, insect repellent or insect barrier, exfoliator or other personal care product, paint for sponge painting or other application, water out emulsions, oil out emulsions, dust mite killer or repellant, abrasive cleaner, shoe polish, pet sanitation products, etc.
  • [0071]
    As illustrated in FIG. 2, the preferred spray bottle is a generally cylindrical bottle having an integral bottom 51, sidewall 53, second 55 and third 59 sections. A spray cap or nozzle 61 is screwed or press fitted onto the top of the spray bottle. The spray cap 61 includes a pair of opposed flats 63 a, 63 b configured to selectively engage flanges 71 a, 71 b of the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36 (FIG. 6). Alternatively, a system of tabs and grooves could be used to form a similar locking mechanism. The spray cap 61 could alternatively include a one sided flat button or a tapered button. In addition to the illustrated spray bottle, the fluid reservoir 30 could take a variety of forms including but not limited to an aerosol package, a deformable handle or reservoir that dispenses fluid by squeezing, a squirt gun or a flexible pouch with an attachable spray nozzle. While the fluid reservoir 30 is illustrated as fitting within the cradle 36 of the handle portion 24, the fluid reservoir may alternatively completely form the handle of the system, having only the upper portion of the cleaning system attached (i.e. the pivot member and the attachment members).
  • [0072]
    It should be recognized that opposed flats 63 a, 63 b of the spray cap 61 provide for a tight fit within the handle portion 24, and further serve to properly orientate the fluid reservoir 30 within the cleaning system 20. Alternatively, it is understood that the fluid reservoir 30 could include other uniquely designed contours that allow for a mating tight fit within the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36.
  • [0073]
    FIG. 5 better illustrates the bottom 31 of the handle portion 24 defining the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36. Cradle 36 is generally defined by a lower support 37, handle portion sidewalls 21 a, 21 b and two U-shaped supports or rails 44 and 46 configured to receive the fluid reservoir 30 of the preferred embodiment. In the preferred embodiment, lower support 37 is comprised of a plurality of ribs 39 extending from the inner side of rear wall 23 of handle portion 24. The forward ends 43 of ribs 39 define the lower support 37 configured to support the bottom 51 of the fluid reservoir 30. In the preferred embodiment, ribs 39 include a central rib 45 having a length roughly equal to diameter of the bottom of the fluid reservoir 30. The remaining ribs 39 define progressively shorter lengths, thereby tapering off from the central rib 45 and supporting the remainder of the circular bottom of the fluid reservoir 30. As best shown in FIG. 9, a pair of triangular retention tabs 42 a, 42 b extend along opposed sides of the cradle 36 near the lower support 37. Retention tabs 42 a, 42 b are configured to frictionally engage and retain the lower sidewall 53 of the fluid reservoir 30. Extending forwardly from the retention tabs 42 a, 42 b, sidewalls 21 a, 21 b further define the sides of the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36 and are spaced in a manner to tightly fit around the sidewall 53 of the fluid reservoir 30.
  • [0074]
    While in the illustrated preferred embodiment, the fluid reservoir 30 is press fit or friction fit within the cradle 36 of the handle portion 24, it is recognized that alternative configurations could be utilized to retain the fluid reservoir 30 within the handle portion 24. For example, Velcro® or rubber bands could be included on a segment of the handle portion 24 in order to retain the fluid reservoir 30 within the handle portion 24. Other support structures or retaining features could be hingedly or otherwise attached to the handle portion to retain the fluid reservoir within the handle portion.
  • [0075]
    Near the forward end of the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36 is a first U-shaped bottleneck receiving support 44. First bottleneck receiving support 44 is configured to press fit around, receive and retain the fluid reservoir 30 of the preferred embodiment. As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8, first bottleneck receiving support 44 is configured to press fit around the fluid reservoir 30 near the junction 59 of the second 55 and third 57 sections of the reservoir 30.
  • [0076]
    Slightly forward of the first bottleneck receiving support 44 is a second U-shaped spray cap receiving support 46. Spray cap receiving support 46 is configured to press fit around, retain and orientate the spray cap 61 of the fluid reservoir 30. As best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, spray cap receiving support 46 is defined by a pair of flanges 71 a, 71 b extending from the inner side of opposed sidewalls 21 a, 21 b. Flanges 71 a, 71 b are configured to press fit around flats 63 a, 63 b of fluid reservoir spray cap 61 when the reservoir is placed within the cradle 36. The tight fit defined by flanges 71 a, 71 b and flats 63 a, 63 b serves to properly orientate spray cap 61 within the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36 such that spray cap 61 faces in a direction away from the cradle 36. Forward of the opening 32, are a plurality of structural support ribs 48 extending forwardly towards the pivot member receiving cavity 50.
  • [0077]
    Turning now to FIGS. 6 and 11, at the forward end 25 of the bottom 31 of the handle portion 24 is a pivot member receiving cavity 50. Pivot member receiving cavity 50 is defined between integral opposed ears 49 a, 49 b (FIG. 7) located at the forward end 25 of the handle portion 24. Ears 49 a, 49 b include opposed grooves 52 a, 52 b on their inner cavity surface configured to slidably engage the axles 80 a, 80 b of a circular pivot member 82 during assembly. Grooves 52 a, 52 b have a width that is equal to or slightly wider than the diameter of the axles 80 a, 80 b of the circular pivot member 82. It is understood that grooves 52 a, 52 b and the pivot member receiving cavity 50 are configured to accommodate a variety of alternative cleaning pad support members 26 or other cleaning implements having pivot members 82 attached at their proximal ends,
  • [0078]
    At the terminal end of the grooves 52 a, 52 b, are pivot holes 54 configured to receive the axles 80 a, 80 b of the circular pivot member 82 and allow pivotable motion therein. A curved slot 83 extends laterally from grooves 52 a, 52 b and defines a passage configured to allow the movement of circular pivot retention tabs 95 extending from the pivot member 92. On opposed sides of the forward end of the pivot member receiving cavity 50 are circular pivot retention tab holes 87 configured to engage and receive the circular pivot retention tabs 85 located on the pivot member 82.
  • [0079]
    Projecting downwardly from the top 29 of the handle portion 24 into the pivot member receiving cavity 50 is a resiliently biased semi-flexible pivot engagement tab 38. Engagement tab 38 is comprised of a first end 39 attached to the handle portion 24 and a second free end 91 configured to engage notches 102, 104, 106 on the outer surface of the pivot member 82 as will be described in greater detail below.
  • [0080]
    Attached within the pivot member receiving cavity 50 of the handle portion 24 is the cleaning pad support member 26. Cleaning pad support member 26 is comprised of an integral circular pivot member 82, linking section 93 and support head generally designated 92. Circular pivot member 82 includes integral axles 80 a, 80 b on its opposed lateral sides. As best shown in FIG. 11, axles 80 a, 80 b are configured to fit within pivot holes 54 and rotatably pivot therein. Pivot member 82 also includes a circular pivot retention tab 95. Circular retention tab 95 is configured to fit within retention tab holes 87 and support the system in the cleaning position. Pivot member 82 defines three notches or indentations 102, 104, 106 corresponding to alternative positions of the cleaning pad support member 26. A cleaning position notch 102, liquid application notch 104 and storage position notch 106 are defined on the external surface of the pivot member 82. In general, the preferred pivot assembly requires about between 2-3 lbf of pivot force in order to rotate it.
  • [0081]
    Integral with and extending from the pivot member 82 is the linking section 93 and support head 92. In the preferred embodiment support head 92 of cleaning pad support member 26 includes a pair of parallel attachment members or attachment prongs 108 a, 108 b configured to engage the pockets or sleeves 110 a, 110 b of a cleaning pad 28 as is generally known in the art (FIG. 2). Attachment members 108 a, 108 b may be spaced apart in a variety of configurations, however, in the preferred embodiment, attachment members 108 a, 108 b have a total width of about 1.25 inches from opposed outside lateral edges. The preferred attachment members 108 a, 108 b are about 6.75 inches long, about 0.75 inches thick, and about 0.80 inches wide, Attachment members 108 a, 108 b define a rounded leading edge 107 configured for ease of insertion into the sleeves 110 a, 110 b of cleaning pad 28. It is recognized that although the preferred embodiment illustrates a pair of attachment members 108 a, 108 b multiple configurations may be utilized. For example, a single, wider attachment member could be utilized. Alternatively, three or more attachment members could be utilized.
  • [0082]
    Attachment members 110 a, 108 b may include a plurality of spaced cleaning pad retaining tabs, barbs or projections 112 projecting from their upper surface 105. In the illustrated embodiment, retaining tabs 112 are triangular-shaped tabs having a first wall 114 extending in a generally vertical direction from the upper or lower surface of the attachment members 108 a, 108 b and a second angled wall 116 sloping from the upper edge of the first wall 114 towards the distal end of the attachment members 108 a, 108 b . Tabs 112 are preferably raised about 0.050 inches from the attachment members 108 a, 108 b. The unique triangular configuration of the retaining tabs 112 serves a dual function. The angled wall 116 allows for ease of placement of the cleaning pad 28 on the attachment members 108 a, 108 b during assembly, while the vertical first wall 114 retains the cleaning pad 28 on the attachment members 108 a, 108 b during the cleaning motion.
  • [0083]
    In addition to the unique configuration of the retaining tabs 112, their orientation on the attachment members 108 a, 108 b also serves to maintain the cleaning pad 28 on the attachment members 108 a, 108 b. In the illustrated embodiment, the retaining tabs 112 are staggered and include a leading tab 115, three intermediary tabs 117 and a trailing tab 119. In the illustrated embodiment, each attachment member 108 a, 108 b includes five retaining tabs 112. Testing has illustrated that when the retaining tabs 112 are spaced an equal distance from one another, their retention function is not as great as when the tabs are placed in the staggered configuration illustrated in the preferred embodiment. In the preferred embodiment the first tab is spaced 1.0 inch, the second is spaced 2.0 inches, the third 2.5 inches, the fourth 3,0 inches and the fifth 4.0 inches from the rounded leading edge 107.
  • [0084]
    In one embodiment the attachment members 108 a, 108 b may be expandable, inflatable, partially inflatable, or include an inflatable portion. The inflatability provides for an improved fit of the cleaning pad 28 on the attachment members 108 a, 108 b as well as facilitating hands free removal of the cleaning pad 28 from the attachment members 108 a, 108 b.
  • [0085]
    Cleaning pad or cleaning article 28 is generally known in the art and comprised of a combination of fibers defining a cleaning surface 111 and attachment portion 113 (FIG. 1). The cleaning pad 28 may, for example, include a plurality of fluffed nonwoven fabrics made of synthetic resins, which may be welded to one another. The pad may include fibers constructed from PP, PE, PET fibers in a variety of alternative percentages by weight In the illustrated embodiment attachment portion 113 defines a pair of pockets or sleeves 110 a, 110 b configured to receive the attachment members 108 a, 108 b of the cleaning pad support member 26. Cleaning pad 28 is preferably, a 20 g/sqm spun lace cloth with between 1-4% mineral oil manufactured by Haso Corporation of Japan. Such cleaning or dusting pads are described in PCT/JP2004/10507.
  • [0086]
    When the cleaning system 20 is used, the sleeve-like cleaning pad 28 is mounted over the attachment members 108 a, 108 b so that all of the retaining tabs 1 12 are within the sleeves 110 a, 110 b. The retaining tabs 112 are, in this configuration, thus capable of being fully enclosed by the cleaning pad 28, avoiding the possibility of the attachment members 108 a, 108 b scratching delicate furniture or other items being contacted.
  • [0087]
    The cleaning surface 111 of cleaning pad 28 may be comprised of a polymer that allows for the spontaneous transport of aqueous fluids. Such polymers are described in, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,723,159, 5,972,505 and 5,200,248 the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference.
  • [0088]
    It should be recognized that the polymer fibers of the cleaning pad can take a variety of forms to increase various performance characteristics of the cleaning system 20. Standard circular fibers may be used, as is generally known in the art. Alternatively, the individual fibers on the cleaning pad may be lobed in the form of loose tow fibers. The unique lobed configuration creates channels within the individual fibers enabling improved capillary action on each individual fiber and increasing the overall cleaning or dusting surface area thereby increasing the overall efficiency, e.g., of both wet and dry dusting. The higher surface area results in an increase in the proportion of particles adhering in the grooves or channels and results in dust particles being “trapped” within the grooves of the lobed fiber. The lobed fibers generally exhibit improved dust retention, more efficient wet wiping and longer life than standard circular fibers. Furthermore, the lobed fibers can be made stiffer thereby generating a higher wiping pressure in a smaller contact area. It is understood that the inventive lobed fibers could be comprised of a multitude of polymers with PP, PE or PET being recognized as the most cost effective alternatives. Alternatively acrylic or biodegradable polymers could be utilized.
