Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
FOUR-DIRECTION SCRUBBING CARPET SHAMPOOER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/003227
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A four-direction carpet shampooer is disclosed. Example embodiments include: a first brush configured to rotate on a first axis; a second brush configured to rotate on a second axis, the second axis being different from the first axis; a direction of travel sensor to detect the shampooer direction of travel; and a rotation changing actuator configured to reverse the rotation of the first brush on the first axis and to reverse the rotation of the second brush on the second axis when the direction of travel sensor indicates the shampooer direction of travel has changed. A shampooer cleaning station comprises a first brush configured to rotate on a first axis; a second brush configured to rotate on a second axis, the second axis being different from the first axis; and a hair grinding system including protrusions configured to remove hair from a brush roll of a carpet shampooer.

Inventors:
GIARRITTA, Mark Jeffery (US)
Application Number:
US2020/040435
Publication Date:
January 07, 2021
Filing Date:
July 01, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GIARRITTA, Mark Jeffery (US)
International Classes:
A47L11/32; A47L9/00; A47L11/00; A47L7/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SALTER, Jim H. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A four-direction carpet shampooer comprising:

a first brush configured to rotate on a first axis;

a second brush configured to rotate on a second axis, the second axis being different from the first axis;

a direction of travel sensor to detect the shampooer direction of travel; and

a rotation changing actuator configured to reverse the rotation of the first brush on the first axis and to reverse the rotation of the second brush on the second axis when the direction of travel sensor indicates the shampooer direction of travel has changed.

2. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 wherein the first axis is perpendicular to the second axis.

3. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 wherein the first and second brushes are brush arrays.

4. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 wherein the first and second brushes are propelled by one idler arm from one belt.

5. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 wherein the first and second brushes are propelled using a device from the group consisting of: a transmission, a motor, an air diverter for suction, and an air blower.

6. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with an idler arm and gear damper to protect gears and reduce gear noise.

7. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 6 being further configured with an extra spindle gear above the idler arm to facilitate belt install without brush disassembly.

8. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 wherein the direction of travel sensor is a device of a type from the group consisting of: a mechanical device, an electrical device, a computerized device, or a motion sensor.

9. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with a brush roll housing cleaning brush.

10. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 9 wherein the brush roll housing cleaning brush is a horseshoe or cavity-shaped brush having upward facing bristles.

11. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 9 wherein the brush roll housing cleaning brush is configured to automatically run while the shampooer is running.

12. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 9 wherein the brush roll housing cleaning brush is propelled by a worm drive gear or a suction port.

13. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with a shampooer head and soap bottle integrated in one component.

14. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with dual soap tanks.

15. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with a manifold

attached to a shampooer head allowing installation of the shampooer to be performed in one motion.

16. The four-direction carpet shampooer of claim 1 being further configured with a shampooer head and a transmission/motor shell, wherein the transmission/motor shell is configured as a separate removable component from the shampooer head.

17. A shampooer cleaning station comprising:

a first brush configured to rotate on a first axis; a second brush configured to rotate on a second axis, the second axis being different from the first axis; and

a hair grinding system including protrusions configured to remove hair from a brush roll of a carpet shampooer, and a grinder to grind up the hair and dispose the ground-up hair into a waste water.

18. The shampooer cleaning station of claim 17 wherein the first axis is perpendicular to the second axis.

19. The shampooer cleaning station of claim 17 being further configured to include spray nozzles for spraying water and soap up inside the carpet shampooer.

20. The shampooer cleaning station of claim 17 further including a base, the shampooer cleaning station being further configured to suspend a carpet shampooer above the base without suctioning the carpet shampooer to the shampooer cleaning station.

Description:
FOUR-DIRECTION SCRUBBING CARPET SHAMPOOER

PRIORITY PATENT APPLICATION

[0001] This non-provisional patent application draws priority from U.S. provisional patent application serial no. 62/869,602; filed July 2, 2019. The entire disclosure of the referenced patent application is considered part of the disclosure of the present application and is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

COPYRIGHT

[0002] A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no obj ection to the facsimile reproduction of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever. The following notice applies to the disclosure provided herein and to the drawings that form a part of this document: Copyright 2018 - 2020, Mark Jeffery GIARRITTA; All Rights Reserved.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0003] The disclosed subj ect matter relates to carpet shampooers and floor cleaners, and more particularly to a four-direction carpet shampooer.

