A desiccant accessory for shoes and the like is provided for the
removal of moisture therefrom. The accessory includes an external
pouch having an internal chamber with an opening at one end, a transparent
packet made of permeable material detachably connected with the
pouch adjacent the open end, a reusable desiccant arranged in the
packet for adsorbing moisture from surrounding air, and an indicator
combined with the desiccant for alerting a user when the desiccant
has adsorbed a maximum amount of moisture.
What is claimed is:
1. A desiccant accessory for shoes, comprising:
(a) a pouch defining a chamber open at one end;
(b) a packet connected with said pouch adjacent to said one end,
said packet being formed of a partially transparent permeable material;
(c) a reusable desiccant arranged in said pouch for adsorbing moisture
from surrounding air; and
(d) indicator means combined with said desiccant for indicating
the amount of moisture adsorbed by said desiccant, whereby when
said pouch is arranged in the forward portion of a shoe said indicator
means indicating to a user when said desiccant has adsorbed a maximum
amount of moisture, and therefore, requires dehydration.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said pouch comprises
two pieces of fabric, said fabric pieces being arranged atop one
another in a parallel manner and connected along an outer portion
of their periphery.
3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said packet is detachably
connected with said pouch, whereby when said packet becomes saturated
it can be easily detached from said pouch for dehydration.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a desiccant accessory for removing
moisture from shoes and the like having reusable desiccant stored
within an exterior pouch which indicates to a user when the desiccant
has adsorbed a maximum amount of moisture.
Removal of excessive moisture from footwear, handwear, or the like
is useful to prolong the life of and reduce odors and unsightly
stains which detrimentally effect such items. After prolonged periods
of wear, substantial amounts of moisture can be transferred to footwear
where it accumulates. Upon removal from the foot, the moisture will
slowly evaporate from the footwear, giving ample time for moisture
to damage the materials of the shoe, and for odors to develop. It
is therefore useful to provide an accessory for footwear or the
like which is capable of quickly and efficiently removing moisture,
thus prolonging each item's useful life.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART
Currently, there are several techniques and devices for prolonging
the life of a shoe. Most common are shoe trees which are generally
inserted into a shoe and expanded to cause the shoe to be maintained
in its original form. Some of the shoe trees are constructed of
aromatic woods such as cedar which help to remove moisture and disguise
While a shoe tree performs well in maintaining the shape of the
shoe, it is of limited value for removing moisture. Many times,
the exterior portion of the shoe tree can become saturated with
moisture and actually trap moisture between the tree and the inner
surface of the shoe. The present invention was developed in order
to overcome these and other drawbacks by providing a desiccant accessory
for shoes or the like in which the desiccant completely removes
moisture from every portion of the shoe and indicates to a user
when it has become saturated and needs replacing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, a primary object of the invention is to provide a
desiccant accessory having a pouch defining a chamber which is open
at one end, a packet made of transparent permeable material connected
with the pouch adjacent to the open end, a reusable desiccant arranged
in the packet for adsorbing moisture from surrounding air, and an
indicator combined with the desiccant for alerting a user when the
desiccant has adsorbed a maximum amount of moisture.
It is another object of the invention to provide a desiccant accessory
wherein the packet can be detached from the pouch in order to be
dehydrated for later reuse.
Another object of the invention is to provide a desiccant accessory
having two identical pouches, each containing a desiccant package,
wherein a segment of cord interconnects the packets, and thereby
makes it convenient to use the accessory with items that exist in
pairs, such as shoes and gloves.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent
from a study of the following specification when viewed in light
of the accompanied drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a desiccant accessory according to
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the desiccant accessory taken
along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a packet containing a desiccant material
according to the invention;
FIGS. 4a-4d represent alternative shapes, respectively, of the
pouch according to the invention.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a preferred embodiment of a paired
desiccant accessory according to the invention; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the arrangement of the desiccant
accessory within a pair of shoes according to the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1 there is shown a desiccant accessory 2 having
a pouch 4 which defines an inner chamber 6 having an opening 8 at
one end. As shown in FIG. 2 the pouch is formed by attaching a
first piece of material 10 atop a second identically shaped piece
12 in a parallel manner along an outer portion 14 of their periphery.
The attachment can be accomplished by various means, including sewing
and gluing. The pouch 4 is preferably constructed from cotton fabric.
However, any suitable material can be used.
Referring again to FIG. 1 a packet 16 is detachably connected
within the pouch inner chamber 6 and adjacent the opening 8. The
detachable connection 18 can be in the form of hook and loop type
fasteners, a snap, a button, or any other means known in the art.
The packet 16 is constructed of a material that is both partially
transparent and permeable to moisture, such as polyester.
As shown in FIG. 3 in a preferred embodiment, the packet 16 has
a relatively simple construction comprising two identical pieces
of material 20 which are positioned atop and parallel to one another
and sealed together along their outer periphery 22.
A reusable desiccant 24 is arranged within the packet 16. The weave
of the material of the packet 16 and its seal are tight enough to
prevent the desiccant 24 contained therein from escaping. The desiccant
is a material that is capable of adsorbing large amounts of moisture
from surrounding air relative to its own mass. The preferred material
to be used as a desiccant is silica dioxide (SiO.sub.2). However,
it should be noted that other well known desiccants may be readily
The desiccant 24 includes an indicator combined therewith for indicating
the amount of moisture adsorbed by the desiccant. Preferably, the
indicator is cobalt chloride and it is combined with the desiccant
by treating it with a concentration of cobalt chloride.
Cobalt chloride has the property that it is a deep blue color when
it is dry, and changes to purple, then to pink as it becomes saturated.
Typically, the color changes as the desiccant to which the cobalt
chloride is attached adsorbs an eight percent (8%) moisture level
(by weight), and thereby indicates that it is time to replace the
desiccant. In use, a quick visual inspection of the packet 16 containing
the desiccant 24 indicates to the user whether the desiccant has
become saturated. After extended use, usually several days to several
weeks depending on the moisture content of the shoe and the surrounding
ambient humidity, the desiccant 24 will change color from a dry
blue to a saturated pink. At that time, a user will detach the packet
tab from the pouch 4 and dehydrate it for later reuse. Dehydration
may be accomplished by heating the desiccant in a microwave or conventional
oven until the moisture is removed, as will be indicated by a return
to its dry blue state.
Referring now to FIGS. 4a through 4d, there are shown other possible
shapes of the first 10 and second 12 pieces of material which when
attached to each other form the pouch 4. When various shapes are
attached to each other, it is important to note that a portion of
their periphery must remain unattached to form the opening 8.
As shown in FIG. 5 an alternative embodiment of the invention
exists where a pair of desiccant accessories 2 are interconnected
by a segment of cord 26 attached to the outer pouches 4 of the respective
accessory 2. In this paired configuration, the desiccant accessory
is useful when drying out items which normally exist in pairs such
as shoes and gloves.
FIG. 6 shows how to use the desiccant accessory 2. Here, a pair
of shoes 28 receives one of the pouches 4 in the forward toe portion
28a of the shoe. The pouches 4 will remain in their respective shoe
as the desiccant removes unwanted moisture therefrom. Additionally,
to increase the moisture adsorption ability of the desiccant, the
shoes can be further placed in an air tight bag or container to
reduce the amount of ambient humidity that desiccant will adsorb
moisture from the surrounding environment.
While in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Statutes,
the preferred forms and embodiments of the invention have been illustrated
and described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in
the art that various changes and modifications may be made without
deviating from the inventive concepts set forth above.