US20140259381A1 - Soaker Basket for a Dishwasher's Silverware Basket - Google Patents

Soaker Basket for a Dishwasher's Silverware Basket Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140259381A1
US20140259381A1 US14/214,669 US201414214669A US2014259381A1 US 20140259381 A1 US20140259381 A1 US 20140259381A1 US 201414214669 A US201414214669 A US 201414214669A US 2014259381 A1 US2014259381 A1 US 2014259381A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
hanger
basket
sink
water holder
soaker
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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
Application number
US14/214,669
Inventor
Josh G. Fogerlie
Original Assignee
Josh G. Fogerlie
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201361794756P priority Critical
Application filed by Josh G. Fogerlie filed Critical Josh G. Fogerlie
Priority to US14/214,669 priority patent/US20140259381A1/en
Publication of US20140259381A1 publication Critical patent/US20140259381A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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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
    • A47L15/00Washing or rinsing machines for crockery or tableware
    • A47L15/42Details
    • A47L15/50Racks ; Baskets
    • A47L15/502Cutlery baskets

Abstract

Dirty eating utensils and other forms of silverware are placed into a dishwasher basket that is at least partially submerged in water that is kept in a soaker basket. The soaker basket is characterized by a water holder portion and a hanger portion such that the hanger portion positions and supports the water holder portion inside a sink basin. Preferably, the hanger portion hangs over a sink divider of a double sink such that it is easy to fill the soaker basket with water from a sink's faucet.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Dishwashers have become a common household appliance, and numerous improvements to the design of silverware baskets for holding silverware (flatware) and other utensils have been developed over the years. A common problem with silverware, particularly forks, is that dried-in food does not adequately hydrate and soften during dishwasher cycles. Food that is not removed during the wash and rinse cycles of a dishwasher becomes baked onto the eating utensils during the drying cycle and must then be soaked, and sometimes even scrubbed, to remove food particles.
  • Silverware basket designs have changed over the years to improve water flow to utensils and to improve separation of utensils during operation of a dishwasher, but the problem that has not been addressed is that people place dirty utensils into a silverware basket hours, sometimes days, before running a load. Because dirty utensils placed in a silverware basket sit in a relatively dry environment for a long time, food particles thoroughly dry to the utensils before they are washed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is a soaker basket that is preferably mounted to the center divider of a double kitchen sink. The soaker basket is filled with water, and a silverware basket is inserted into the soaker basket so a user can drop dirty utensils into the silverware basket. The utensils should be inserted dirty side down, obviously, such that food particles are submerged in the water held by the soaker basket. Because thoroughly softened food particles easily wash away during the wash cycle of a dishwasher, there is no need to change the orientation of the utensils before running a dishwasher load. For best results, the silverware basket should be moved from the soaker basket to a dishwasher rack immediately before starting a dishwasher load, after which the water in the soaker basket should be changed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dishwasher basket using a soaker basket of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of only the soaker basket of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of only the dishwasher basket of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross section view through line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 5 is a top view of FIG. 1, but without the silverware.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention, which adds a hinge.
  • FIG. 7 is front/top perspective view of the alternate embodiment of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 is perspective view of another alternate embodiment of the present invention that uses wire to form the hanger portion of the soaker basket.
  • The following is the list of numerical callouts used in FIGS. 1-8:
      • 10 soaker basket (one piece construction)
      • 12 water holder portion
      • 14 hanger portion
      • 20 soaker basket (two piece construction, all plastic)
      • 22 water holder portion
      • 24 hanger portion
      • 26 hinge
      • 28 latch
      • 30 soaker basket (two piece construction, wire hanger portion)
      • 32 water holder portion
      • 34 hanger portion
      • 36 hinge
      • 38 latch
      • 40 silverware basket
      • 42 handle
      • 44 utensils
      • 50 sink divider
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is a soaker basket for use with a dishwasher's silverware basket for the purpose of keeping food particles on dirty eating utensils from becoming dry and difficult to remove. A soaker basket has a water holder portion that is filled with water, and a hanger portion that is preferably draped over a sink divider. A silverware basket is placed into the water holder portion of the soaker basket. As silverware is used and needs to be cleaned, it is placed into the silverware basket, dirty side down, such that food particles on the silverware are submerged in the water contained in the water holder portion of the soaker basket. Just prior to running a load of dishes in the dishwasher, the silverware basket is removed from the soaker basket and placed on a rack in the dishwasher. The soaker basket should then be dumped and filled with fresh water. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, the soaker basket is joined to the hanger portion of the basket by a hinge and latch such that the soaker basket can be dumped without removing the hanger portion from the sink divider or from the side of a sink. Throughout this description and claims, the terms “top” and “bottom” assume an orientation of a soaker basket when it can hold water, such as the orientation shown in FIG. 4.