  • [0089]
    In another alternative embodiment, the cleaning pad 28 may include stiffer or strut fibers attached to mass of tow fibers. In this arrangement, the stiffer fibers (usually in the range of about 0.3 mm) carry the majority of the stress applied to the cleaning pad 28. The tow may be linked to the stronger fibers by entanglement at the outer ends of the fiber The stiffer fibers result in a cleaning pad 28 that is springy resulting in a more desirable feel of applied force for users. The stiffer fibers can further be utilized to clean difficult areas such as crevices, blinds or screens. The stiffer fibers have the further advantage in that they keep the tow volume expanded, thereby increasing dust migration into the tow fibers.
  • [0090]
    In yet another alternative embodiment, the cleaning pad 28 could include absorbent materials in particulate form fixed onto the remaining fibers of the cleaning pad 28. The absorbent materials may take the form of known super absorbent polymers SAP. The SAPs may be, for example, acrylic based polymers applied as a coating or turned into fibers directly. Such commercially available SAPs generally include X-linked polyacrylic acids or X-linked starch-acrylic-acid-graft-polymers, the carboxyl groups of which are partially neutralized with sodium hydroxide or caustic potash. The SAPs may be made by such processes as a solvent or solution polymerization method or the inverse suspension or emulsion polymerization method. Such SAPs are disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No 6,124,391.
  • [0091]
    The absorbent materials increase the overall absorbency of the fibers, prevent the fibers from packing close together into a fiber mass, and enhance the friction of the fibers. The “string of pearls” arrangement also allows for strategically placed high absorbency regions on the cleaning pad. For example, if it is desirable to have the forward end of the cleaning pad 28 be more absorbent than the remainder of the cleaning pad 28, the forward end could include a higher percentage of the particulate absorbent materials.
  • [0092]
    The cleaning pad 28 could also include fibers that are formed into helices. Such fibers can be formed by drawing fiber bundles over a blade or heating coaxial bicomponent fibers. The resulting helical fibers exhibit a fluffier texture and more attractive appearance while at the same time increasing the volume (while using less fiber) and dust retention of the duster. The helical nature of the fibers is also advantageous in that they allow coarse fibers to feel softer due to the spring effect. Furthermore, the fibers gradual loss of the helical nature, can serve as an indication of the effective life of the cleaning pad.
  • [0093]
    It should be recognized that none of the aforementioned fiber materials or configurations are exclusive. The cleaning pad could include strategic combinations of the various fibers and other known fibers. In one example, the cleaning pad may be comprised of between 25-100% of the lobed fibers by weight.
  • [0094]
    Similarly, although the preferred embodiment discloses a single cleaning surface 111, the invention is in no way limited to such a single cleaning surface. To the contrary, numerous alternative configurations are within the scope of the present invention. For example, the inventive pad could include multiple cleaning surfaces, with alternate or similar fiber configurations to accommodate various cleaning functions. In one embodiment, a cleaning pad 28 could be two sided with one side of the cloth for dusting and the alternate side of the cleaning pad 28 for cleaning. This could also be accomplished by turning the pad “inside out” to expose a new clean surface, Alternatively, a triangular or other multi-sided cleaning pad 28 could be utilized. Circular cleaning pads are also envisioned and within the scope of the present invention. In general, a variety of cleaning pad 28 shapes or configurations could be utilized to maximize the various properties of the cleaning pad 28 and selected fibers.
  • [0095]
    As noted above, the orientation and type of fibers utilized on the cleaning pad 28 could include a wide variety of alternatives. For example and in no way limiting, the cleaning pad 28 could include a generally fluffy pad including a flat center strip around the area defined by the pockets or sleeves 110 a, 110 b. Such an orientation may increase the surface area and exhibit a better efficacy. Additionally, the center strip could include an absorbent pillow or tube extending down the center of the cleaning pad 28. Such an absorbent pillow could provide an area of high absorbency on the cleaning pad 28. Various alternative combinations are envisioned including, for example, cleaning pads consisting of alternating sections of sponges, feather-like structures, micro-fibers or cellulose foam. Wood pulp is preferred.
  • [0096]
    The cleaning pad 28 could also include a fluffy cloth with a hydrophilic additive to improve the absorbency of water. Such hydrophilic additives include but are not limited to glycerin and glycols. The cleaning pad 28 could also be comprised entirely of an absorbent material such as Rayon.
  • [0097]
    The cleaning pad 28 or cleaning pad support member 26 could also include a piezoelectric crystal to impart an electrostatic charge on the cleaning pad during use to increase dust retention. Such crystals are generally known and typically generate a charge when subjected to mechanical stress. Examples of materials that can be used include but are not limited to quartz analogue crystals like berlinite (AlPO4) and gallium orthophosphate (GaPO4) and ceramics with perovskite or tungsten-bronze structures (BaTiO3, KNbO3, LiNbO3, LiTaO3, BiFeO3, NaxWO3, Ba2NaNb5O5, Pb2KNb5O15). Additionally some Polymer materials like rubber, wool, hair, wood fiber, and silk exhibit piezoelectricity to some extent and may be also utilized. Additionally, the polymer polyvinylidene fluoride, (—CH2—CF2 —), which exhibits piezoelectricity several times larger than quartz may be used.
  • [0098]
    The cleaning pad 28 may also include a portion of an unbonded web material, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,858,112, issued Jan. 12, 1999 to Stokes et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,112, issued Oct. 5, 1999 to Haynes et al. or other material such as described by U.S. Pat. No. 4,720,415, issued Jan. 19, 1988 to Vander Wielan et al. or any super absorbent material such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,995,133, issued February 1991 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,638,569 both issued to Newell, U.S. Pat. No. 5,960,508, issued Oct. 5, 1999 to Holt et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 6,003,191, issued Dec. 21, 1999 to Sherry et al,
  • [0099]
    In one embodiment, the cleaning pad 28 may comprise a spunbond fiber nonwoven web having a basis weight of approximately 68 grams per square meter. The spunbond fibers may comprise bicomponent fibers having a side-by-side configuration where each component comprises about 50%, by volume, of the fiber. The spunbond fibers will comprise first and second polypropylene components and/or a first component comprising polypropylene and a second component comprising propylene-ethylene copolymer. About 1% or more or less of titanium oxide or dioxide is added to the fiber(s) in order to improve fiber opacity. The spunbond fiber nonwoven web thermally bonded with a point unbonded pattern. The nonwoven web is bonded using both heat and compacting pressure by feeding the nonwoven web through a nip formed by a pair of counter-rotating bonding rolls; the bonding rolls comprise one flat roll and one engraved roll. The bonded region of the nonwoven web comprises a continuous pattern that corresponds to the pattern imparted to the engraved roll. Further, the bonded region is applied to the web when it passes through the nip. The bonded region will range between approximately about 27% to about 35% of the area of the nonwoven web and forms a repeating, non-random pattern of circular unbonded regions. Absorbency enhancing or superabsorbent materials, including superabsorbent polymers, powders, fibers and the like may be combined with the cleaning pad 28.
  • [0100]
    Alternatively, the pad 28 comprises a laminate of an air-laid composite and a spunbond fiber nonwoven web. The nonwoven web may comprise monocomponent spunbond fibers of polypropylene having a basis weight of approximately 14 grams per square meter. The air-laid composite may comprise from about 85% to about 90% kraft pulp fluff and from about 10% to about 15% bicomponent staple fibers. The bicomponent staple fibers may have a sheath-core configuration; the core component comprising polyethylene terephthalate and the sheath component comprising polyethylene. The air-laid composite has a basis weight between about 200 and about 350 grams per square meter and an absorbency of between about 8 and about 11 grams per gram.
  • [0101]
    The cleaning pad 28 may also include a portion or side of hydrophilic fibers useful for scrubbing. Additionally, nylon fibers may be used to increase the coefficient of friction when they become wet. Portions of the cleaning pad 28 may be composed of microfibers and ultra-microfibers having a denier per filament (dpf) less than or equal to about 1.0.
  • [0102]
    As described, the cleaning pad 28 can be formed by any material or material-forming process known, including woven and non-woven materials, polymers, gels, extruded materials, laminates, layered materials which are bonded together integrally and thus form a co-material, fused materials, extruded materials, air laying, etc.
  • [0103]
    The cleaning pad 28 may alternatively be optimized for providing a cleaning fluid to the surface, such as with micro capsules or encapsulated fluids or agents. The enhanced surface of the cleaning pad 28 can have scrubbing or abrasive qualities. The enhanced surface can also be formed by a mechanical stamping, bonding, pressing, compression, extrusion, sprayed, sputtered, laminated or other surface forming or affecting process. The various alternative cleaning solutions discussed above could be microencapsulated into the cleaning pad such that they are selectively released by some additional stimulus. It is understood that various cleaning solutions microencapsulated into the cleaning pad could be activated by water, another chemical in the fluid reservoir or pressure. The solutions could be dry impregnated. Alternatively, the chemical solutions could be encapsulated in pockets or bubbles on or within the pad 28 or on the cleaning media support 26. The pockets could be designed to burst and release the cleaning solution upon the application of moderate pressure.
  • [0104]
    It should be understood that the cleaning system 20 may be presented with its component parts partially preassembled or unassembled. During assembly or manufacture of the cleaning system 20, the ears 49 a, 49 b of the preformed handle portion 24 described above can be forced to flex outward from each other as the pivot member 82 is inserted therebetween in the orientation described above. The axles 80 a, 80 b slide along the path defined by the grooves 52 a, 52 b , until they reach the pivot hole 54 defined at the terminal end. Axles 80 a, 80 b fit within holes 54 thereby defining a pivot joint. The sleeves 110 a, 110 b of the cleaning pad 28 are then placed over the attachment members 108 a, 108 b securing the cleaning pad to the system.
  • [0105]
    The circular pivot member 82 accommodates rotational movement of the cleaning pad support member 26 in a range of about 55 to 65 degrees relative to the longitudinal axis of the handle portion 24. The preferred range is ideal for accommodating the alternate fiber lengths and cloth geometries of the inventive system. Particularly preferred is a range of about 61 degrees. When the cleaning pad support member 26 is fully extended in its cleaning position (FIG. 1), circular retention tabs 95 fit within retention tab holes 87 and maintain the cleaning pad support member 26 in its cleaning position.
  • [0106]
    FIGS. 1, 3, 4, and 10 illustrate the inventive cleaning system in its alternating positions. FIG. 1 illustrates the cleaning system 20 in its cleaning position. As described above, in the cleaning position the cleaning pad support member 26 extends forwardly, pivot engagement tab 38 engages the cleaning position notch 102 of pivot member 82, and retention tabs 95 fit within the retention tab holes 87 (FIG. 11). These engagement or retaining features create at least 2.5 lbf of pivot force. This amount of force is sufficient to maintain the cleaning pad support member 26 in its fully extending cleaning position despite any torque experienced during normal dusting, drying, or cleaning motions. Thus, in the cleaning position, a user may manipulate the cleaning system 20 via the handle portion 24. Additionally, the user may apply the water or other liquid housed within the fluid reservoir 30 directly onto the surface to be cleaned. The user may insert a finger through the opening 32 and depress the spray cap 61 thereby causing the discharge of the material housed within the reservoir 30. Due to the orientation of the cleaning system 20 in the cleaning position, the liquid or other material (e.g. foam or powder) will typically be applied directly to the surface to be cleaned in an area behind the cleaning pad 28 when the system is in a horizontal orientation such as when dusting a coffee table. Alternatively, a cleaning solution can be sprayed onto a vertical surface to be cleaned, such as a window or door molding.
  • [0107]
    FIGS. 4 and 10 illustrate the cleaning system 20 in a second liquid application position. In order to move the cleaning pad support member 26 into the liquid application position, a user must hold the handle portion 24 and apply torque to the cleaning pad support member 26 to move it from the cleaning position illustrated in FIG. 1. As sufficient torque is applied to overcome the forces of the inventive engagement features, the circular pivot member 82 rotates downwardly into the liquid application position. In the liquid application position, pivot engagement tab 38 engages the liquid application notch 104 of the pivot member 82 thereby holding the cleaning pad support member 26 is its angled liquid application state. In the illustrated embodiment, the angle Ø between the cleaning pad support member 26 and the handle portion 24 in the liquid application position may be between 45° and 68°. Preferably, the angle Ø between the cleaning pad support member 26 and the handle portion 24 is between 55° and 68° with 63° being particularly preferred. This preferred angle takes into consideration the spray pattern of the fluid reservoir (shown in phantom) in order to achieve liquid application onto the greatest surface area of the cleaning surface 111 of the cleaning pad 28.
  • [0108]
    During dusting or cleaning a user may repeatedly rotate the cleaning pad support member 26 from its cleaning position to its liquid application position as needed. Alternatively, as noted above, a user may simply apply liquid directly to the surface to be cleaned while using the cleaning system 20 in the cleaning position.