BACKGROUND

[0004] Typical cleaner designs have one roller brush that rotates vertically and spins in one direction; thus, it essentially only cleans one vertical face/side of the carpet fiber and at least partially the top when traveling in one path forward and back. This means that to shampoo all four faces or sides of the carpet fiber, the carpet shampooer would have to run forward and backward in four directions to thoroughly scrub all four sides of the carpet fibers. This would be extremely time consuming and hard on the equipment.

[0005] Another conventional design provided two brush rolls running parallel and both rotating opposite directions. This would work a little better, but would still only clean two sides of the carpet fiber in a forward and backward motion of the shampooer or cleaner. To thoroughly scrub the carpet, it would still require excessive work having to run the machine in multiple directions to scrub all sides of the carpet fibers.

[0006] A third conventional design implements the original long brush and a second row of horizontally rotating flat brushes in an effort to clean more sides of the carpet fibers. However, this design loses some of its cleaning ability; because, the parallel opposing rotation brush roll is removed to insert the flat brushes. The flat bushes while spinning strike around the sides of some of the carpet fibers; but this design runs a risk of damaging the carpet fibers with the twisting motion and still is not effectively cleaning all sides of the carpet.

SUMMARY

[0007] There is disclosed herein various example embodiments of a four-direction scrubbing shampooer. In the various example embodiments described herein, this new four-direction scrubbing shampooer design is an improvement of existing shampooers and floor cleaner technology. One purpose of my new four-direction scrubbing carpet shampooer is to be able to clean all four vertical faces of the carpet fibers, in one path of travel, and one pass forward and backwards. The new design can be implemented in any shampooer, vacuum and floor buffing system, etc., as a stand-alone unit or an attachment. This in no way constitutes a limitation of use or application. The disclosed process and brush design can be employed in any cleaning system. Thus, the disclosed design is useful in any cleaning application. The various example embodiments are described in more detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0009] Fig. 1 illustrates an example embodiment showing a spindle gear, an idler arm, brush rolls, and a bevel gear;

[0010] Fig. 2 illustrates an example embodiment showing a transmission, a brush array frame rail, a belt, a foam output port from a soap bottle, and an air intake port to the soap bottle;

[0011] Fig. 3 illustrates an example embodiment showing a transmission/motor shell and attachment dowels;

[0012] Fig. 4 illustrates an example embodiment showing a belt lifter;

[0013] Fig. 5 illustrates an example embodiment showing a gear box and scrubber unit;

[0014] Fig. 6 illustrates an example embodiment showing an attachment bar; [0015] Fig. 7 illustrates an example embodiment showing a gap spanning gear;

[0016] Fig. 8 illustrates an example embodiment showing a top view of the shampoo head and shell;

[0017] Fig. 9 illustrates an example embodiment showing a side view of the shampoo head and shell;

[0018] Fig. 10 illustrates an example embodiment showing a mechanical actuation arm;

[0019] Fig. 11 illustrates an example embodiment showing the intake manifold, the intake manifold locking hand lever, the soap tanks, and the air intake distribution tubes;

[0020] Fig. 12 illustrates an example embodiment showing the brush cleaning waste water troughs, the brush roll housing cleaning brush (long brush), the brush roll housing cleaning brush (short brushes), and the attachment hooks;

[0021] Fig. 13 illustrates an example embodiment showing an upright view of a steam cleaner and a bottom brush array view; and

[0022] Fig. 14 illustrates an example embodiment showing a cleaning station, a hair grabber grinder system, and a sump tube.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the disclosed subject matter can be practiced. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the disclosed subject matter.