  • The term “silverware basket” has been widely adopted by dishwasher manufacturers to identify the basket or baskets that are placed on a dishwasher rack for the purpose of holding and aligning silverware. Throughout this description and claims the term “silverware” includes any of the various eating utensils, flatware, cutlery, tableware, silverware and/or other similar devices that are likely to fall through a dishwasher rack unless placed in a basket. Silverware baskets are offered in numerous different sizes, shapes and designs, but an average sized silverware basket can be positioned in most dishwashers. A preferred size that works well with the present invention is one that fits almost all dishwashers, preferably having a footprint that is about 8 centimeters wide and 20 or more centimeters long. The height of a silverware basket shouldn't be an issue as it is always shorter than the most common forms of silverware.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1-5, the soaker basket 10 in the preferred embodiment is a one piece plastic construction that is characterized by a water holder portion 12 and by a hanger portion 14. The water holder portion should be sized such that the silverware basket 40 can easily be inserted and removed, with a height adequate to thoroughly submerge silverware that is placed in the silverware basket. Although not a limitation of the present invention, about 14 centimeters seems to be the most commonly used silverware basket height used in dishwashers. The preferred material for making the soaker basket is plastic, such as PVC, polypropylene, or any of the plastics commonly used to make silverware baskets or other dishwasher parts. To reduce the amount of plastic required to make a soaker basket capable of holding all of the water and silverware placed into the water holder portion of the soaker basket, reinforcement structures may be added as needed, typically along perimeter edges of structures.
  • The hanger portion 14 of the soaker basket 10 is continuous with a side of the water holder portion 12. To prevent silverware from excessively protruding above the level of surrounding countertops, the hanger portion allows the water holder portion to be supported deeper into the sink, preferably by at least a few centimeters. If there is a handle 42 on a silverware basket, then the handle is preferably protruding a little above the highest point of the hanger portion. The hanger portion should wrap over the top of a sink divider 50, which is typically about 3 centimeters thick, so the hanger portion should make about a 180 degree turn such that it thoroughly grasps the sink divider. Making the turn somewhat rounded will allow the hanger portion to fit around more thicknesses of sink dividers. The plastic of the hanger portion should adequately flex such that it can adjust a little to properly fit around various sink dividers.
  • In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 6-7, the soaker basket 20 is a two piece construction that has the water holder portion 22 joined to the hanger portion 24 by a hinge 26 and a latch 28. When the latch is engaged, the soaker basket looks very similar to the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5. When the latch is released, the water holder portion of the soaker basket is allowed to pivot away from the sink divider 50 such that dirty water can be dumped down a sink drain. Once dumped, the water holder portion can be returned to a latched engagement with the hanger portion such that the soaker basket can be filled with water and returned to use. The preferred location of the hinge is along a bottom edge of the water holder portion, where it meets the hanger portion of the soaker basket. The hinge can be a common snap together hinge, such as any of the hinge types commonly used to hingedly join plastic covers to plastic boxes, such as fishing tackle boxes. A latch can similarly be any of the common latches used to removeably join parts, especially where at least part of the latch is molded or otherwise formed as part of the soaker basket. There are preferably two latches, one for each side where the water holder portion meets the hanger portion when the water holder portion is upright.
  • As shown in FIG. 8, soaker basket 30 is characterized by a water holder portion 32, which is very similar to the water holder portion 22 shown in FIGS. 6-7, and a hanger portion 34 that is made of a plastic coated bent wire or other similar rigid structure. The advantage of using bent wire is less contact with the sink divider 50. The bent wire is a heavy gauge wire that is bent such that its perimeter closely resembles the perimeter of the hanger portion 24 shown in FIGS. 6-7 described above. Provided the basic function of the hanger portion is preserved, the bent wire can significantly deviate from the configuration shown in FIG. 8.
  • Although not shown, the hanger portion of any of the above embodiments could be made such that the water holder portion of soaker basket 10, 20 or 30 can be positioned inside a sink other than against a sink divider. Rather than having a hanger portion that makes a 180 degree turn, a 90 degree hanger could be substituted. As it is likely that a 90 degree hanger will slide off of a sink edge, or a countertop, it would be necessary to hold the hanger portion in place using a suction cup, adhesive or other fixing device.
  • Another option, also not shown, is to have a hanger portion that supports two water holder portions, one on either side of a sink divider, somewhat like a horse saddle. This can be done by including a second hanger portion that snaps or otherwise secures to a first hanger portion; by having a modular construction that allows different hanger portions to be connected to water holder portions; or by having a hanger portion that is designed to hang a primary water holder portion and a secondary water holder portion. As already described, the hanger portion could be made out of plastic or plastic coated wire. If desired, a drain hole and plug could be added to the soaker basket.
  • While a preferred form of the invention has been shown and described, it will be realized that alterations and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the following claims.