  • [0109]
    FIG. 3 illustrates the storage position of the cleaning system. As illustrated in FIG. 3, in the storage position the cleaning pad support member 26 is rotated backwards such that it is generally parallel to the plane defined by the longitudinal axis of the handle portion 24. In the storage position, engagement tab 3 8 engages the storage position notch 106 thereby maintaining cleaning pad support member 26 in its folded position, In the storage position, the cleaning system 20 may be easily stored into a variety of spaces such as kitchen drawers or cabinets. Alternatively, the system can be hung on a wall using the opening 32 in the handle portion 24.
  • [0110]
    As it can be appreciated from the description above the invention includes a novel method of adjusting the cleaning pad support member 26. One first obtains the cleaning system 20. While holding the handle portion (and preferably no other portion of the device), one presses the cleaning pad support member 26 against an object (e.g. a wall or a floor) to cause rotation of the cleaning support member 26 relative to the handle portion 24. In an alternative embodiment, the pivot member may include a torsion spring or other biasing means to return the cleaning support member 26 to its cleaning position without effort on behalf of the user.
  • [0111]
    FIG. 10 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the cleaning pad 128 of the present invention. Cleaning pad 128 is similar to the pad previously described, however, pad 128 includes tapered fibers 129 on its cleaning surface 111. As illustrated in FIG. 10, fibers 129 are tapered in a manner such that those fibers 129 closest to the handle portion 24 are shortest. As one moves away from the handle portion 24, the fibers 129 become progressively longer in length. The tapered fiber length further accommodates the cleaning system 20 in achieving a maximum cleaning fluid application surface area on the cleaning surface 111, in the fluid application position.
  • [0112]
    FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate an additional alternative embodiment of the cleaning system. As illustrated by FIGS. 12 and 13, the cleaning fluid reservoir 30 of the previous embodiment has been replaced with a flexible pouch 130. In the alternative embodiment, spray nozzle or cap 134, with an angled dip tube 140 may be retained in the handle portion 24 as previously described. A user may puncture the seal at a preformed location 138 on the pouch with the pump dip tube 140. Alternatively, a user may screw the spray cap 134 onto a threaded pouch fitment 151 or the spray cap 134 may be directly staked to the pouch 130 during the filling operation. As illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, the cradle of the previous embodiment has been replaced with a snap-fitting cover 142 attached via a living hinge 141 to the handle portion 24. Cover 142 secures the pouch 130 within the cleaning system 20.
  • b. Preferred Embodiments of the Cleaning Pad For Use With a Cleaning Solution
  • [0113]
    FIGS. 14-39 illustrate preferred embodiments of the cleaning pad or cleaning article 28 that may be used with the inventive cleaning system 22. In the illustrated preferred embodiments, the cleaning pad or cleaning article 28 is generally comprised of a cleaning fiber mat 203 layered on one surface of a base sheet 202. The fiber mat 203 is preferably bonded to the base sheet 202 in the lengthwise direction of the fiber mat 203 along a central bonding line 204 extending continuously along the center of the base sheet 202. In addition, the fiber mat 203 is bonded to the base sheet 202 at spot bonding regions 207 defining discontinuous lines that run parallel with the central bonding line 204. Although the spot bonding regions 207 are illustrated in lines, they could be randomly orientated along the base sheet. In addition, as described below, the fiber mat could be bonded to the base sheet only by the spot bonding regions 207 and without the use of the central bonding line 204. As described in greater detail below, although the size of the fibers defining the fiber mat 203 of the cleaning pad 28 may vary depending on the application, it is preferable that the size of the fibers be between 1-18 denier.
  • [0114]
    Turning initially to FIGS. 14-16, a first preferred embodiment of the cleaning pad 28 of the present invention is illustrated. The cleaning pad 28 is formed by layering a fiber mat 203 on one surface of a base sheet 202. The base sheet 202 is preferably constructed from a nonwoven sheet or other equivalent as is known in the art. The base sheet 202 and fibers 203 are preferably bonded together along a central bonding line 204. In the illustrated embodiment, the central bonding line 204 extends from a first base sheet edge 212 c to an opposed second base sheet edge 212 d.
  • [0115]
    As illustrated in FIG. 15, in addition to the central bonding region 204, the fiber mat 203 and the base sheet 202 are bonded at a plurality of spot bonding regions 207. In one embodiment, the spot bonding regions 207 generally define discontinuous parallel broken lines 205 a, 205 b, 206 a and 206 b. In the illustrated embodiment, the broken lines 205 a, 205 b, 206 a and 206 b are parallel to the central bonding line 204. As discussed below, spot bonding regions 207 could also be randomly orientated on the base sheet 202.
  • [0116]
    The cross sectional views illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, better illustrate the bonding regions of fiber mat 203. The fibers of the fiber mat 203 generally extend freely between the central bonding line 204 and the edges 212 a, 212 b of the base sheet 202. However, portions of the fiber mat 203 are intermittently bonded to the base sheet 202 at the above described spot bonding regions 207 (FIG. 16). Alternatively, FIG. 17 illustrates a section of the fiber mat 203 that is not bonded at a spot bonding region 207 and extends freely from the central bonding line 204 to the end of the fiber 231 a. Regardless of the orientation of the spot bonding regions 207, in the illustrated embodiments, the ends 231 a and 231 b of the fiber mat 203 are not bonded to the base sheet 202 and freely extend. The cleaning pad 28 is thus designed so fibers of the fiber mat 203 are free to move along lengths ranging from either the central bonding line 204 or the spot bonding regions 207 to the ends 231 a and 231 b. Due to this unique bonding pattern between the fiber mat 203 and base sheet 202 (characterized by discontinuous spot-bonded regions 207 between the central bonding region 204) entanglements of the individual fibers is lessened and the cloth exhibits an overall fluffier appearance. Furthermore, the configuration results in more open fiber in the fiber mat 203.
  • [0117]
    As best illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIG. 15, the spot bonding regions 207 generally define lines 205 a, 205 b, 206 a and 206 b that are parallel to the central bonding line 204. The individual spot bonded regions 207 are formed intermittently in a non-continuous linear fashion. The respective individual spot bonded regions 207 may be formed in a variety of shapes including circles, ellipses, ovals, straight lines, or the like. The spot bonded regions 207 may be formed such that the shapes of the spot bonded regions 207 are uniform, or, alternatively, the above shapes may be formed by a variety of combinations of the above shapes.
  • [0118]
    The width of the individual spot bonded regions 207 (along the lengths of the fibers) is preferably between 0.5-5 mm, and the length (in the lengthwise direction of the center bonding region) is preferably 2-15 mm. Each of the spot-bonded regions 207 is preferably spaced between 5-50 mm apart. It is understood that the spacing between the individual spot bonding regions 207 may be uniform throughout the entire range of the spot bonding regions 207, or the spacing may vary in a variety of patterns.
  • [0119]
    In addition to the described orientation of the spot bonding regions 207, the spot bonding regions 207 may be situated such that each of the spots alternates slightly to the left and right in the width-wise direction of the base sheet 202 (lengthwise direction of the fibers) with the parallel line as the center, so that the spot bonded regions 207 are positioned in zigzag patterns to the left and right with the parallel lines defining central lines. Thus, the spot bonding regions 207 need not necessarily be lined up linearly above the parallel lines 205 a, 205 b, 206 a, 206 b.
  • [0120]
    It should be understood, that the spot bonding regions 207 can be produced in other configurations, and are not limited to the above noted configuration. For example, the spot bonded regions 207 may define one parallel line between the central bonding line 204 and the edge 212 a and one parallel line between the central bonding line 204 and the opposed edge 212 b, so that they define only two parallel lines (e.g., 205 a and 205 b).
  • [0121]
    Alternatively, the spot bonded regions 207, could also define three parallel lines between the central bonding line 204 and edges 212 a, 212 b, such that they form a total of six parallel lines over the entire cleaning pad 28. Any number of lines could be formed, depending on the application.
  • [0122]
    The various spot bonding regions 207 do not overlap in the lengthwise direction of the fibers of the fiber mat 203, and thus bonding at multiple sites along the length of a single fiber does not occur. As a result, the majority of the length of the fiber on the fiber mat 203 is free. Because the fiber mat 203 is strategically unimpeded, this effectively prevents entanglement of the fibers of the fiber mat 203, while also allowing increased foreign matter trapping and retaining capacity to be maintained over a longer period of time.
  • [0123]
    Although the fibers of the fiber mat 203 can take a variety of lengths, in the preferred embodiment, the lengths of the fibers from the central bonding region 204 to the ends of the fibers in the lengthwise direction of the fibers is preferably 50-100% of the length from the central bonding region 204 to the edges (212 a or 212 b) of the base sheet 202. In one preferred embodiment, a cleaning pad includes a base sheet 202 with a width of 300 mm and a length of 200 mm. Preferably, the length from the central bonding region 204 to the edge of the base sheet 202 is 100 mm, and the length of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 is preferably between 50-100 mm.
  • [0124]
    As illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, the fiber ends 231 a and 231 b in the lengthwise direction of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 are not bonded to the base sheet 202, and the length of the fiber that is allowed free movement from the ends 231 a or 231 b of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 to the bonded regions varies from about 10-40 mm from the spot bonded regions to about 50-100 mm from those fibers that are only bonded along the central bonding line. Preferably, the lines defined by the spot-bonded regions 207 are in the range of 10-40 mm from the edges (202 a or 202 b) of the base sheet 202.
  • [0125]
    As noted above, the material of the base sheet 202 may be a non-woven cloth sheet, paper, synthetic resin sheet, or other known material. In the illustrated embodiment, the base sheet 202 is preferably a non-woven cloth sheet capable of trapping various types of foreign matter. Preferably, the nonwoven cloth used for the base sheet 202, weighs between 10 to 200 g/m2 and has a thickness of between 0.01-0.1 mm.
  • [0126]
    In the preferred embodiment, when a thermal-welded fiber is used for the fiber mat 203, it is preferable for the base sheet 202 to have thermal welding capacity conducive to bonding with the fiber mat 203. Likewise, when a nonwoven cloth sheet is used it is preferable that it be thermally weldable to the fiber mat 203. As noted above, examples of such thermally weldable short fibers include polypropylene, polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate and other fibers or materials in which the fibers are present in a core-sheath structure or in a side-by-side structure, thus forming composite fibers.
  • [0127]
    The nonwoven cloth sheet that is used as the base sheet 202, may be a spunless nonwoven cloth, spunbonded nonwoven cloth, thermally bonded nonwoven cloth, air-through bonded nonwoven cloth, spot-bonded nonwoven cloth, or others. In the preferred embodiment, a spunless nonwoven cloth or thermally bonded nonwoven cloth is utilized. The nonwoven cloth sheet may be formed from a single sheet, or may be formed by the lamination of multiple sheets of the same or different types.
  • [0128]
    The fiber mat 203 used in the cleaning pad 28 may be produced by overlaying multiple fibers so that they run in the same direction, or may be formed from a fiber aggregate. The fiber mat 203 is preferably in a sheet-form. In addition, the fiber mat 203 can be partially bonded by means of welding or the likes between the various fibers. The fiber mat 203 may include uniform fibers throughout, or may be constituted from multiple types of fiber.
  • [0129]
    The fiber mat 203 may also be manufactured from fibers having the same, or multiple thicknesses. Likewise, the fiber mat 203 can be formed from an aggregate in which fibers of different color are used, regardless of whether the thicknesses and types of the constituent fibers are the same or different.
  • [0130]
    As noted above, a wide variety of fibers may be used in the fiber mat 203 including cotton, wool and other natural fibers, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polyacrylic and other synthetic fibers, core/sheath fibers, sea-island type fibers, side-by-side fibers and other composite fibers. Synthetic fibers and composite fibers are preferred due to their thermal welding properties. In one preferred embodiment, the tow is a bi-component fiber consisting of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene outer surface or sheath. This is particularly preferred, because both materials have superior thermal welding properties. In addition, the fibers used for the fiber mat 203 may be formed from a crimped material produced by mechanical crimping or thermal crimping.
  • [0131]
    In one preferred embodiment, the fiber mat 203 may be a long fiber mat generally referred to as “tow,” which is manufactured from polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, polyester, rayon, or similar materials. The thickness of the fibers that constitutes the fiber mat 203 is preferably between 1-18 denier. In addition, the weight of the fiber mat 203 is preferably between 5-30 g/m2 when the thickness of the fibers is about 2 denier.
  • [0132]
    The cleaning pad 28 of the present invention can be obtained by layering the fiber mat 203 on the surface of the base sheet 202, and then bonding the two along the central bonding line 204 and spot-bonded regions 207 as previously described. This can be accomplished by thermal welding, ultrasonic welding, bonding, contact, or other known method.