[0024] There is disclosed herein various example embodiments of a four-direction scrubbing shampooer. In the various example embodiments described herein, this new four-direction scrubbing shampooer design is an improvement of existing shampooers and floor cleaner technology. One purpose of my new four-direction scrubbing carpet shampooer is to be able to clean all four vertical faces of the carpet fibers, in one path of travel, and one pass forward and backwards. The new design can be implemented in any shampooer, vacuum and floor buffing system, etc., as a stand-alone unit or an attachment. This in no way constitutes a limitation of use or application. The disclosed process and brush design can be employed in any cleaning system. Thus, the disclosed design is useful in any cleaning application or non-cleaning application into which the disclosed design can be incorporated.

[0025] In a particular example embodiment, a conventional circular dry foam shampooer head or any foam shampooer can be used to help describe the new design. The circular dry foam shampooer head can retain the original head shape, but it will be extended longer in the rear to accommodate a new row of brush rolls. The original vertically rotating brush roll stays in the same general position with approximately five new vertically rotating short brush rolls, positioned parallel to each other in the opposing direction of the original long brush. The additional brushes will be the same shape, diameter and design as the existing brush roll, but shorter at approximately 4”- 6” long (See Item 3, Fig. 1). The existing brush roll will retain its original connectors to hook into the shampooer head, while at the same time being connected to the brush array frame rail (See item 6, Fig. 2). Along with the existing long brush, all five opposing short brushes will be connected to the rail, making all brushes into a single removable brush array (See item 6, Fig. 2), that keeps all brushes in perfect alignment for easy removal and installation for maintenance. The brushes can be permanently attached to the rail, or can be attached to the rail with a connector on each end, so if one of the brushes is damaged, it can be replaced. Additionally, the brushes can be inserted in, or connected to the cleaning device head singly or in any connected combination, instead of as an array.

How It Works

[0026] As described above, two sets of brushes clean in opposing directions simultaneously, which cleans two vertical faces/sides of the carpet fibers. The shampooer cleans all four sides of the carpet fibers by using the following process: when the shampooer is traveling forward all brushes are spinning/rotating one direction, cleaning two vertical faces of the carpet fibers. When the user starts pulling the shampooer backwards, all brushes change their direction of rotation and spin to a reverse direction, thus cleaning the other two faces of the carpet fibers. In this manner, all four sides of the carpet fibers are cleaned in one stroke forwards and backwards of the shampooer, in one path of travel.

How the Brush Rolls Are Driven

[0027] There are numerous ways that the brushes can be driven, such as:

1. All brushes are driven separately by belts, gears, worm drive, air suction or blower, or an alternate driving component, by motor, transmission, air pump, or alternative driving source.

2. The cleaning unit can use brush rolls with motors inside of them, each operating independently, with cooling fans and gearing for operation. In this application the motor and brush roll are coaxial. 3. The row of short brushes can be all connected and can be run simultaneously via a belt, air suction or blower, worm drive, or an alternative driving component with the long brush separately propelled, all propelled by a motor, transmission or alternative driving source.

4. Some combination of above.

5. All brushes can be driven simultaneously from the same source.

[0028] In an alternative example embodiment, all five brushes can be propelled from a single source. This is achieved by using the following process:

1. provide an idler arm (See item 2, Fig. 1) running in between the long brush and the row of short brushes.

2. provide a bevel gear on the end of each short brush, with a corresponding bevel gear on the idler arm.

3. provide a straight or bevel gear on the end of the long brush, a gear in between to span the gap (See item 13, Fig. 7), and a corresponding gear on the idler arm.

4. With this alignment, the one idler arm propels all brush rolls at the same time, driven by one propulsion source.

[0029] Near the center of the idler arm, aligned with the drive spindle, one more gear is provided, with a corresponding gear above that has a spindle attached or (spindle gear) (See item 1, Fig. 1). The belt (See item 7, Fig. 2) connects to the spindle gear of the idler arm and above to the drive spindle (See item 23, Fig. 1) of either a transmission or a motor (See item 5, Fig. 2), to propel and change direction of brush rotation. Drive can be achieved with less ease of belt changing by having to disconnect the idler arm to slide the belt around it to connect directly, removing the spindle gear.

