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Title:
CLEANING BRUSH FOR WC BOWLS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/089788
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Cleaning element for WC bowls (100), comprising a cleaning body (30; 130) provided with outwardly projecting reliefs (31), wherein: said cleaning body (30; 130) is internally hollow and elastically deformable, with a front surface (30b) and a rear surface (30a), and a top surface, and comprises: at least one hole (33) formed in the top surface of the body (30; 130) and designed to connect the external environment with the interior of the said body (30; 130) for introducing a cleaning liquid inside it; at least one through-hole (32) formed along the front surface (30b) and designed to connect the interior of the body (30; 130) with the external environment so as to allow the expulsion of the cleaning liquid during use; a vertical seat (35; 135) inserted inside the cleaning body (30; 130) and provided with an upper opening (35a) suitable for inserting an operating handle (40) for forming a cleaning brush for WC bowls.

Inventors:
VALENTE CINZIA DANIELA LUCIA (IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/059263
Publication Date:
May 07, 2020
Filing Date:
October 29, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
VALENTE CINZIA DANIELA LUCIA (IT)
International Classes:
A46B3/00; A46B7/04; A46B11/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016139493A12016-09-09
Foreign References:
US6145135A2000-11-14
JPH08239886A1996-09-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAIMONDI, Margherita et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Cleaning element for WC bowls (100), comprising a cleaning body (30; 130) provided with one or more outwardly projecting reliefs (31), wherein said cleaning body (30; 130) is internally hollow and elastically deformable, with a front surface (30b), a rear surface (30a) and a top surface, and comprises:

at least one hole (33) formed in the top surface of the body (30; 130) and designed to connect the external environment with the interior of the said body (30; 130) for introducing a cleaning liquid inside it;

at least one through-hole (32) formed along the front surface (30b) and designed to connect the interior of the body (30; 130) with the external environment for expulsion of the cleaning liquid during use;

a vertical seat (35; 135) inserted inside the cleaning body (30; 130) and provided with an upper opening (35a) suitable for inserting an operating handle (40) for forming a cleaning brush for WC bowls.

2. Cleaning element according to Claim 1 , characterized in that the rear surface (30b) of the cleaning body (30) has a curved profile with an alternation, in the vertical direction (Z-Z), of concavities and convexities for favouring the outflow of the water and/or the cleaning action .

3. Cleaning element according to the preceding claim, characterized in that the rear surface (30a) of the cleaning body (30) is substantially smooth and in that preferably:

the convexities and concavities which define the curved progression of the rear surface (30a) are less pronounced than convexities and concavities defined by one or more reliefs (31) of the front surface (30b); or the body (130) has a substantially spherical shape with substantially mirror- image front and rear surfaces.

4. Cleaning element according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the reliefs (31) are elastically deformable and/or made of material with a low coefficient of friction such as Teflon, silicone or the like.

5. Cleaning brush for WC bowls (100), characterized in that it comprises a cleaning element (30) according to any one of the preceding claims and an operating handle (40) which has a first section (40a) connected to the cleaning element and a second section (40b) with a gripping end (42) elongated in the longitudinal direction (X-X), the respective free ends of the first section (40a) and the second section (40b) having means (41 ;310;410) for reversibly connecting together the two said sections (40a;40b), along the longitudinal direction (X-X).

6. Cleaning brush according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said means for connecting together the first and second sections (40a, 40b) of the body (10) comprise an articulated joint (41) with an axis of rotation perpendicular to the said longitudinal direction (X-X).

7. Cleaning brush according to Claim 5 or 6, characterized in that the second section (40b) of the handle (40) comprises a second articulated joint

(141) with axis of rotation perpendicular to the said longitudinal direction (X- X), situated between the handle (42) and the first articulated joint (41) so as to allow folding of the second handle section (42) into two parts.

8. Cleaning brush according to Claim 6 or 7, characterized in that the first articulated joint (41) and the second articulated joint (41) are designed to allow reversible relative rotation of the first section (40a) with respect to the second section (40b) and of the two parts of the gripping section (40b) through an angle of between 70° and 95°.