  • [0133]
    In the preferred embodiments, the base sheet 202 and fiber mat 203 are formed from thermally weldable materials, and the laminate of the base sheet 202 and fiber mat 203 are heated and compressed with a hot roll to bond the two surfaces together. Alternatively, if the base sheet 202 or fiber mat 203 are not weldable, a thermally bondable material such as hot melt adhesive can be laminated between them, or bonding can be carried out by directly applying an adhesive between the two layers.
  • [0134]
    As discussed above, the fiber mat 203 or base sheet 202 may be coated with a chemical agent for improving foreign matter trapping performance, particularly of known allergens such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat, No. 6,777,064. Examples of such chemical agents include liquid paraffin and other mineral oils, silicone oils and nonionic surfactants.
  • [0135]
    When the preferred cleaning pad is incorporated into the preferred cleaning system 22, the fiber mat 203 is laminated onto one side of the base sheet 202 and bonded at a central bonding region 204. In addition, bonding is carried out at spot-bonded regions 207 formed discontinuously along parallel lines between the two edges 212 a and 212 b parallel to the center bonding region 204. Thus, a cleaning pad 28 is formed in which the two ends in the lengthwise direction of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 are not bonded to the base sheet 202.
  • [0136]
    As illustrated in FIGS. 18, 19 and 21 pockets or sleeves 110 of the cleaning pad 28 are formed by laminating and bonding a retaining sheet 221 on the back surface of base sheet 202 (opposite the fiber mat 203), thereby forming a retaining opening 222 consisting of space whereby the arm of the attachment members 108 a, 108 b of the cleaning tool 22 can be inserted and retained. In one embodiment, the retaining sheet 221 is bonded to the base sheet 202 along the central bonding line 204 and spot bonding regions 207 thereby defining two sleeves 110 a, 110 b. The retaining sheet 221, need not be bonded along the same lines as the fiber mat, and may take a variety of configurations so long as it defines a retaining opening 222.
  • [0137]
    As best illustrated in FIG. 18, base sheet 202 of the cleaning pad 28 may also be provided with numerous cuts or fringes 225 that are cut in the same direction as the lengthwise direction of the fibers of the fiber mat 203. The fringes 225 increase the surface area of the cleaning pad 28 and improve dust adhesion to the base sheet. As discussed below, a cleaning pad 28 may also be used without fringes along the base sheet 202.
  • [0138]
    FIGS. 19-21 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the cleaning pad 28 wherein the fiber mat 203 is formed by superimposing two or more fiber mats 203 a, 203 b constructed from different types of constituent fibers, different fiber sizes or different colors. Superimposing the various fiber mats provides for a cleaning pad 28 having different properties. In one preferred embodiment a fiber mat 203 a with thicker fibers alternates with a fiber mat 203 b of thinner fibers. For example, a fiber mat with a size of 0.01-0.05 mm is preferred in the thin mat 203 a and a fiber mat with a size of 0.06 mm-0.3 mm is preferred for the thick mat 203 b. In addition, it is preferable to use a fiber with high stem strength such as polypropylene or nylon for the thick fiber mat 203 b. The thick fiber mat 203 b is preferably constructed from bunched fibers formed by splitting drawn polypropylene tape in the direction of drawing. The thick polypropylene fiber mat 203 b is preferably bonded only at the central bonding line 204 to the preferred thin mat 203 b formed from bi-component tow fiber consisting of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene outer surface. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 21, the thick fiber mat 203 b hangs freely from the cleaning pad 28. As a result, the fiber pad appears bulkier or fluffier.
  • [0139]
    The dual fiber mat 203 may be produced by laminating the thin sheet 203 a to the base sheet 202 as described in reference to FIGS. 14-17. The thick fiber mat 203 b is then layered over the thin fiber mat 203 a and bonded along the center bonding line 204.
  • [0140]
    Although the layering of alternative fibers in the fiber mat can be carried out in a variety of ways, in the illustrated embodiment the thick fibers 203 b are on the exterior (on the side of the surface to be cleaned). This arrangement works particularly well for cleaning surfaces or appliances that include fine gaps such as a computer keyboard. The thin fibers 203 a do not have body, and so they tend not to enter into the gaps. In contrast, however, the thick fibers 203 b exhibit greater stem strength, and as a result they more easily enter into the gaps, allowing dust, dirt and other foreign matter to be lifted off the surface to be cleaned. In addition, thick fibers 203 b serve to prevent entanglement of the narrow fibers and as well as provide a rougher surface to remove debris stuck to a surface.
  • [0141]
    In the illustrated embodiment, the length of the thick fiber mat 203 b in the lengthwise direction of the fibers is preferably somewhat shorter than the length of the thin fiber mat 203 a, but the lengths may vary depending on the application.
  • [0142]
    FIGS. 22-24 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the cleaning pad 28, or more particularly the retaining sheet. The retaining sheet 221 of cleaning pad 28 is produced by laminating two sheets of nonwoven cloth 221 a and 221 b, heat-sealing and bonding the center and three sides, to define an insertion opening 223. A sack-form retaining part 222 consisting of a space for inserting and retaining the attachment members 108 a, 108 b is formed between the two non-woven cloths 221 a and 221 b.
  • [0143]
    As illustrated in FIG. 23, the insertion opening 223 of the retaining sheet 221 is formed. The retaining sheet 221 shown in FIG. 25 may alternatively be produced by folding a single non-woven cloth in two, and heat sealing prescribed locations thereof, to create an insertion opening 223. The upper nonwoven cloth 221 a is formed so that it can curve freely upwards at the edge of the sealed region 228 and thus functions as a border 229 that is not bonded to the nonwoven cloth 221 b underneath.
  • [0144]
    In one preferred embodiment, a colored region or other indicia 224 may be provided at the end of the border 229 indicating the orientation of the insertion region 223. Thus, when the upper nonwoven cloth 221a is made longer than the lower nonwoven cloth 221 b and the border 29 is provided, insertion of the attachment members 108 a, 108 b can be carried out easily and smoothly.
  • [0145]
    As an alternative to providing a colored part as the indicia 224 on the border 229 of the retaining sheet 221, an embossing process can be carried out in order to provide a raised or lowered pattern at the same location, By providing indicia or on the insertion opening side 223 of the retaining sheet 22 1, the area where the attachment members 108 are to be inserted can be readily identified.
  • [0146]
    As illustrated in FIG. 24, the retaining sheet 221 is attached to the base sheet by 202 by applying hot-melt adhesive 227 in the center of the base sheet, and then laminating and heating the above retaining sheet 221 and base sheet by a means such as heating or compression welding. Affixing the retaining sheet 221 to the cleaning pad 28 can be carried out using adhesive or pressure-sensitive adhesive, as well as hot melt adhesive.
  • [0147]
    Attachment of the cleaning pad to the attachment members 110 is carried out by inserting the attachment members 110 a, 110 b into the insertion opening 223 of the retaining sheet 221 so that it is retained in the retaining part 222. When the cleaning pad 28 becomes soiled, the arm attachment members 110 are pulled out of the insertion opening 223 and a fresh cleaning pad 28 is put in place.
  • [0148]
    Due to the combination of the bonding of the fiber mat 203 at a central bonding region 204 as well as spot-bonded regions 207, and because the ends of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 in the lengthwise direction are not bonded to the base sheet 202, the fibers of the disclosed fiber mat 203 are highly napped in comparison to prior art cleaning pads, allowing the formation of a voluminous region of the fibers. This provides a significant advantage over the less voluminous cloths of the prior art. Both ends in the lengthwise direction of the fiber mat 203 of the sheet hang downwards, so that the tips of the fibers at both fiber ends are released from the base sheet and are free to move. As a result, the disclosed fiber mat 203 has superior trapping performance and retention capacity with respect to dust, dirt and various types of foreign matter relative to conventional sheets for cleaning implements in which long fiber filaments are cut and then napped at the surface or sandwiched between two carrier sheets.
  • [0149]
    FIGS. 25-39 illustrate additional preferred embodiments of the cleaning pad 28, configured to further increase the volume of free fibers of the fiber mat 203 in the cleaning pad 28, thereby increasing dust adhesion over prior art designs. It should be understood, that the various features of the cleaning pad 28 described in the different embodiments can be combined in a variety of ways and none are mutually exclusive. For example the central bonding line 204 can be combined with the spots 407 described below. Each embodiment includes a plurality of potential alternative joining locations 440 that may include, for example spots 407, or line sections 444. FIGS. 25-32 and 34-39 illustrate examples of “fringeless” base sheets 302, 402, 502, 602, 1002. Turning to FIG. 25, base sheet 402 may be constructed from a nonwoven or other known material as described above.
  • [0150]
    Base sheet 402 includes a uniform outer edge, such as a solid, unperforated, uncut outer edge 484. The outer edge 484 is defined by a straight, unperforated, uncut upper edge 460, a straight unperforated, uncut lower edge 462, and straight, unperforated, uncut side edges 464 a, 464 b. Removal of the cuts or fringes 225 of the previous embodiment has been shown to increase the fluffiness and total open fiber of the cleaning pad in comparison to a base sheet including the fringes. A base sheet 902 may also include an irregular or curved shape as illustrated in FIG. 32 without the fringes. It should be understood that the fringeless base sheet 402 may be used with the previous embodiments, and is no way limited to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 25-32. For example, FIGS. 30 and 31 illustrate the previously described cleaning pad 28 with the fringeless base sheet 402.
  • [0151]
    FIG. 25 illustrates a first alternative bonding configuration. As illustrated in FIG. 25, the cleaning pad includes a base sheet including a plurality of joining locations or joining portions 440. The joining locations 440 may include spot bonding regions 207 such as discrete points, joining points, weldments or spots 407 for attachment of a combination of fibers or strips such as fiber bundle mat 203. Joining locations 440 may also include the central bonding line 204 described above or the individual line sections 444 described below. Spots 407 are randomly orientated along the base sheet 402 and illustrate potential locations for the nonwoven fibers to be attached as previously described. Although not shown in FIGS. 25-29, it is understood that the base sheet 402 is configured for attachment of a fiber bundle mat 203 as previously described.
  • [0152]
    In the illustrated embodiment, the spots 407 are circular in shape. It is understood, however, that the spots 407 could take a variety of shapes. As illustrated in FIG. 27 spots or weldments 407 are triangular shaped. Numerous other configurations could be utilized as well, including, but not limited to, line portions, curved line portions, squares, rectangles, dashes and numerous other geometric shapes. Spots 407 can be randomly orientated on the base sheet 407 or ordered in lines or other configurations. The number of spots can be altered to achieve optimal open fiber and fluffiness in the fiber bundle mat 203 as described in greater detail below.
  • [0153]
    FIG. 28 illustrates another embodiment of the base sheet 602. As illustrated in FIG. 28, the base sheet 602 includes “star shaped” or “asterisk shaped spots” 607. Spots 607 include a central spot 609 with a plurality of line portions, for example, 611 a-d extending therefrom. The central spot 609 can also take a variety of alternative shapes, as can the line portions 611 a-d.
  • [0154]
    As previously illustrated in FIGS. 18 and 20, a single central bonding line 204 could be added to a base sheet 202 with spot bonding regions 207. As alternatively illustrated in FIG. 26, a discontinuous central bonding line 406 may also be utilized. The discontinuous central bonding line 406 is comprised of a plurality of individual line sections 444. It should be understood that a plurality of discontinuous lines could be used.
  • [0155]
    FIG. 29 illustrates another embodiment of a base sheet 502. Base sheet 502 is similar to those previously described, and can be fringeless or include fringes. Base sheet 502 includes a single curved or sinusoidal shaped bonding line 504 extending across the bonding surface 500 of the base sheet. As illustrated in FIG. 28, the curved bonding line 504 traverses across the base sheet 502 to provide a plurality of discrete bonding locations e.g, 505 a-d. As illustrated by FIG. 28 the curved bonding line 504 provides for an infinite number of discrete bonding locations 505 a-d along different points of the curved line 504. Due to the arcuate nature of the curved bonding line 504, many of the discrete bonding locations, for example, 505 a-d along the curved line are located at unique positions along both the x and y axis of the base sheet 502 in comparison to other discrete bonding locations along the curved bonding line 504.
  • [0156]
    It is understood that the curved bonding line 504 could take on a variety of alternative configurations other than that illustrated in FIG. 29 so long as it provides multiple bonding locations at unique positions along both the x and y axis of the base sheet 502 in comparison to other discrete bonding locations along the curved bonding line 504. In addition, multiple curved bonding lines 504 could be utilized.
  • [0157]
    Each of the above disclosed embodiments in FIGS. 18-32 provide a significant advantage over known prior art cleaning pads, Specifically, the disclosed embodiments provide for a cleaning pad 28, with a substantial increase in free fiber within the fiber mat 203 resulting in increased fluffiness within the fiber mat 203 and greater dust adhesion. FIG. 33 illustrates one example of a portion of a prior art cleaning pad 800. FIG. 33 illustrates a fiber bundle or fiber mat 807 bonded to a base sheet 802. As illustrated by the drawings, the individual fibers of the fiber mat 807 are bonded to the base sheet 802 at bonding lines 806 a, 806 b. In addition, the fibers of the fiber mat 807 are bonded at joining lines 810. This bonding architecture results in a tightly bonded fiber mat 807, with extremely minimal amounts of free fibers in the fiber mat 807. As a result the prior art cleaning pad 800 has a tendency to push dust across a surface as opposed to retaining and absorbing dust.