Claims (16)

What is claimed is:
1. A system for soaking silverware in a dishwasher basket, comprising:
a soaker basket characterized by a water holder portion and a hanger portion; and
a dishwasher basket that substantially fits inside the water holder portion of the soaker basket.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein the hanger portion is formed to fit over a sink divider of a double sink, said double sink being characterized by a first and second sink basin.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the hanger portion is formed to fit along a top edge of a sink, the hanger portion further comprising at least one suction cup for securing the hanger portion to a countertop adjacent the sink.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the hanger portion is formed to fit along a top edge of a sink, the hanger portion further comprising at least one adhesive portion for securing the hanger portion to a countertop adjacent the sink.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein the water holder portion and the hanger portion are formed as a single plastic piece.
6. The system of claim 1 wherein the water holder portion and the hanger portion are distinct and at least partially joined by a hinge.
7. The system of claim 1 wherein the water holder portion and the hanger portion are distinct plastic pieces that are at least partially joined by a latch.
8. The system of claim 1 further comprising a hinge portion and at least one latch; wherein a bottom edge of the water holder portion is joined to a bottom edge of the hanger portion by the hinge portion; and wherein the latch portion is releasable such that the water holder portion pivots away from a top portion of the hanger portion.
9. The system of claim 1 wherein the hanger portion is at least partially constructed from bent wire; and wherein there are at least two distinct portions of the bent wire that secure to a top edge of a sink.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein a bottom portion the dishwasher basket has a footprint that is between 6 and 10 centimeters wide by between 15 and 35 centimeters long.
11. The system of claim 1 wherein the soaker basket is sized to fit around at least one dishwasher basket that is specific to a particular model of dishwasher.
12. The system of claim 1 further comprising a drain plug in a bottom portion of the water holder portion.
13. The system of claim 2 further comprising a second water holder portion; wherein the hanger portion is further characterized by a means for supporting the second water holder portion in the second sink basin while the hanger portion supports a first water holder portion in the first sink basin.
14. The system of claim 1 wherein the water holder portion is removably joined to the hanger portion.
15. The system of claim 1 wherein the dishwasher basket is characterized by a handle.
16. The system of claim 1 wherein the water holder portion will hold water that has a depth of at least 10 centimeters.
US14/214,669 2013-03-15 2014-03-15 Soaker Basket for a Dishwasher's Silverware Basket Abandoned US20140259381A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US201361794756P true 2013-03-15 2013-03-15
US14/214,669 US20140259381A1 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-03-15 Soaker Basket for a Dishwasher's Silverware Basket