9. Cleaning brush according to any one of the preceding claims 5-8, characterized in that the means for connecting together the two sections of the handle (40), i.e. the gripping section (40b) and the cleaning section (40a), are configured to allow the separation/connection of the two sections in the longitudinal direction (X-X) at the free end of each section situated opposite to the grip (42) and to the cleaning element (30).

10. Cleaning brush according to one of Claims 5-8, characterized in that the reversible connection means comprise an insert (310) fitted to the free top end of the first cleaning section (40a) of the handle (40) and in that the insert (310) has an internal female-thread cavity (310b) for engagement with a corresponding threading (310c) formed at the bottom end of the gripping section (40b) of the body (40).

11. Cleaning brush according to one of Claims 5-9, characterized in that the reversible connection means comprise a threaded insert (410) at the free top end of the first cleaning section (40a) of the body (40), the relative connection of the two sections (40a, 40b) of the handle (40) being obtained by magnetic means (410a, 410b) with opposite polarity (N-S), in the longitudinal direction (X-X), respectively fixed to the insert (410) and the second gripping section (40b), and with a strength such as to ensure a stable connection for using the brush, while maintaining the possibility of a manual separation at the end of use thereof.

12. Cleaning brush according to the preceding claim, characterized in that the insert (510) at the free end of the first cleaning section (40a) of the handle (40) has internally first magnetic means (410a) with a predefined polarity (E/W) for magnetic coupling, in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction (X-X), with corresponding second magnetic means during use fixed to the WC bowl.

13. Cleaning brush according to any one of Claims 5-12, characterized in that the outer surface of the free end of the first section (40a) of the handle (40) has a larger-size zone for insertion into a support (50, 160; 150) which can be fitted to the top horizontal, inner or outer vertical edge of the bowl (100).

14. Kit comprising a brush according to one of Claims 5-13 and at least one support (50; 160; 150) designed to be fitted to the bowl (100) of a water closet.

15. Kit according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said support

(50;160;150) is a mechanical support and has a substantially U-shaped cross-section with elastically deformable arms (50a) for inserting/extracting with friction the gripping section (40b) forming part of the brush handle.

16. Kit according to Claim 14, characterized in that said support (510b) is of the magnetic type with a polarity (E/W) suitable for coupling, in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction (X-X), with corresponding magnetic means of opposite polarity (W/E) fixed to the cleaning section

(40a) of the brush handle (40).

Description:
CLEANING BRUSH FOR WC BOWLS

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a cleaning brush for WC bowls.

It is known in the technical sector of water closets to use a brush for cleaning the WC bowl.

It is also known that the conventional cleaning brushes have numerous drawbacks arising from the fact that they are normally inserted inside a special container and occupy space on the ground, separate from the WC; consequently the container with the brush must be moved whenever the bathroom is cleaned.

The brush and the container also remain accessible to young children who risk soiling themselves following accidental contact.

Furthermore, if the bristles are noT cleaned or replaced frequently, the dirty water inside the container holding the brush stagnates, the bacteria ferment and bad odours are emitted; whenever the brush is removed for use, if it has not been cleaned and the container regularly emptied, dripping of the contaminated water may occur, with the creation of further soiling, bad odours and spreading of the bacteria.

Owing to the thin and densely arranged bristles, dirt may easily penetrate and become lodged in the brush, resulting in the proliferation of different species of bacteria and microorganisms.

The technical problem which is posed, therefore, is that of providing a cleaning brush which solves one or more and preferably all of the problems of the prior art described above, in particular being able to ensure a better level of hygiene during cleaning and/or use of water closets. In connection with this problem it is also required that the cleaning brush should have compact dimensions, be easy and inexpensive to produce and assemble and be able to be easily fitted in situ and used by any user, including non-expert users.

These results are obtained according to the present invention by a cleaning brush for water closets according to the characteristic features of Claim 1.