[0030] The spindle gear is important for two reasons:

1. The conventional design required a user to disassemble the machine and take out the bmsh roll, to slide the belt around the brush roll, to install the belt. Customers many times had trouble disassembling the machine, which was discouraging. The extra spindle gear allows the user to install the belt without disassembling the inner workings of the head, only needing to remove the transmission/motor shell (See item 10, Fig. 3), wrap the belt around the spindle gears spindle, use the belt lifter to grab and lift belt, slide back on the transmission/motor shell and turn belt lifter to lower belt onto transmission/motor output spindle, making belt installation much easier. 2. Having the extra spindle gear above the idler arm also makes it possible to put a protective and sound dampening casing (not illustrated) around the idler arm and gears, which can quiet the gear noise, and can be sealed to keep moisture and most importantly sand and grit out of the gears. To accomplish full seal, the casing can completely surround the spindle gear as well as the idler arm and long brush gears as two halves assembled around the gears and the idler arm. This allows the belt to be connected without the belt going through the protective casing, which would create an opening for dirt and moisture.

[0031] The gears, the entire brush array frame rail, the entire shampooer base, and the transmission/motor shell can be constructed of any type of material, such as: wood, metal, plastic, composite or alternatively material.

[0032] To execute the changing of brush rotation direction, an actuator either mechanical, electric, or computerized, can run off the handle. A direct mechanical arm could be used for sensing a direction of travel (See item 15, Fig. 10). A wheel sensor could be implemented to detect the direction the shampooer or device is traveling and change the direction of brush rotation when the machine’s direction of travel changes. Alternatively, a scanning or motion sensor can be used to detect the direction of travel.

[0033] The rotation changing actuator can have a delay built in to slow down the brushes to near or complete stop before the brush rotation direction changes. Also, it is possible to have the drive motor or transmission incrementally increase and decrease power to the brushes below and back to normal operating levels during rotation transition for varying cleaning tasks and or at turning machine on or off. The motor can also have varying operation speeds for different cleaning tasks to conserve energy, if necessary.

[0034] In the case of a machine that employs attachments, a transmission (See item 5, Fig. 2) may be necessary to facilitate drive and rotation direction change from the power plant to the brushes. With the transmission changing the rotation direction, the power plant can function normally and rotate constantly in one direction. In this case, we use a bevel gear (See item 4, Fig. 1) on the input shaft of the transmission to be propelled by the corresponding bevel gear (See item 4, Fig. 1) of the power plant’s output shaft. The transmission can be connected to the power plant by some other means, but the above-described gearing is the simplest method.

[0035] The changing of the brush rotation can also be achieved with the brushes being propelled directly by a motor. The motor can reverse polarity and itself rotate in the opposite direction, when the path of travel actuator or sensor signals a change in the direction of travel and brush rotation. There can also be two separate motors propelling in opposite directions, taking turns propelling to achieve both directions of brush rotation. One motor propelling brush rotation one direction when the machine is traveling forward and one motor propelling brush rotation in the opposite direction when the machine is traveling backwards.

[0036] Any combination of motors, transmissions, belts, gears, air suction or blower, worm drives or the like can be used to achieve this four-direction carpet scrubbing process. Any combination mentioned would still constitute the same process. This description is not suggesting limitations to this design. This process of having two opposite orientations of vertically rotating brushes, changing direction of brush rotation based on the direction the machine is traveling, to clean four sides of the carpet fibers, is not limited to the enclosed descriptions. Any arrangement of brush size, orientation, drive method or directional method will still constitute this same new process. For instance, if the brushes were turned diagonally and changed brush rotation direction based on direction of travel of the machine, or if a user used horizontally rotating brushes, in any number or orientation, with or without also having a vertically rotating brush also and had them change rotation direction based on direction of travel of the machine, it would still be the same process.

[0037] In the case of a steam cleaner (See items 24 & 25, Fig. 13), the implementation can be similar to the design described above with the new brush ensemble installed. The water can be sprayed into the carpet and sucked up with the same general process. The improved steam cleaner will employ our new brush operating process and arrangement to scrub carpet.