  • [0158]
    In contrast, the disclosed embodiments of the cleaning pad 28 provide a significant advantage over the prior art cleaning pads. For example, in the illustrated embodiments, the fibers of the fiber mat 203 are bonded at one or more joining locations 440 such as spots 207 in a variety of ways to achieve a preferred amount of free fiber in the fiber mat 203. In one embodiment, 100% of the individual fibers of the fiber mat 203 are connected to the nonwoven or base sheet 402 at one joining location 440 such as spot 407 and between 5-90% of the fibers are connected at two joining locations 440 such as spots 407. In another embodiment, 100% of the individual fibers of the fiber mat 203 are connected to the nonwoven or base sheet 402 at one spot 407 between 5-70% of the fibers are connected at at least two spots 407. In another alternative, 100% of the individual fibers are connected to the nonwoven sheet at one spot and less than 80% of the fibers are bonded at at least two spots.
  • [0159]
    A similar fiber open architecture can be achieved using a central bonding line 204 and plurality of spots 407. For example, in one embodiment, 100% of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 are connected to the nonwoven sheet at the central bonding line 204 and between 5-90% of the fibers of the fiber mat are bonded at at least one spot 407. In another preferred embodiment, 100% of the fibers of the fiber mat 203 are connected to the nonwoven sheet at the central bonding line 204 and between 5-70% of the fibers are connected at at least one spot 407. In still another embodiment, 100% of the fibers of the fiber mat are connected to the nonwoven sheet at the central bonding line 204, and less than 80% are connected at at least one spot 407.
  • [0160]
    The preferred open architecture can also be achieved by bonding the fiber mat 203 to the base sheet 402 using the discontinuous central bonding line 406 illustrated in FIG. 26. In one preferred embodiment, between 10-90% of the fibers are connected to the discontinuous central bonding line 406. In another embodiment, 80% of the fibers are bonded to the discontinuous central bonding line 406.
  • [0161]
    As noted throughout the application, the previously described bonding configurations can be utilized to achieve a preferred amount of free fiber in the fiber mat 203. In the described preferred embodiments illustrating a central bonding line 204 or discontinuous central bonding line 406, at least 80% of the total fiber bundle comprises fibers that are free along at least 50% of their length from the central bonding line. Such fibers include fibers that are bonded only at a central bonding line 204 or discontinuous central bonding line 406 as well as fibers that are bonded at a central bonding line 204 or discontinuous central bonding line 406 and at another bonding location less than one half of the length of the fiber from the central bonding line 204 or discontinuous central bonding line 406.
  • [0162]
    The architecture described above allows for the attachment of fiber bundle or fiber mat 203 such that a plurality of individual discrete micro channels is defined within the fiber bundle for retaining dust. For example, when the fiber mat or fiber bundle 203 is bonded to the base sheet by a plurality of joining points or spots 407, a plurality of discrete fiber clusters are produced. The individual fibers branching from a single joining point or spot 407 define the fiber clusters. Micro channels are formed between the fibers of the fiber clusters. When the spots are randomly orientated, so too are the fiber clusters and micro channels. This is advantageous over the prior art illustrated in FIG. 33, wherein the fiber clusters are uniformly formed.
  • [0163]
    FIGS. 34-39 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the cleaning pad or cleaning article 28. The cleaning article illustrated is a “fringeless” cleaning article 1001. FIGS. 34-39 are directed to improving the design of an existing cleaning pad by removing any fringes or cuts on portions of the cleaning pad and thereby providing a base sheet 1002 with an unperforated, uncut outer edge.
  • [0164]
    In FIGS. 34 and 35, a cleaning article or cleaning pad 1001 is shown with its cleaning side upward. The cleaning article 1001 comprises a uniform, unbroken outer edge, such as a fringeless unperforated, uncut primary sheet (or base sheet) 1002, and a first fiber bundle layer 1003, a second fiber bundle layer 1004, a fringeless unperforated, uncut secondary sheet 1005, and a third fiber bundle layer 1006 laminated subsequently upward on the cleaning face of the base sheet 1002. The shorter sides of the cleaning article 1001 extend parallel to the feeding direction (or MD) along which materials for the above-mentioned layers are continuously fed on the production line. These individual layers (i.e., the base sheet 1002, the first fiber bundle layer 1003, the second fiber bundle layer 1004, the secondary sheet 1005 and the third fiber bundle layer 1006) are joined altogether at an all-layer joining line 1007 extending perpendicularly to MD.
  • [0165]
    In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 34 and 35, the base sheet 1002 and the secondary sheet 1005 are individually formed of a nonwoven fabric formed only of or containing thermoplastic fibers (i.e., heat-fusible fibers). Examples of the thermoplastic fibers include: fibers of PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) or PET (polyethylene terephthalate); and conjugated fibers of PE/PET or PE/PP (e.g., conjugated fibers of a core/sheath structure having a core of PP or PET and a sheath of PE). The nonwoven fabric may be a thermal bonded nonwoven fabric, a spun-bonded nonwoven fabric or a spun-laced nonwoven fabric. Alternatively, the base sheet 1002 and the secondary sheet 1005 may be formed of a thermoplastic resin film such as a PE film or a PP film. Of course, it is also possible that the base sheet 1002 and the secondary sheet 1005 are formed of a laminated sheet of a nonwoven fabric and a resin film.
  • [0166]
    In order to increase the rigidity and elasticity, it is preferred that the base sheet 1002 and the secondary sheet 1005 are formed of a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric in which the thermoplastic fibers are bonded with heated air. Especially where the secondary sheet 1005 is disposed to form the outermost face of the cleaning article on the cleaning side it is desirable that the secondary sheet 1005 is formed of a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric.
  • [0167]
    In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 34 and 35, the first fiber bundle layer 1003, the second fiber bundle layer 1004 and the third fiber bundle layer 1006 individually comprise a bundle of thermoplastic filaments. These individual filaments extend-continuously-to traverse each fiber bundle layer. Such a fiber bundle layer can be easily formed by opening a tow of filaments. More specifically, each fiber bundle layer can be formed over a sheet by the following steps of: opening a tow of filaments to have a predetermined width and a predetermined thickness (or bulk), while being fed continuously in MD; joining the opened tow onto a continuously fed sheet material; and cutting the tow together with the sheet material at an interval (corresponding to the size of the cleaning article in MD). The filaments may be made of any suitable materials such as PE, PP, PET, Ne (nylon), rayon, or combination thereof. Preferably, the filaments are conjugated fibers of a core/sheath structure having a core of PP or PET and a sheath of PE.
  • [0168]
    The filaments are preferred to have a fineness of 1 to 50 dtex, more preferably 2 to 10 dtex. The individual fiber bundle layers may also contain fibers of different finenesses.
  • [0169]
    The fibers forming the fiber bundle layer of the invention should not be limited to the filaments. Flat yams or split yarns may also be employed. The flat yarns are prepared by slitting a film into tapes and by stretching the tapes in the longitudinal direction. The split yams are prepared by splitting a thermoplastic film in the direction perpendicular to the orientation direction of the resin so that the film is fibrillated and interconnected into a net shape.
  • [0170]
    Preferably, the fibers forming the fiber bundle layer of the invention are crimped. With the fibers being crimped, the fiber bundle layer becomes so bulky as to take a structure enabled to capture dust easily by the crimped portions. Especially preferred are crimped filaments opened from a tow.
  • [0171]
    FIG. 37A shows the base sheet 1002 which is formed of a spun-bonded nonwoven fabric, a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric, or the like. The base sheet 1002 includes an unperforated, uncut outer edge 1484. The outer edge 1484 is defined by a straight, unperforated, uncut upper edge 1460, a straight unperforated, uncut lower edge 1462, and straight, unperforated, uncut side edges 1464 a, 1464 b. Removal of the cuts or fringes 225 of the previous embodiment has been shown to increase the fluffiness and total open fiber of the cleaning pad in comparison to a base sheet including the fringes.
  • [0172]
    FIG. 36 shows the base sheet 1002 with its back face 1002B upward. Over the back face 1002B, there is laid a holding sheet 1008. In the embodiment shown, the holding sheet 1008 is formed, like the base sheet 1002, of a nonwoven fabric such as a spun-bonded nonwoven fabric, a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric, or the like. The holding sheet 1008 may also be formed of a resin film. The base sheet 1002 and the holding sheet 1008 are identical in their sizes in MD, but not identical in their sizes in the direction perpendicular to MD. The holding sheet 1008 is shorter than the base sheet 1002 in the direction perpendicular to MD.
  • [0173]
    Over a cleaning face 1002A of the base sheet 1002 there is laid the first fiber bundle layer 1003. The individual filaments forming the first fiber bundle layer 1003 extend in MD, and the first fiber bundle layer 1003 has a predetermined bulk over the cleaning face 1002A of the base sheet 1002.
  • [0174]
    In such a laminated state, the base sheet 1002, the holding sheet 1008 disposed on the outer face 1002B, and the first fiber bundle layer 1003 disposed on the cleaning face 1002A are joined together at joining lines 1013 and 1013 and joining lines 1014 and 1014. Here, the joining is performed by heat-sealing, ultrasonic sealing or the like, so that the base sheet 1002, holding sheet 1008 and the first fiber bundle layer 1003 are fusion-bonded at the joining lines 1013 and 1014.
  • [0175]
    The paired joining lines 1013, 1013 extend parallel with one another while being spaced in MD. On the other hand, the joining lines 1014, 1014 are formed in a zigzag shape near the straight, unperforated, uncut upper edge 1460 and straight unperforated, uncut lower edge 1462.
  • [0176]
    As a result, as shown in FIG. 35 in an enlarged scale, the individual filaments forming the first fiber bundle layer 1003 are joined to the base sheet 1002 at the joining lines 1014 extending obliquely transversely over the base sheet 1002. With the joining lines 1014, motions of the individual filaments can be restrained so that the filaments are prevented from being excessively separated or entangled, while being enabled to move over the base sheet 1002 relatively freely.
  • [0177]
    FIG. 38 shows the state in which the second fiber bundle layer 1004 and the secondary sheet 1005 are laminated. The secondary sheet 1005 is formed of a spun-bonded or through-air bonded nonwoven fabric, like the base sheet 1002, or a resin film. The secondary sheet 1005 has the same size and shape as those of the base sheet 1002.
  • [0178]
    The second fiber bundle layer 1004 is laminated on the back face 1005B of the secondary sheet 1005. In the manufacture process, the back face 1005B of the secondary sheet 1005 is directed upward, and the second fiber bundle layer 1004 is laid over the back face 1005B. At this time, the individual filaments forming the second fiber bundle layer 1004 extend in MD, and the second fiber bundle layer 1004 has a predetermined bulk over the back face 1005B of the secondary sheet 1005.
  • [0179]
    In such a laminated state, the secondary sheet 1005 and the second fiber bundle layer 1004 are joined together at joining portions 1018. At these joining portions 1018, specifically, the secondary sheet 1005 and the second fiber bundle layer 1004 are fusion-bonded by heat-sealing or ultrasonic sealing.
  • [0180]
    As shown in a partially enlarged view of FIG. 35, the second fiber bundle layer 1004 is joined to the secondary sheet 1005 at the joining portions 1018. Therefore, the second fiber bundle layer 1004 is retained in its shape by the secondary sheet 1005 so that the filaments forming the second fiber bundle layer 1004 are prevented from being excessively entangled or curled.
  • [0181]
    At the final stage of the manufacture process of the cleaning article 1001, over the first laminate in which the base sheet 1002, the holding sheet 1008 and the first fiber bundle layer 1003 are laminated and joined, as shown in FIG. 37B, there is laid the second laminate in which the second fiber bundle layer 1004 and the sheet 1005 are laminated and joined, as shown in FIG. 38. At this lamination, the first and second laminates are laid such that the second fiber bundle layer 1004 lies over the first fiber bundle layer 1003.
  • [0182]
    As illustrated in FIG. 37A, over the cleaning face of the secondary sheet 1005 of the second laminate, there is laid the third fiber bundle layer 1006, as shown in FIG. 34. The individual filaments forming the third fiber bundle layer 1006 extend in MD, and the third fiber bundle layer 1006 has a substantially homogeneous bulk over the cleaning face 1005A of the secondary sheet 1005. Then, the holding sheet 1008, the base sheet 1002, the first fiber bundle layer 1003, the second fiber bundle layer 1004, the secondary sheet 1005 and the third fiber bundle layer 1006 are joined altogether into an integral structure at the all-layer joining line 1007 which extends in MD along the center line of the cleaning article 1001. This all-layer joining line 1007 is a fusing seal line by heat sealing, ultrasonic sealing or the like, so that the individual layers are fusion-bonded at the all-layer joining line 1007 to be integrated altogether.