Further details may be obtained from the following description of a non limiting example of embodiment of the subject of the present invention provided with reference to the attached drawings in which:

Figure 1 : shows a front view of a cleaning brush according to the present invention;

Figure 2: shows a side view of the cleaning brush according to Fig. 1 ;

Figure 3: shows a schematic cross-section along a longitudinal vertical plane of the cleaning brush according to Fig. 1 with an enlarged detail of the surfaces of the cleaning brush;

Figures 4,5: show perspective side views of a cleaning brush according to the invention with a first form of operating handle;

Figure 6: shows a schematic cross-section of a cleaning brush according to the invention mounted on a WC bowl;

Figure 7: shows a schematic cross-section of a first embodiment of the means for engaging the cleaning brush with a WC bowl;

Figure 8: shows a schematic cross-section of a variation of embodiment of the means for engaging the cleaning brush with a WC bowl;

Figure 9: shows schematic cross-sections of the sequence of use of the cleaning brush according to the invention; Figure 10: shows a schematic cross-section of a first variation of embodiment of the means for engaging the cleaning brush with a WC bowl with associated gripping handle;

Figure 11 : shows a schematic cross-section of a second variation of embodiment of the means for engaging the cleaning brush with a WC bowl with associated gripping handle;

Figure 12: shows a schematic cross-section of a third variation of embodiment of the means for engaging the cleaning brush with a WC bowl with associated gripping handle;

Figure 13: shows a front view of a second embodiment of a cleaning brush according to the present invention;

Figure 14: shows a front view of a second embodiment of a cleaning brush according to the present invention; and

Figure 15: shows a schematic cross-section along a vertical plane of the cleaning brush according to Figure 12.

As shown in Fig. 1 and assuming solely for easier description and without a limiting meaning a set of three reference axes, i.e. in a longitudinal direction X-X, corresponding to the widthwise dimension of the cleaning brush; transverse direction Y-Y, corresponding to the thickness dimension thereof; and vertical direction Z-Z corresponding to the heightwise dimension of the cleaning brush; as well as a front part A corresponding to the face provided with elements for cleaning the WC bowl and a rear part P opposite to the front part in the transverse direction Y-Y, a cleaning brush according to the present invention comprises an element 30 designed to clean the internal surface 100a of a WC bowl 100 (Fig. 6). The cleaning element, in a preferred embodiment, has an internally hollow body with a front surface 30b formed with one or more elastically deformable reliefs 31 made of a suitable material, preferably with a low coefficient of friction, such as Teflon, silicone or other similar material.

The reliefs are preferably smooth and/or stain-resistant, allowing the dirt to slide off more easily without sticking and/or the water to drain off.

Preferably, through-holes 32 are provided along the front surface 30b and connect the interior of the element 30 with the external environment.

Preferably, a hole 33 is also formed in the top surface of the element 30 and is designed to connect the interior thereof with the external environment.

The composition material of the body 30 preferably has an elasticity such that the hole 33 remains normally closed, while it may be opened by means of a simple operation of the body performed by the user. Similarly, the holes 32 may open following pressure exerted on the front surface and/or on the reliefs of the body 30 of the cleaning element during the action on the surface to be cleaned.

The body 30 may thus form a reservoir for a cleaning agent, which may be perfumed and/or have anti-bacterial properties, being able to be introduced inside the body 30 through the hole 33 and being able to be expelled during use through the holes 32 in order to favour cleaning and sterilization of the bowl 100.

Preferably, the rear surface 30a of the cleaning body 30 has a curved profile with an alternation of concavities and convexities in the vertical direction Z-Z.

The curved profile with concavities and convexities may allow the rear surface to be used also for cleaning and/or improving drainage of the water during rinsing, so that greater hygiene is ensured.

The rear surface 30a may be substantially smooth and, as shown in Figure 2, the convexities and concavities which define the curved progression of the rear surface 30a are preferably less pronounced that the convexities and concavities (Fig. 3) defined by the one or more reliefs 31 of the front surface 30b, allowing among other things optimum drainage of the water during the rinsing operations.

The top part of the body 30 also has, formed therein, a vertical seat 35 which is inserted inside said body and isolated from it and provided with an upper opening 35a suitable for insertion of an operating handle of the cleaning brush.

Preferably, the rear surface 30a also has, formed along it, one or more through-holes (not shown) which connect the interior of the element 30 with the external environment.