[0038] Some alternate designs include the following:

1. Have one or more brushes only spin one direction with a separate brush or set of brushes changing rotation direction based on whether the machine is moving forwards or backwards, in the same cleaning head or unit.

2. Brushes can be suction or air powered with air diverter or blower that can switch back and forth from one side of the brush to the other, to change the rotation of the brushes. The air diverter or blower switch would change based on the forwards or backwards motion of the machine.

3. One brush or one brush array (grouping of brushes) that changes bmsh rotation direction based on the forwards or backwards movement of the machine. Simultaneously the entire brush or brush array rotates horizontally and changes rotation direction based on travel path of motion forwards or backwards of the machine. For example, when the machine is traveling forward, the brush or bmsh array is rotating horizontally to the right and when the machine is traveling backwards the brush or brush array starts rotating to the left. Alternatively, the entire brush or brush array can rotate only one direction while the brushes still change rotation direction based on machine direction of travel. Any combination of applications mentioned, of vertically or horizontally rotating brushes or apparatuses, combination of rotation changing brushes and single direction brushes and entire brush or apparatus rotation changing based on the direction of travel of the machine, will constitute the same concept of this invention. All mentioned application arrangements in no way are stating limitations to this design. Any parameter combination would still constitute the same design as the example embodiments disclosed herein.

4. The direction changing brush, brushes or brush array, can move up or down in elevation, to change brush depth, if necessary.

[0039] In the case of improving a conventional circular dry foam shampooer, the improvement may require a bit more redesign to accommodate all new parts. The existing head can have a lower frame that extends to the rear. The back rail of the frame running parallel to the belt lifter can have attachment bars (See item 14, Fig. 6) or holes for the attachment hooks (See item 26, Fig. 12), on the rear of the brush array to which to connect. The brush array can be inserted from underneath and angled with the hooks elevated and the opposite side lower so once the attachment hooks are connected to the frame, the front swings up into the head with the connectors on the outer edge of the long brush fitting into their connection cups. Once inserted, the tension of the belt between the spindle gear off the idler arm and the output spindle of the transmission or motor, holds the brush array into the shampooer head. Around the brushes can be troughs (See item 20, Fig. 12) running the length of each side of each brush, the same as the existing blade on the front of the existing brush. These blades help remove sand, dirt and moisture from the brushes as the cleaning process takes place. They are needed on both sides of the brushes; because, the brushes change direction of rotation. The troughs will need to be sloped from side to side and from back to front, to make sure the water all drains to the empty tray properly.

[0040] The belt is attached by inserting the brush array, wrapping the belt around the idler arm spindle gear, and using the belt lifter (See item 12, Fig. 4) to pick up the belt. The transmission or motor shell is then slid into place, riding on preformed tracks in the center portion of the lower frame, until the front of the shell abuts the rear of the belt lifter housing, enabling insertion of the attachment dowels (See item 11, Fig. 3) at the outer edge of the shell, into their attachment holes on the back of the existing shampooer head. The removing and attaching of the transmission/motor shell can happen without having to remove the soap bottles. At the same time, the drive/output spindle from the transmission or motor, slides underneath the belt putting it into position for the belt lifter to lower the belt onto the drive/output spindle. The latches (not illustrated) on the back of the lower frame are activated to attach the rear of the transmission/motor shell to the base frame. Now, the machine is assembled and ready to go. The transmission/motor shell can have a handle (not illustrated) on the top for easy pickup, removal, and installation. The rear of the transmission/motor shell will retain the shape of the rear of the existing shampooer to attach to the power plant.

[0041] In an effort to simplify use of the shampooer, an example embodiment can be made into a one piece unit that connects to the power plant in one motion, instead of three separate pieces that have to be separately installed. To do this, the machine can still have only one tank, but to allow it to carry more soap, the machine can be upgraded to have two onboard soap tanks (See item 18, Fig. 11) that can have button quick release connections. This also gives the user the ability to only fill one tank if only a small area is being cleaned. The two tanks can sit in a frame saddle that is attached to the frame base, having a manifold (See item 16, Fig. 11) that attaches to the blower port and splits with a tube (See item 19, Fig. 11) going to each tank. The tanks would retain the existing on/off switch for easy use.