  • [0183]
    As shown in FIGS. 34 and 35, the cleaning article 1001 thus constructed has brush portions 1026 at right and left sides on the cleaning face 1002A of the base sheet 1002. These brush portions 1026 are formed by the edge of the base sheet 1002, the first fiber bundle layer 1003, the second fiber bundle layer 1004, the edge of the secondary sheet 1005 and the third fiber bundle layer 1006.
  • [0184]
    When the floor, furniture, or the like is wiped with the cleaning side of the cleaning article 1001, which is shown upward in FIG. 34, fine dust can be collected by the third fiber bundle layer 1006 appearing on the outermost face of the cleaning article 1001, and by the first and second fiber bundle layers 1003 and 1004 inside of the brush portions 1026. Here, the edges of the sheets exhibit the function to wipe off the dust, and the dust, can also be trapped by the fiber bundle layers 1003, 1004 and 1006.
  • [0185]
    In this embodiment, the secondary sheet 1005 is interposed between the second fiber bundle layer 1004 and the third fiber bundle layer 1006. When the cleaning operations are repeated, therefore, the filaments of the second fiber bundle layer 1004 and the filaments of the third fiber bundle layer 1006 are prevented from being excessively entangled, so that the shape of the brush portions 1026 can be retained for a long term.
  • [0186]
    Moreover, the filaments of the first fiber bundle layer 1003 and the filaments of the second fiber bundle layer 1004 are partially joined to the secondary sheet 1005, so that they are prevented from being excessively curled or entangled. Even after use in a cleaning operation for a long period, the brush portions 1026 retain their shape.
  • [0187]
    On the outer face side of the cleaning article 1001 thus completed, as shown in FIG. 36, the base sheet 1002 and the holding sheet 1008, which are firstly joined at the joining lines 1013 and 1013, are further joined at the all-layer joining line 1017 which is formed midway between the joining lines 1013 and 1013. In the holding region on the outer face of the central region therefore, there are formed two parallel holding spaces 1020 and 1020, each of which is defined between one of the joining lines 1013 and the all-layer joining line 1007. Therefore, the cleaning article 1001 can be held from the outer face side by a handle portion or holder 24. An alternative holder 1021 of a bifurcated structure, is shown in FIG. 36. This holder 1021 includes bifurcated insert portions 1022 and 1022 and a grip portion 1023. The insert portions 1022 and 1022 are inserted into the holding spaces 1020 and 1020. Thus, the cleaning operation can be performed by holding the grip portion 1023.
  • [0188]
    It is possible to adopt a variety of structures for preventing the cleaning article 1001 from easily coming out of the holder 1021 at the cleaning time. First, the insert portions 1022 and 1022 may be formed on their lower faces with a number of saw-tooth shaped protrusions 1022 a, which are arranged finely with sharp edges. With the protrusions 1022 a being directed toward the base sheet 1002, the insert portions 1022 and 1022 are inserted into the holding spaces 1020 and 1020. In this inserted state, the saw-tooth shaped protrusions 1022 a and the base sheet 1002 are retained in a high coefficient of friction so that they can prevent the cleaning article 1001 from easily coming out.
  • [0189]
    It is also effective to fix a retaining fastener 1024 on the root end portion of the insert portions 1022 and 1022 of the holder 1021. This retaining fastener 1024 is formed with fine hook-shaped or mushroom-shaped projections. With the retaining fastener 1024 being retained on the back face 1002B of the base sheet 1002, the cleaning article 1001 is prevented from coming out of the holder 1021.
  • [0190]
    Moreover, it is also possible to provide a pivotable connect member 1025 to the leading end portion of one of the bifurcated insert portions 1022. This connect member 1025 is turned, when the insert portions 1022 and 1022 are inserted so far into the holding spaces 1020 and 1020 that their leading ends pass through and come out of the holding spaces 1020 and 1020, to thereby retain the connect member 1025 on the leading end of the other insert portion 1022 by engagement between concave and convex, or the like. The prevention of the cleaning article 1001 from coming out of the holder 1021 can also be ensured by this retention.
  • [0191]
    To the holder 1021, there may be provided all or at least one of the means for preventing the coming-out of the cleaning article 1001 (i.e., all or at least one of the protrusions 1022 a, the retaining fastener 1024 and the connect member 1025). Here, the holder 1021 having such means can be used not only in the cleaning article of the invention but also in any cleaning article.
  • [0192]
    The cleaning article 1001 thus far described has a symmetrical shape, as shown in FIG. 36. Therefore, if the cleaning article 1001 is used for cleaning operation while being attached to the holder 1021 from the direction shown in FIG. 36 and is locally soiled, the cleaning article 1001 may be removed from the holder 1021 and turned 180 degrees from the position shown in FIG. 36 to be attached to the holder 1021 again. If the cleaning article 1001 is used for cleaning operation by changing its direction thus described above, the individual portions of the cleaning article 1001 can be homogeneously used without any unbalance.
  • [0193]
    If the insert portions 1022 of the holder 1021 are formed of an easily deformable material, it is possible to arbitrarily bend the shape of the cleaning article 1001 held by the holder 1021. If the grip portion 1023 is given an extensible structure, on the other hand, the cleaning operation may be performed while the grip portion 1023 being extended.
  • [0194]
    Here in the cleaning article 1001, the first fiber bundle layer 1003 is joined to the base sheet 1002 at the joining lines 1013 and 1013, as shown in FIG. 1004B, so that the cleaning faces of the insertion portions 1022 and 1022 to be inserted into the holding spaces 1020 and 1020 are covered at any time not only with the base sheet 1002 but also with the first-fiber bundle layer 1003. Therefore, even if the right or left brush portion is unintentionally turned over during cleaning operation, the first fiber bundle layer 1003 exists at a predetermined sufficient thickness between the object to-be cleaned and the insertion portions 1022 and 1022 of the holder 1021. As a result, the object to be cleaned is not affected by the hardness of the holder so that the cleaning article 1001 provides a smooth contact feel when used for cleaning operation.
  • [0195]
    FIG. 39 is a perspective view showing a cleaning article 1001A as a modification of the first embodiment of the invention. The cleaning article 1001A shown in FIG. 39 is prepared by changing the order of laminations of the individual layers of the cleaning article 1001 shown in FIGS. 34 to 38.
  • [0196]
    In this cleaning article 1001A, there is provided an outermost base sheet 1015 which is formed of a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric, and the base sheet 1002 formed of a spun-bonded nonwoven fabric or the like is laid over the cleaning face of the this outermost base sheet 1015. Over the cleaning face 1002A of the base sheet 1002, moreover, there are laid the first fiber bundle layer 1003, the second fiber bundle layer 1004, the third fiber bundle layer 1006 and the sheet 1005 sequentially upward. The secondary sheet 1005 is again formed without any strips or cuts and appears on the outermost face of the cleaning article 1001A on its cleaning side. The secondary sheet 1005 may be formed of any suitable material such as a nonwoven fabric or a resin film, but is preferably formed of a through-air bonded nonwoven fabric.
  • [0197]
    Then, the outermost base sheet 1015, the base sheet 1002 and the first fiber bundle layer 1003 are joined to one another on the same joining lines 1013 and 1013 as those shown in FIG. 37B. Moreover, all the layers from the outermost base sheet 1015 to the sheet 1005 having the strips 1017 are joined altogether at the same all-layer joining line 1007 as that shown in FIGS. 34 and 35. This all-layer joining line 1007 extends along the center line of the cleaning article 1001A.
  • [0198]
    Here, as in the structure shown in FIG. 38, the third fiber bundle layer 1006 and the overlying sheet 1005 may be joined at the joining lines 1018.
  • [0199]
    Of course, it is also possible that the holding sheet 1008 is joined to the outer face of the outermost base sheet 1015, as in FIG. 36, to form the holding spaces 1020 and 1020 between the outermost base sheet 1015 and the holding sheet 1008.
  • [0200]
    In the cleaning article 1001A shown in FIG. 39, the sheet 1005 is provided to form the outermost face on the cleaning side so that it abuts preferentially against the object to be cleaned, such as floor, furniture or the like. Therefore, it is possible to prevent the filaments of the individual underlying fiber bundle layers 1003, 1004 and 1006 from being excessively entangled or massed by the friction with the object to be cleaned. Especially if some of the filaments of the third fiber bundle layer 1006 are joined at the joining lines 1018, they are hardly entangled or massed. If the outermost secondary sheet 1005 is formed of a highly rigid and soft through-air bonded nonwoven fabric, moreover, the brush portions 1026, as formed of the strips and the fiber bundle layers, are hardly deformed by the friction with the object to be cleaned, so that they hardly lose their shapes even after being used for a long term.
  • [0201]
    In the cleaning article 1 shown in FIGS. 34 to 39, therefore, it is preferred to apply a fixing agent to the third fiber bundle layer 1006 appearing on the outermost face. Examples of the fixing agent include an oil agent, a wax, and a resin such as a HMA (hot melt adhesive). This fixing agent thus applied can prevent freedom of movement of the filaments (i.e., suppress disaggregation of the filaments) so that the filaments can be prevented from being excessively entangled or massed at the wiping time.
  • [0202]
    This fixing agent may be partially applied to the third fiber bundle layer 1006. For example, the fixing agent may be sprayed exclusively to the cleaning face of the third fiber bundle layer 1006 thereby to fix the filaments appearing on the cleaning face of the third fiber bundle layer 1006 exclusively. Alternatively, the fixing agent may be applied to the third fiber bundle layer 1006 over a predetermined length from the all-layer joining line 1007 so that the filaments forming the third fiber bundle layer 1006 remain free on the side of their free ends. In both cases, the filaments forming the third fiber bundle layer 1006 can be prevented from being excessively entangled without lowering the dust trapping effect by the fiber bundle layer 1006. Preferably, the fixing agent is solid at room temperature.
  • [0203]
    In the case where a wax is used for fixing, for example, the ratio of the wax to the fiber bundle layer 1006 is preferably from 0.5 to 25% by weight. If the ratio is less than 0.5% by weight, the entanglement of the filaments could not be prevented effectively. If more than 25% by weight, on the other hand, the filaments will be excessively firmly fixed. Therefore, since the filaments can not be sufficiently raised, the dust trapping effect is lowered.
  • [0204]
    In the case where a HMA is used for fixing, a HMA with a low viscosity is preferred. If a MA having a high viscosity is used, dust trapping property is enhanced but the filaments are liable to be entangled. Of course, the fixing agent may be prepared by mixing a wax and a HMA having a low viscosity.
  • [0205]
    Here, the entanglement of the filaments may be prevented not by the method of applying the fixing agent to the fiber bundle layer 1006 but by solidifying the filaments of the fiber bundle layer 1006 again after melting them with a solvent or by a heat. In this case, too, it is possible to firmly fix the filaments of the fiber bundle layer 1006 only at the side of the all-layer joining line 1007 to prevent the entanglement, while leaving the degree of freedom at the side of their leading ends so that the filament can be raised easily.
  • [0206]
    Of course, the fixing of filaments in each fiber bundle layer should not be limited to the cleaning article 1001. For example, also in the cleaning article 1001A shown in FIG. 39, the filaments in the individual fiber bundle layers 1004 and 1006 may be fixed to one another with a fixing agent or by fusing them, as has been described above.
  • [0207]
    In the cleaning article 1001 shown in FIG. 34, the third fiber bundle layer 1006 is joined to the other layers only at the all-layer joining line 1007. However, it is also possible to form other joining lines spaced apart from the all-layer joining line 1007 to thereby join the third fiber bundle layer 1006 only to the underlying sheet 1005 or to all the other layers (i.e., from the sheet 1005 to the base sheet 1002). This can also prevent the filaments of the third fiber bundle layer 1006 from being excessively entangled or massed.
  • [0208]
    In both the cleaning article 1001 shown in FIG. 34 and the cleaning article 1001A shown in FIG. 39, it is preferable that the basis weight of the first fiber bundle layer 1003 closest to the base sheet 1002 is larger than those of the overlying second fiber bundle layer 1004 and third fiber bundle layer 1006.
  • [0209]
    In the foregoing individual embodiments, if the fiber bundle layers are formed of crimped fibers, the fibers themselves can trap the dust easily. If the fibers (e.g., filaments opened from a tow or split yams) are joined to the sheet while being stretched in MD, and are then cut together with the sheet, moreover, the fibers are crimped so that the portions of the fiber bundle layer forming the brush portions become shorter than the strips. In this construction, it is possible to enhance both the dust trapping function by the crimped fibers and the dust wiping function by the strips extending beyond the free ends of the crimped fibers, so that the cleaning function can be effectively exhibited by the assembly of the fibers and the strips.