Fig. 4 shows a first example of embodiment of a handle 40, the body of which may be divided into a first section 40a for connection to the cleaning element 30 and a second section 40b, connected to the grip 42, said sections being connected together by a hinge 41 which allows folding over thereof (Fig. 5) about an axis parallel to the transverse direction Y-Y; the two opposite ends of the first section 40a are respectively designed for insertion inside the seat 35 of the body 30 of the cleaning element and for connection to the hinge 41 ; the two opposite ends of the second section 40b are respectively designed for connection to the hinge 41 and to the grip for operation by the user.

With this embodiment and as shown in Figs. 6, 7, the cleaning brush may be mounted on the WC bowl 100, for example by means a support 50 which has a substantially U-shaped cross-section with elastically deformable arms 50a; the relative distance in the transverse direction of the arms 50a is such as to allow insertion/extraction, with a certain amount of friction, of the section 40b forming part of the handle which is mounted on the outside of the WC bowl for gripping.

Fig. 8 shows a further variation of embodiment of the handle 40 which in this case has a second articulated joint 141 arranged between the handle 42 and the first articulated joint 41 so as to allow folding over of the handle section 42 into two parts, a first part of which is parallel to the edge 101 of the WC bowl and has the support 50 fastened thereto, while other part, projecting beyond the bowl in the longitudinal direction X-X, is folded down into a substantially vertical position, on the outside of said bowl, being preferably held against it by a second support 150 similar to the first support; with this configuration the handle section 40b which carries the grip remains close to the WC bowl, avoiding the formation of projections which may be knocked against.

For both these solutions, in addition to keeping the cleaning brush raised, this particular position also ensures that the body 30 is washed whenever the toilet is flushed, with obvious advantages in terms of hygiene and safety.

When mounted on the edge 101 of the bowl 100, the handle section 40b will be folded around the articulated joint 41 so as to raise the body 30 of the cleaning element inside the recessed zone 101a of the edge 101 , which is normally subject to the flushing water flow of the toilet.

With this configuration the cleaning brush may be used as follows: - the hole 33 in the cleaning element 30 is opened by means of elastic deformation;

- the cleaning agent is introduced until the body 30 of the cleaning element is filled;

- the hole 33 is allowed to close again elastically;

- the handle 40 is folded around the articulated joint 41 through a certain angle which is normally between 70° and 95°;

- the support 50 is mounted on the edge 101 of the bowl 100;

- the second section 40b of the handle 40 is inserted into the support 50, with adjustment of the position of the grip 42 which remains on the outside of the said edge for easy gripping by the user and arrangement of the cleaning element at least partially inside the recessed zone 101a of the WC bowl 100.

As shown in Fig. 9 the operating sequence involves the following steps:

- operating the gripping handle (Figs. 9a,b,c,d);

- separating the cleaning brush from the support 40 (Figs. 9e,f) and using it to clean the bowl; if the brush with element 30 is filled with cleaning agent; applying a light pressure on the reliefs 31 of the cleaning element will cause the cleaning agent to be expelled from the reservoir through the holes 32, so as to help clean and sterilize the bowl;

- at the end of use, repeating the sequence in reverse (9g,h), folding the tubular body about the articulated joint 41 so that the handle 40 assumes again the condition folded at an angle and the cleaning brush is repositioned in the support 50.

According to further embodiments of the cleaning brush according to the invention it is envisaged that the two sections, i.e. gripping section 40b and cleaning section 40a of the handle 40, can be separated from each other or connected together in the longitudinal direction X-X at the free ends opposite to the grip 42 and the cleaning element 30, respectively.

In detail:

according to a first variation of embodiment (Fig. 10) an insert 310 is mounted on the free top end of the cleaning section 40a of the handle 40; the insert 310 has an internal cavity with female thread 310b for engagement, in the longitudinal direction (X-X), with a corresponding thread 310c formed at the bottom end of the gripping section 40b of the body 40. The outer surface of the free end of the section 40a of the handle 40 has a larger-size zone for insertion into a support 160 which can be mounted on the inner vertical edge 101c of the bowl 100.

According to a second variation of embodiment (Fig. 11) a threaded insert 310 is mounted on the free top end of the cleaning section 40a of the body 40, the relative coupling between the two sections 40a, 40b of the handle 40 being obtained by means of magnetic means 410a, 410b with opposite polarity N-S in the longitudinal direction X, respectively fixed to the insert 310 and to the gripping section 40b and with a strength such as to ensure stable coupling for use of the cleaning brush, while maintaining the possibility of manual separation at the end of use thereof.