[0042] The soap tanks can also be connected with the illustrated option of a spring loaded push in lock in connection type, like a printer ink cartridge, which would remove the need for a saddle/frame to connect the soap tanks to the shampooer head. The soap bottles have two female receptacles or male spouts. One side is the air intake (See item 9, Fig. 2) and one side is the foam output port (See item 8, Fig. 2). This design may require some alignment dowels, or an alignment slot and protrusion on the tanks and the shampooer head (not illustrated), to support and protect the tanks and connectors from blows from the side. The tanks may also require a lock (not illustrated) that can be initiated once the tanks are push locked in, to prevent the tanks from accidentally being removed while in use. There may also be a need for a safety actuator that doesn’t allow the power plant to turn on, if both tanks aren’t installed, similar to the ones currently on the power plant.

[0043] When one tank is used up, the other tank can be turned on to continue shampooing. It can also be possible to have them both connected to a single on/off instead. The shampooer intake manifold connection, would need a lever (See item 17, Fig. 11), and clamp or automatic connection actuator, to connect to the power plant’s blower port; because, the existing design has the soap tank being connected by twisting it onto the blower port. [0044] With this new design, the shampooer head would essentially connect the same way by tilting the head, setting the attachment hooks onto the attachment bar, lean the head back and turn the attachment lever to lock the head on. Now, since the head and tanks are all one piece, after the user attaches the hooks on the bar and leans the head back, the intake manifold simultaneously lowers onto the blower port for connection in the same motion. This will greatly improve the ease of use of the shampooer head.

[0045] In some applications, a separate blower port, different than the existing one, may be required for connection. An air flow diverter may be required to change flow direction between ports, or an automatic opening and closing airlock, to introduce air flow once shampooer head is connected. This may be necessary in an application where the bag can stay connected to its own port, while the shampooer connects and disconnects to the secondary blower port.

The Cleaning Station

[0046] Currently, to clean the hair off of the brushes of the shampooer and clean above the brushes, the conventional shampooer has to be disassembled with the brush removed. In an effort to further simplify the shampooer cleaning process, we have designed a cleaning station (See item 27, Fig. 14) that eliminates the need to disassemble the shampooer. To use the cleaning station, the user would drive the shampooer over the edge of the cleaning station, with the shampooer in its highest height setting and lower the height setting down for the cleaning cycle once the shampooer is in position. Underneath each brush will be a cleaning brush with cutting implements to clean the hair off of the brushes.

[0047] In addition, the cleaning station hair removal apparatus below the brushes, can have a rotating hair grinding system (See item 28, Fig. 14) with fingers or protrusions that pull hair in, remove hair from the brush roll, grind up hair, and spit or release the ground-up hair into the water that will be sucked up by the sump (See item 29, Fig. 14). This way, the station is self-cleaning and won't require hair removal itself. In an example embodiment, the hair grinding system can be a rotating device that is combined or integrated into the hair grabbing bristles of the brush cleaning apparatus below the machine. The grinding device can also be the entire hair removing apparatus with no brush bristles (See item 28, Fig. 14). The hair grinder apparatus can also have scissor-like blades on the side of the wheels. The wheels can be offset and overlapping by halfway to create a scissor like motion as they rotate up against each other, which helps cut up the hair as it is pulled in (not illustrated). Additionally, the grinding apparatus can have a built-in beater bar (not illustrated) that agitates the brush roll to remove unwanted sand and grit.

[0048] At the same time that the brushes are having the hair removed, there can be an assortment of spray nozzles (not illustrated) spraying water and soap up inside the shampooer, to clean out any debris from the brush housings and the water troughs around the brushes. It should have a rinse cycle once soap has been sprayed. There can also be a sump to pump the waste water into a removable tank, into the front tray of the shampooer head, or plumbed into the house to drain directly into the sewer. This way, the cleaning station doesn’t have to be awkwardly carried to be emptied for cleaning when it is full of water.