  • [0210]
    Moreover, the dust adsorbing and trapping effect can be enhanced by applying a dust-adsorbing agent to the fiber bundle layers and/or the strips. This dust-adsorbing agent is exemplified by a surface-active agent, mineral oil or wax. It is also possible to apply an acrylic adhesive or a hot melt adhesive which has a weakened adhesion.
  • [0211]
    The fiber bundle layers may further contain a substance such as a deodorant, a humectant or an anti-fungus agent in addition to the dust-adsorbing agent.
  • [0212]
    If the sheets in the individual embodiments are given an elastic stretchability between the joining lines formed in the holding region, moreover, the sheets can make close contact with the holder when the cleaning article is attached to the holder, so that the cleaning article hardly comes out of the holder.
  • [0213]
    In the individual embodiments, the nonwoven fabric to be used to form the sheets should not be limited to one formed by the spun-bonding process or the through-air bonding process, but may be formed by the thermal bonding, spun-lacing, point-bonding, melt-blowing, stitch bonding, chemical bonding, needle punching or the like. Moreover, the nonwoven fabric may be replaced by a material such as urethane, sponge, a woven fabric, a net or a split cloth.
  • [0214]
    Where the sheets are formed of a nonwoven fabric, the nonwoven fabric is preferred to have a basis weight of 10 to 100 g/m2 and a thickness of 0.5 to 5 mm, from the point of view of handleability when combined with the fiber bundle layers and from the point of view of processing technique. Moreover, the nonwoven fabric is preferred to have a width of 80 to 250 mm in MD.
  • [0215]
    The above-described preferred embodiments of the cleaning pads or cleaning articles 28 are particularly well suited for the inventive system 20 that is capable of either wet, damp or dry cleaning or dusting. Known prior art cleaning pads and more particularly dusting pads have been hydrophobic. As a result, the prior art cleaning pads are not capable of using the inventive advantages of the use of low levels of a liquid product.
  • [0216]
    The present cleaning pad allows for an inventive wet damp or dry dusting method. In particular, the inventive system 20 uses a low level of liquid product combined with a dry dusting or cleaning pad 28 to increase dust removal. In the preferred embodiment the liquid level used is between 0.01 to 0.3 g/sq.ft. Alternatively, the preferred liquid level applied to the cleaning pad is between 80 and 500 microliters. Particularly preferred is a range of between 120 to 130 microliters. As described throughout the application the liquid could be water, solvent or emulsion based intermediates.
  • c. Methods of Use and Methods of Cleaning
  • [0217]
    It should be appreciated from the above disclosure that the preferred cleaning tool 22, can be utilized to clean or dust a variety of surfaces. Due to the unique configuration of the tool 22, a user can conveniently alternate between wet, damp or dry cleaning or dusting. It is recognized that the component parts of the invention may be conveniently interchanged depending on the particular cleaning task at hand. For example, some of the disclosed cleaning pads 28 may be more suitable for use with some of the disclosed cleaning solutions or for dry dusting. Likewise, some cleaning pads 28 may include alternate surfaces configured for alternative cleaning tasks. Similarly, the particular cleaning solution utilized can be changed depending on the desired application.
  • [0218]
    In order to perform dry dusting, a user may obtain the above mentioned cleaning system 20 that includes the preferred cleaning tool 22. A user holds the cleaning tool 22 such that the palm of the user's hand surrounds the handle portion 24. In the preferred embodiment, the palm of a user's hand extends over the top 29 of the handle portion 24 and the user's fingers extend at least partially around the fluid reservoir 30. However, it is recognized that in performing dry dusting tasks, the fluid reservoir 30 need not be present. In the illustrated embodiment, a user's hand is typically orientated in a manner such that a user may insert his or her index finger through the hole 32 extending through handle portion 24.
  • [0219]
    Once the user obtains the tool 22, a user then places the cleaning pad 28 onto the cleaning pad support member 26. As noted above, the cleaning tool may be used with a variety of alternative cleaning pads 28. In the preferred embodiment, the sleeve-like cleaning pad 28 is mounted over the attachment members 108 a, 108 b so that all of the retaining tabs 112 are within the sleeves 110 a, 110 b. Once secured, the user then positions the cleaning pad 28 onto a surface to be cleaned and moves the cleaning pad 28 on the surface to be cleaned. The movement of the cleaning pad 28 across the surface to be cleaned causes dust or other debris to be collected by the cleaning pad 28. In the illustrated embodiment, dust or other debris is collected by the cleaning surface 111 of the cleaning pad 28. The user may, depending on the surface to be cleaned, pivot the cleaning pad support member 28 to accommodate hard to reach places. For example, if a user desires to dust an overhead lintel, the user may pivot the cleaning pad support member 26 to an angle of about 90° in relation to the handle portion 24.
  • [0220]
    A preferred dusting or cleaning pattern consists of a side to side overlapping motion starting in the upper left hand (or right hand) side of the section to be cleaned, and progressing the wiping pattern across the surface to be cleaned while continuing to use side to side wiping motions. Another preferred wipe pattern consists of an up-and-down wiping motion. The preferred wiping patterns allow the cleaning pad 28 to loosen dirt and dust, and provide a better end result. Another benefit of the above wiping patterns is minimization of streaks as a result of improved spreading of solution (in wet dusting).
  • [0221]
    It is recognized that wet dusting or cleaning can be done separately from, in conjunction with or in addition to dry dusting. For example, a user may perform an initial dry dusting run and then proceed with wet dusting or cleaning. In the context of wet cleaning or dusting, similar steps are performed to those described above in the context of dry dusting. However, if necessary, the cleaning fluid reservoir 30 is initially inserted into the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36. The fluid reservoir 30 is inserted between the handle portion sidewalls 21 a, 21 b and within the two U-shaped supports or rails 44 and 46. The fluid reservoir 30 is press fit into the cradle such that the triangular retention tabs 42 a, 42 b frictionally engage and retain the lower sidewall 53 of the fluid reservoir 30. The reservoir should be press fit such that the first bottleneck receiving support 44 fits around the fluid reservoir 30 near the junction 59 of the second 55 and third 57 sections of the reservoir 30. The second U-shaped spray cap receiving support 46 fits around, retains and orientates the spray cap 61 of the fluid reservoir 30. The spray cap receiving support flanges 71 a, 71 b press fit around flats 63 a, 63 b of fluid reservoir spray cap 61 when the reservoir is placed within the cradle 36. The tight fit defined by flanges 71 a, 71 b and flats 63 a, 63 b serves to properly orientate spray cap 61 within the fluid reservoir-receiving cradle 36 such that spray cap 61 faces in a direction away from the cradle 36.
  • [0222]
    During wet dusting or cleaning, a variety of techniques may be employed consisting of combinations of wetting the surface and moving the cleaning pad 28 across the surface to be cleaned, wetting the cleaning pad 28 and moving the cleaning pad 28 across the surface to be cleaned, or a combination of the two.
  • [0223]
    FIG. 1 illustrates the cleaning system 20 in its cleaning position that is configured for wet cleaning wherein the cleaning solution is applied directly to the surface. As described above, in the cleaning position the cleaning pad support member 26 extends forwardly, pivot engagement tab 38 engages the cleaning position notch 102 of pivot member 82, and retention tabs 95 fit within the retention tab holes 87. In this position, the user may apply the water or other liquid housed within the fluid reservoir 30 directly onto the surface to be cleaned. The user may insert a finger through the opening 32 and depress the spray cap 61 thereby causing the discharge of the fluid housed within the reservoir 30.
  • [0224]
    FIG. 4 illustrates the cleaning system 20 in a second liquid application position. In order to move the cleaning pad support member 26 into the second liquid application position a user holds the handle portion 24 and applies torque to the cleaning pad support member 26 to move it from the cleaning position illustrated in FIG. 1. As sufficient torque is applied to overcome the forces of the inventive engagement features, the circular pivot member 82 rotates downwardly into the liquid application position In the second liquid application position, pivot engagement tab 38 engages the liquid application notch 104 of the pivot member 82 thereby holding the cleaning pad support member 26 in its angled liquid application state. In this position, the user may apply the water or other liquid housed within the fluid reservoir 30 directly onto the cleaning surface 111 of the cleaning pad 28. As noted above, the various cleaning positions may be used interchangeably. During dusting or cleaning a user may repeatedly rotate the cleaning pad support member 26 from its cleaning position to its liquid application position as needed. During wet dusting or cleaning, the user may use the above noted cleaning pattern.
  • [0225]
    Once the cleaning or dusting has been finished, the user may remove and dispose of the cleaning pad 28 and place the cleaning system 22 into its storage position (FIG. 3). To place the cleaning system 22 into the storage position, the cleaning pad support member 26 is rotated backwards such that it is generally parallel to the plane defined by the longitudinal axis of the handle portion 24.
  • [0226]
    As noted above, a variety of cleaning solutions can be used with the inventive cleaning system. In one preferred method of light cleaning or dusting, the cleaning solution is a mixed liquid that includes about 96.30% by weight tap water, 1% isoparaffinic hydrocarbon solvent, such as Isopar E from Exxon Mobil, 1% silicone fluid, preferably 1000 estks polydimethyl siloxane silicone oil from Dow Corning, General Electric Silicones or Rodia Chemical, 0.5% sorbitan monolaurate, 0.5% polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate or other emulsifier, and a quaternary such as 0.15% BTC 2125M from Stepen Chemicals. The balance of the preferred solution includes a fragrance and preservatives. This composition is ideally suited for dusting jobs. Use of the preferred solution with the inventive cleaning system provides an increase in dust and allergen retention as well as providing an improved shine to the surface to be cleaned. Fingerprints, smudges and other blemishes are also easily removed.
  • [0227]
    In another preferred embodiment a cleaning solution includes 96.5125% by weight deionized water, 1.75% propan-2-ol anhydrous, 0.40% ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, 0.40% ethylene glycol n-hexyl ether, 0.125% propylene glycol, 0.10% monoethanolamine, 0.30% vinegar (white distilled 300 grain), and small amounts surfactants and other ingredients.
  • [0228]
    In another preferred embodiment the cleaning solution includes 97% de-ionized water, 1.50% anhydrous propan-2-ol, 0.30% ethylene glycol N-hexyl ether, 0.13% industrial grade propylene glycol, 0.08% of a surfactant 0.30% Mackam, 0.10% monoethanolamine, and small amounts surfactants and other ingredients.
  • [0229]
    In still another preferred embodiment the cleaning solution includes 91.8% de-ionized water, 5.0% isoparaffinic hydrocarbon, 0.25% elfugin AKT, 0.15% sodium n-cocoyl sarcosinate, 2.0% silicone fluid, 0.15% sorbiatnmono oleate, 0.15% polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate, 0.1 5% low freeze grade triethanolamine, 0.15% formeldahyde and small amounts of other ingredients.
  • [0230]
    In another embodiment, the cleaning solution includes 92.32% de-ionized water, 5% isoparafinnic hydrocarbon, 2% silicone fluid, 0.15% sorbian mono oleate, 0.15% polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate, 0.03% triethanolamine, 0.15% formaldehyde and small amounts of other ingredients.
  • [0231]
    It can be important to control dosing and coverage of the cleaning solution. In one preferred embodiment, the liquid level that should be used with the preferred cleaning pad via application to the cleaning surface is between 0.01 to 0.3 g/sq.ft. Alternatively, the preferred liquid level applied directly to the cleaning pad is between 80 and 500 microliters. Particularly preferred is a range of between 120 to 130 microliters. For best results, the product is applied at the above-recommended doses, onto the surface to be treated or onto the cleaning pad 28 and the cleaning pad 28 is then moved across the surface collecting dust and absorbing the cleaning solution if applied directly to the cleaning surface. Instructions for use of the cleaning system may include pictures and/or words detailing preferred application pattern and dosing. As noted above, the preferred composition of this invention is mild and minimizes harm to most surfaces.
  • [0232]
    As noted above, in the context of wet dusting, the cleaning solution can be distributed using the fluid reservoir 30. Optionally, for increased convenience, additional compositions can be delivered in the form of a pre-moistened cleaning pad 28.
  • [0233]
    Optionally, and most preferably, convenience and performance can be maximized by using a system composed of a disposable cleaning pad 28 as described hereinbefore. The pad can be composed of any one of the alternative cleaning pads 28 described above.
  • [0234]
    This cleaning system 22 and method of use provides multiple benefits versus conventional cleaning modes. It reduces time to clean or dust because the cleaning pad retains a greater amount of dust and the preferred cleaning solution removes fingerprints smudges and other surface marks. It eliminates the need to carry a separate dusting or cleaning solution. Due to the high absorbency of the pad, especially when used in conjunction with the preferred cleaning solution, the pad absorbs and locks away dirt and dust, such that a single pad 28 can clean large surface areas.