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/214,669 US20140259381A1 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-03-15 Soaker Basket for a Dishwasher's Silverware Basket

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160128543A1 (en) * 2013-06-26 2016-05-12 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Cutlery basket for a dishwasher
USD793764S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2017-08-08 The Libman Company Sink caddy insert
USD794893S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2017-08-15 The Libman Company Sink caddy
USD814732S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2018-04-03 The Libman Company Dustpan
USD833699S1 (en) * 2016-10-06 2018-11-13 Helen Of Troy Limited Sinkware crock
WO2019022926A1 (en) * 2017-07-24 2019-01-31 Nasser Lina Maria Dirty silverware retrieving device for eating establishments
WO2020074175A1 (en) 2018-10-08 2020-04-16 Arcelik Anonim Sirketi A dishwasher comprising a receptacle

Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US587559A (en) * 1897-08-03 James riley
US2309851A (en) * 1940-07-19 1943-02-02 Addie N Kuhne Fastening device for sink strainers
US3050073A (en) * 1959-07-13 1962-08-21 Jean A Mcmillan Dishwasher apparatus
US3742965A (en) * 1972-01-21 1973-07-03 J Hudziak Rinsing device
US4834125A (en) * 1987-03-23 1989-05-30 Whirlpool Corporation Removable utensil basket for a dishwasher
US5590804A (en) * 1994-09-02 1997-01-07 Crum; Donald Device for draining and storing items in the vicinity of a sink
US5800027A (en) * 1997-03-31 1998-09-01 Dunn; Gary D. Brochure display case
US5815856A (en) * 1996-12-19 1998-10-06 Dore; Steven P. Protective mat for sinks and counters
US6520367B1 (en) * 2000-08-25 2003-02-18 Vlastimil Piroch Article dispensing container
US20070044229A1 (en) * 2005-09-01 2007-03-01 Rochelle Smith Infant tub with multipurpose base
US8801926B2 (en) * 2010-09-03 2014-08-12 Todd Housley Sink colander and storage assembly

Patent Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US587559A (en) * 1897-08-03 James riley
US2309851A (en) * 1940-07-19 1943-02-02 Addie N Kuhne Fastening device for sink strainers
US3050073A (en) * 1959-07-13 1962-08-21 Jean A Mcmillan Dishwasher apparatus
US3742965A (en) * 1972-01-21 1973-07-03 J Hudziak Rinsing device
US4834125A (en) * 1987-03-23 1989-05-30 Whirlpool Corporation Removable utensil basket for a dishwasher
US5590804A (en) * 1994-09-02 1997-01-07 Crum; Donald Device for draining and storing items in the vicinity of a sink
US5815856A (en) * 1996-12-19 1998-10-06 Dore; Steven P. Protective mat for sinks and counters
US5800027A (en) * 1997-03-31 1998-09-01 Dunn; Gary D. Brochure display case
US6520367B1 (en) * 2000-08-25 2003-02-18 Vlastimil Piroch Article dispensing container
US20070044229A1 (en) * 2005-09-01 2007-03-01 Rochelle Smith Infant tub with multipurpose base
US8801926B2 (en) * 2010-09-03 2014-08-12 Todd Housley Sink colander and storage assembly

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160128543A1 (en) * 2013-06-26 2016-05-12 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Cutlery basket for a dishwasher
US10149597B2 (en) * 2013-06-26 2018-12-11 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Cutlery basket for a dishwasher
USD793764S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2017-08-08 The Libman Company Sink caddy insert
USD794893S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2017-08-15 The Libman Company Sink caddy
USD814732S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2018-04-03 The Libman Company Dustpan
USD840627S1 (en) 2016-03-04 2019-02-12 The Libman Company Dustpan
USD833699S1 (en) * 2016-10-06 2018-11-13 Helen Of Troy Limited Sinkware crock
WO2019022926A1 (en) * 2017-07-24 2019-01-31 Nasser Lina Maria Dirty silverware retrieving device for eating establishments
WO2020074175A1 (en) 2018-10-08 2020-04-16 Arcelik Anonim Sirketi A dishwasher comprising a receptacle

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