[0049] The wastewater empty tray/receptacle can drain directly into the cleaning station by manually opening a valve or an actuator operated valve to automatically drain during the cleaning cycle, so that the water is released and removed with the rest of the machine’s cleaning wastewater. Also, the cleaning station can spray water into the wastewater tray/receptacle and around itself, to clean out dirt and grime during the cleaning cycle.

[0050] Also, the cleaning station can have a water fill level operated by a float or sensor, so that the station can fill up with enough water for the brushes to be partially submerged and be themselves cleaned, while spitting water into the channels above, onto the upper shields and even into the waste water tray, simultaneously cleaning all parts and avoiding most need of spray nozzles.

The Cleaning Cycle

[0051] Once the shampooer is parked in position in the cleaning station, a sensor or actuator activates a preprogrammed cleaning cycle. This starts water and/or soap sprayers, and/or a water fill level and a hair grinder/remover, if applicable. Completion is signaled by an indicator light and or a sound signal, when the cleaning cycle is complete. When the shampooer is parked in position in the cleaning station, the shampooer does not suction to the cleaning station for the cleaning process to happen. Instead, the shampooer is suspended above the base, de-hairing apparatus and spray nozzles for the cleaning process to take place. The shampooer can stay in the cleaning station, connected or disconnected from the power plant, when not in use, using the cleaning station as a drip pan. The cleaning station can also have a sensor that detects if all of the hair is removed from the brush roll. Using this sensor, it is possible to extend or reduce the length of the cleaning cycle, as needed. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the cleaning station can signal the power plant to cause the cleaning station to shut down. [0052] Alternatively, the cleaning station can be a wash basin area into which a user can submerge the lower brush portion of the shampooer, to clean and de-hair the brushes, once the attachment has been removed from the power plant. Once the attachment is installed into the basin, either a manually or automatically activated wash cycle can commence to clean the shampooer attachment, grind up hair, release the ground hair into the water, and sump out water into a removable waste water tank for dumping or emptying directly into the house's is sewer system. The basin can spray some water and self- clean once the shampooer head is removed. Then, once the cleaning cycle is complete, the shampooer is ready for storage.

Brush Roll Housing Cleaning Brush

[0053] Another example embodiment is provided herein to make the cleaning process of the shampooer and various other types of cleaning apparatuses possible. This example embodiment is the brush roll housing cleaning brush (See items 21 & 22, Fig. 12). The brush roll housing cleaning brush is a horseshoe or cavity-shaped bmsh that has upward facing bristles. The brush has an attachment and sliding implement on each side of the housing. This brush runs above the brush roll, by sliding back and forth from side to side, with its bristles brushing the cavity above the brush roll cleaning off the grime. The brush roll housing cleaning brush can function in various ways described as follows:

1. Staying at the outside edge of the brush roll during shampooing and being swiped back and forth manually with a lever, while running some water into the housing, after shampooing is complete and head is removed, to clean dirt out. If the shampooer is a stand alone unit, then it can just be flipped over to clean.

2. The brush roll housing cleaning brush can have a mechanism on the cleaning station that connects to the housing brushes and swipes them back and forth while the cleaning cycle is running.

3. The brush roll housing cleaning brush can be set up to automatically run constantly while the shampooer is running, constantly swiping the brush roll housing keeping it clean. This can be accomplished in multiple ways as described below: a. A mechanical or electric piston can be provided that pushes and pulls each of the two brushes back and forth against the brush roll cavities continuously. b. The brush roll housing cleaning bmsh can employ a mechanism similar to train propulsion having a gear mnning off our already spinning bmsh gears, with an arm connected to the bmsh and pivotally at one point on the gear pushing and pulling the bmsh back and forth as the gear spins. In this application, the long brush cavity may require two brushes, one on each side to reach all the way across. Both the long brush and short brush cavity brushes may require their own propulsion gearing since they move in opposing directions.