In this case also the outer form of the insert 310 is preferably such as to allow insertion of thereof into a fixed support 160 which can be fitted to the inner vertical edge 101c of the bowl 100.

According to a third variation of embodiment (Fig. 12), as in the preceding cases, an insert 510 is mounted on the free end of the cleaning section 40a of the body 40; in this case, however, it is envisaged that the insert has: first magnetic means 410 with a predefined N/S polarity in the longitudinal direction X-X and strength such as to ensure stable coupling of corresponding magnetic means (not shown) of the gripping section 40b for use of the cleaning brush, with the possibility of manual separation at the end of the use, as in the preceding case; and

second magnetic means 500 with opposite polarity E/O in the transverse direction Y-Y, comprising a first element 510a with a given polarity E/O inside the insert 410 and a second element 510b with opposite polarity E/O suitable for fixing to the inner vertical edge 101a of the bowl 100 and suitable for magnetic coupling in the transverse direction Y-Y for retaining the element 30 against the edge of the bowl.

As mentioned, the three embodiments of Figs. 10,11 ,12 allow the cleaning part 30 of the cleaning part of the cleaning brush to be kept inside the bowl, when not in use, and the gripping part 40 to be kept outside and separated therefrom, for example stowed away or suspended in a position which cannot be reached by a child.

At the time of use, by means of simple and intuitive action of relative coupling together of the two sections 40a, 40b of the handle 40 the continuity of the gripping part may be restored and the cleaning part separated from the bowl for subsequent use, at the end of which the reverse sequence of operations is performed with the cleaning part being attached to the bowl and the gripping part detached, rearranging it in its rest and gripping position.

Figs. 12-14 show a further embodiment of the cleaning brush where the cleaning element 130 has a substantially spherical shape with substantially mirror-image front and rear surfaces.

In this embodiment, the rear surface has a curved profile with an alternation, in the vertical direction Z-Z, of concavities and convexities defined by one or more reliefs.

These concavities and convexities of the curved profile may in any case allow drainage of the water and are optimal for using also the rear surface in order to clean the toilet. The reliefs are also in this case preferably smooth and/or stain-resistant.

In this embodiment also at least one hole 33 is provided for introducing a cleaning agent, arranged in the rear part of the spherical surface, and at least one hole 32 is distributed on the side surface 130a of the spherical body (defined by said front and rear surfaces) for expulsion of the cleaning agent during use of the cleaning brush.

According to this embodiment it is envisaged that the seat 135 for introducing the handle 40 is preferably extended in the vertical direction Z-Z until it is connected to the surface of the element 130 with which it forms a single body.

It is therefore clear how the cleaning brush according to the invention ensures a high level of hygiene since it is suitably configured to be arranged inside the recessed zone 101a of the edge 101 of the WC bowl 100, in which position the cleaning element undergoes rinsing whenever the toilet is flushed, irrespective as to whether it is used or not; the flushed water in fact prevents the formation of any bacterial colonies.

The frequency of use of the cleaning brush will be markedly less than the frequency of the flushing operation of the toilet, and the curved profile, preferably in combination with a smooth and stain-resistant material, allows the liquids to flow freely over the brush and prevents the solids from adhering thereto.

Advantageously, the cleaning brush has a broad cleaning surface which allows the hygiene to be improved also during cleaning of the toilet.

In a preferred embodiment where a reservoir containing a perfumed and anti-bacterial cleaning agent is incorporated it is also possible to obtain a pleasant perfumed scent with every use and each flushing action, while reducing, among other things, the formation of bad odours,

Since a container for holding the cleaning brush is no longer present the stagnation of liquids is avoided and there is no need for frequent cleaning which is instead performed automatically with each flushing action; moreover the absence of the container which is normally present on the ground means that there is greater free floor area and also facilitates cleaning of the floor.

Although described in connection with a number of embodiments and a number of preferred examples of implementation of the invention, it is understood that the scope of protection of the present patent is determined solely by the claims below.