  • [0235]
    Additionally, since a fresh pad 28 may be used every time, germs and dirt are trapped, removed and thrown away, promoting better hygiene. Conventional dusting tools, which are re-usable, can harbor dirt and germs, which can be spread throughout the household. Through operator-controlled dosing and more efficient removal of dirt and dust, a better end result is also achieved.
  • [0236]
    Additionally, because the cleaning process involves use of low levels of solution in contact with the surface to be cleaned for much shorter periods of time relative to conventional cleaning systems, (e.g. the multiple steps of applying a separate cleaning solution and grabbing a cleaning tool are combined in the present invention), the system and method provide improved surface safety on delicate surfaces.
  • [0237]
    The cleaning pads 28 are versatile in that they can be used for multiple cleanings and multiple surfaces. Each pad is designed to clean at least one average size surface with an average debris or dust load. Pads can be changed sooner if surfaces are larger than average, or especially dirty. To determine if the pad needs changing, look at the back of the cleaning surface of the cleaning pad and ascertain if the cleaning surface is saturated with dust and/or dirt.
  • [0238]
    To maximize the synergy between the various cleaning, and dusting tasks, the present methods can be carried out using several varying executions and instructions for use. In one embodiment, a kit can be provided that has multiple cleaning pads and solutions for different cleaning tasks. One solution and cleaning pad could be used for surface cleaning and another solution and pad for dusting. The kit may be sold separately with advertising and instructions in each kit being used to explain the benefits of using the various products together.
  • [0239]
    It is understood that the component parts of the inventive system 20 described above may be manufactured and sold separately or together in the form of a cleaning system or kit. It should be further understood the present invention contemplates a variety of additional alternative configurations and component parts which may be attached within the pivot member receiving cavity 50 of the handle portion 24. A wide variety of alternative interchangeable cleaning implements may be substituted for the cleaning pad support member 26 described above. The alternative cleaning implements would preferably include a support member with a modular design which includes a universal pivot member or other attachment member similar to that described in the preferred embodiment such that the alternative implements could be used interchangeably with the preferred handle portion 24. For example, alternative cleaning implements include but are not limited to a squeegee for cleaning windows, mirrors or other glass structures, a soft surface cleaner such as a lint roller, a glass cleaner including an indexing refill roll, an insect swatter, a dog brush or other grooming implement, a scrub brush or other cleaning implement etc. Numerous other pivotally or movably attached cleaning implements are also within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0240]
    Furthermore, although the preferred embodiment illustrates a handle portion 24 pivotally attached to a cleaning pad support 26, it is recognized that the present invention is in no way limited to such a construction. For example, the inventive cleaning system 20 could be constructed as a single non-movable piece allowing only surface spraying of the cleaning fluid. Likewise, the cleaning pad support need not be pivotally attached to the handle portion as described in the preferred embodiment. Numerous alternative embodiments that allow for movement of the cleaning pad support 26 in relation to the handle portion are within the scope of the invention. The cleaning pad support member 26 and handle portion 24 may alternatively be slidably connected, bingedly connected, bendable or otherwise movable into its various desired orientations. A spring loaded lock switch could be used to allow 180° rotation of the cleaning pad support member 26. The cleaning pad support member 26 could include a centrally located pivot member to allow for 360° rotation. Alternatively, the handle portion could be rotatable 360° in relation to the cleaning pad support member 26. Additionally, the handle portion 24 could include an integral or attachable telescoping extension to allow for dusting or cleaning areas outside of a normal user's reach.
  • [0241]
    Additionally, the handle portion as described could be eliminated completely and the fluid reservoir could be arranged to form the handle of the cleaning system. The pivotable attachment member could be attached to the upper end of the fluid reservoir. Further, although the spray bottle described herein is a physically separate module, it will be manifest that the spray bottle may be directly integrated into, or form the handle portion with which it is associated. The reservoir could have a plug that could be removed when filling with fluid.
  • [0242]
    The cleaning pad support could alternatively be connected to the handle portion via a threaded connection. Such an orientation would allow for the ease of attachment and removal of the numerous alternative cleaning implements that are within the scope of the present invention. The cleaning pad support could also be alternatively arranged to rotate in either a vertical or horizontal direction to accommodate various cleaning functions. The cleaning system could further include a motorized spinning head for additional efficacy and less effort on behalf of the consumer.
  • [0243]
    Although the cleaning fluid delivery system has been described in reference to the fluid reservoir, it is recognized that alternative configurations for delivering cleaning fluid to a surface to be cleaned or to a cleaning media are also within the scope of the present invention. For example, the fluid reservoir could be arranged in a manner such the cleaning fluid is sprayed or applied on the back surface of a cleaning pad or cloth and allowed to move through the cloth via a wicking action. Alternatively, the attachment members or tines 108 a, 108 b of the cleaning system could be in fluid communication with the cleaning fluid reservoir such that cleaning fluid may be discharged on a cleaning pad 28 via the attachment members 108 a, 108 b. Such a delivery system could deliver cleaning fluid through the tip, bottom, top or lateral sides of the attachment members. Alternatively, the liquid delivery system could include a flip out nozzle or reservoir configured for spraying cleaning fluid onto the cleaning media. Such a configuration would eliminate the need for a pivoting support member.
  • d. Method of Manufacture
  • [0244]
    A wide variety of molding and manufacturing techniques can be used to manufacture the cleaning tool 22. In one embodiment, the method of manufacture generally includes making a handle 24 with a cradle for receiving a fluid dispenser 30, connecting a cloth support 26 to the handle 24, forming a cleaning cloth 28 by tapering fibers and allowing the cloth 28 to be fixed on the support 26 so that the fibers closest the handle 24 are shorter than the fibers closest to a free end of the support member.
  • [0245]
    The handle portion 24 is preferably constructed so that a pivot point is defined by the pivot member receiving cavity 50. The pivot member receiving cavity 50 is constructed such that it is located below a horizontal plane defined by the fluid reservoir 30 and is configured such that the pivot member receiving cavity 50 includes a cantilevered pivot engagement tab 38. The handle is also preferably constructed to provide for an opening 32 that allows a user single handed access into a reservoir receiving cradle 36 contained within the handle 24. The reservoir receiving cradle 36 is formed to define a plurality of grooves 39 configured to engage and lock the spray bottle into the cavity.
  • [0246]
    Two U-shaped supports or rails 44, 46 are formed within the sidewalls of the handle and are molded to receive a spray bottle 30 within. Retention tabs 42 a, 42 b are also molded into the cradle 36 to frictionally engage and retain a lower sidewall of the spray bottle 30. In constructing the handle the handle 24, a plurality of structural support ribs 39 are formed which extend forwardly toward the pivot member receiving cavity 50. A pair of ears 49 a, 49 b are also formed into the handle 24. The ears are formed to include opposed grooves 52 a, 52 b , on an inner cavity surface. The grooves 52 a, 52 b , are preferably dimensioned to slidably engage axles 80 a, 80 b of a circular pivot member 82. The pivot member 82 is formed to include axles 80 a, 80 b. The bottle neck portion of the cradle is formed to define a first bottle neck receiving portion 44.
  • [0247]
    While a variety of methods may be employed, in one embodiment the cleaning tool 22 is formed using an injection molding process. The method includes injecting plastic in a mold to form a handle portion 24 of a cleaning tool. The mold is configured to define a handle portion 24 having an opening for accessing a fluid reservoir 30. A second mold is used to form a cleaning pad support 26. Plastic is inserted into a mold to form a cleaning pad support member 26. A blow molding process is then used to form the fluid reservoir 30. In a final step, the parts of the cleaning tool 22 are assembled and packaged for distribution.
  • [0248]
    Although the best mode contemplated by the inventors of carrying out the present invention is disclosed above, practice of the present invention is not limited thereto. It will be manifest that various additions, modifications and rearrangements of the features of the present invention may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept.
  • [0249]
    Moreover, as noted throughout the application the individual components need not be formed in the disclosed shapes, or assembled in the disclosed configuration, but could be provided in virtually any shape, and assembled in virtually any configuration, so as to provide for a cleaning system that includes a cleaning fluid reservoir attached to cleaning implement support. Furthermore, all the disclosed features of each disclosed embodiment can be combined with, or substituted for, the disclosed features of every other disclosed embodiment except where such features are mutually exclusive.
  • [0250]
    It is intended that the appended claims cover all such additions, modifications and rearrangements. Expedient embodiments of the present invention are differentiated by the appended claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A cleaning article comprising:
    a fusible base sheet, the base sheet comprising an unperforated, uncut outer edge;
    a fusible holding sheet and a fiber bundle layer including fusible fibers at least in part, wherein the fiber bundle layer is laid on one side of the base sheet and the holding sheet is laid on the other side of the base sheet;
    wherein the base sheet, the fiber bundle layer and the holding sheet are fusion-bonded in a direction to cross fibers in the fiber bundle layer, and wherein the holding sheet is shorter than the base sheet; and
    a holder and two holding spaces, wherein the holding spaces are provided between the base sheet and the holding sheet and wherein the holder is detachably inserted into the holding spaces.
  2. 2. The cleaning article of claim 1, wherein the outer edge is rectangular and is defined by a straight uncut upper edge, a straight uncut lower edge and two straight, uncut side edges.
  3. 3. The cleaning article of claim 1, wherein the outer edge is nonlinear.
  4. 4. The cleaning article of claim 1, wherein the holder comprises:
    a) a handle portion having an opening configured to allow access to a cradle; and
    b) a cleaning article support member moveably attached to the handle portion.
  5. 5. The cleaning article of claim 4, wherein the cleaning article support member is moveable between a first cleaning position and a second cleaning article liquid application position.
  6. 6. The cleaning article of claim 5, further comprising a cleaning fluid dispenser within the cradle.
  7. 7. The cleaning article of claim 6, wherein the cleaning fluid dispenser comprises a pump spray bottle.
  8. 8. A cleaning article having a brush portion, comprising;
    a fusible sheet, the fusible sheet comprising a uniform, unbroken outer edge; and
    a fiber bundle layer including fusible fibers, the fiber bundle layer being fusion-bonded to the fusible sheet to provide a brush portion and two holding spaces into which a holder is to be inserted, the brush portion being composed of the fusible sheet and fibers of the fiber bundle layer.
  9. 9. The cleaning article of claim 8, further comprising:
    a handle defining an interior recess for receiving a fluid reservoir;
    a cleaning article support pivotably attached to the handle, the support capable of pivoting rearwardly from a cleaning position; and
    a fluid reservoir attached to the handle in the cradle, the reservoir capable of applying fluid to a surface to be cleaned and to the surface of the fiber bundle layer.
  10. 10. The cleaning article of claim 9, wherein the cleaning article support comprises a pair of parallel laterally extending attachment prongs.
  11. 11. The cleaning article of claim 10, wherein the attachment prongs comprise a plurality of projections extending generally vertically from the prongs.
  12. 12. The cleaning article of claim 11, wherein the projections comprise an angled side sloping away from the handle.
  13. 13. The cleaning article of claim 9, wherein the cleaning article support comprises a pivot member at one end, the pivot member including a plurality of indentations configured to receive a semi-flexible engagement tab projecting downward from the handle.
  14. 14. A cleaning article comprising:
    a soft and fusible base sheet, the soft and fusible base sheet comprising a solid outer edge;
    one or more fiber bundle layers, each of which includes fusible filaments, wherein the one or more fiber bundle layers are laid on one side of the base sheet;
    a first joining portion that joins each of the one or more fiber bundle layers to the base sheet; and
    at least one second joining portion that joins fibers in at least one of the one or more fiber bundle layers to the base sheet.
  15. 15. The cleaning article of claim 14, wherein the cleaning article is attached to a handle portion defining a cradle for a fluid reservoir and configured to receive the base sheet; and
    a cleaning article support member attached to the handle portion.
  16. 16. The cleaning article of claim 15, wherein the cleaning article support member is movably attached to the handle portion.
  17. 17. The cleaning article of claim 16, wherein the cleaning article support member is pivotally attached to the handle portion.
  18. 18. The cleaning article of claim 16, wherein the cleaning article support member is slidably attached to the handle portion.
  19. 19. The cleaning article of claim 16, wherein the cleaning article support member is moveable between a first cleaning position and a second cleaning article liquid application position.
  20. 20. The cleaning article of claim 19, further comprising a detachable cleaning fluid dispenser within the cradle.
US11426525 2005-01-28 2006-06-26 Fringeless cleaning or dusting pad Abandoned US20070212157A1 (en)

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US20130097793A1 (en) * 2011-10-20 2013-04-25 Richard HENNINGSEN Automotive snow brush with squeegee
US20130174364A1 (en) * 2010-09-28 2013-07-11 3M Innovative Properties Company Cleaning device
US20140189971A1 (en) * 2012-12-31 2014-07-10 JoAnn Watson Rotatable brush
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WO2008002429A1 (en) 2008-01-03 application

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