C. The brush roll housing cleaning brush can use a worm drive gear for each of the two brushes, running off the brush array gears or a motor, that would swipe the brush one way when the machine travels forward and when the brush roll and worm drive rotation changes as the machine starts to travel backwards, the brushes would swipe the other direction. d. The shampooer can create suction through added ducts on each side of the two cavity brushes, with an actuator opening the suction port on the opposite side of the cavity as the brush putting suction into the slide track air ducts sucking the brush over. Then, the actuator would close this suction port and open the one on the other side, to suck the brush back to the other side. The suction port changing actuator can run off the same actuator that changes brush direction based on motion of the machine, or it can activate the suction port change every time the brushes reach one side or the other making a continuous cleaning motion. e. Implementations“c” and“d” described above can be combined, as suction to propel worm drive gears with suction ports oriented to propel the worm drive gears both required directions, using actuators to change suction ports, gear direction of rotation and brush swipe direction.

[0054] This brush roll housing cleaning brush as described herein can be implemented in shampooers, vacuums, and various cleaning devices. It may also have applications other than cleaning devices.

Shampooer Item Reference Legend:

Item 1 - Spindle Gear

Item 2 - Idler Arm

Item 3 - Original Long Brush Roll and Set of New Short Brush Rolls.

Item 4 - Bevel Gear and Drive Input Shaft Item 5 - Transmission

Item 6 - Brush Array Frame Rail (Entire Brush Array Unit)

Item 7 - Belt

Item 8 - Foam Output Port from Soap Bottle

Item 9 - Air Intake Port to Soap Bottle

Item 10 - Transmission/Motor Shell

Item 11 - Attachment Dowels

Item 12 - Belt Lifter

Item 13 - Gap Spanning Gear

Item 14 - Attachment Bar

Item 15 - Mechanical Actuation Arm

Item 16 - Intake Manifold

Item 17 - Intake Manifold Locking Hand Lever

Item 18 - Soap Tanks

Item 19 - Air intake Distribution Tubes

Item 20 - Brush Cleaning Waste Water Troughs

Item 21 - Brush Roll Housing Cleaning Brush (Long Brush)

Item 22 - Brush Roll Housing Cleaning Brush (Short Brushes)

Item 23 - Drive Spindle

Item 24 - Upright View Steam Cleaner

Item 25 - Bottom Brush Array View

Item 26 - Attachment Hooks

Item 27 - Cleaning Station

Item 28 - Hair Grabber Grinder System

Item 29 - Sump Tube

[0055] The illustrations of embodiments described herein are intended to provide a general understanding of the structure of various embodiments, and they are not intended to serve as a complete description of all the elements and features of components and systems that might make use of the structures described herein. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reviewing the description provided herein. Other embodiments may be utilized and derived, such that structural and logical substitutions and changes may be made without departing from the scope of this disclosure. The figures herein are merely representational and may not be drawn to scale. Certain proportions thereof may be exaggerated, while others may be minimized. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.

[0056] The description herein may include terms, such as“up”,“down”,“upper”,“lower”,

“first”,“second”, etc. that are used only for descriptive purposes and not to be construed as limiting. The elements, materials, geometries, dimensions, and sequence of operations may all be varied for particular applications. Parts of some embodiments may be included in, or substituted for, those of other embodiments. While the foregoing examples of dimensions and ranges are considered typical, the various embodiments are not limited to such dimensions or ranges.

[0057] The Abstract is provided to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature and gist of the technical disclosure. The Abstract is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In the foregoing Detailed Description, various features are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments have more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment.

[0058] Although the disclosed subject matter has been described with reference to several example embodiments, it may be understood that the words that have been used are words of description and illustration, rather than words of limitation. Changes may be made within the purview of the appended claims, as presently stated and as amended, without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosed subject matter in all its aspects. Although the disclosed subject matter has been described with reference to particular means, materials, and embodiments, the disclosed subject matter is not intended to be limited to the particulars disclosed; rather, the subject matter extends to all functionally equivalent structures, methods, and uses such as are within the scope of the appended claims.