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Title:
LAUNDRY WASHING MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/206485
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Laundry washing machine (1) comprising an outer casing (2), a washing tub which is arranged inside the casing (2), a rotatable drum which is structured for housing the laundry to be washed, a detergent dispensing assembly (5), a main fresh-water supply circuit, and an appliance control panel (6) located on the front wall (3) of the casing (2), the laundry washing machine (1) being furthermore provided with an auxiliary, manually-operated, garment cleaning assembly (15) that comprises an electrically-powered, hand-held, garment stain-removal tool (16); the appliance control panel (6) being arranged on the front side of a drawer-like supporting structure (13) which is inserted in extractable manner into a corresponding drawer housing (14) that extends inside the casing (2) and communicates with the outside via a front entrance or opening (14a) which is realized on the front wall (3) of the casing (2) above the laundry loading/unloading opening; the substantially pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool (16) being placed in easy manually seizable manner into a corresponding storage compartment (17) realized on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), behind the appliance control panel (6).

Inventors:
DEL POS, Maurizio (Electrolux Italia S.p.A, Corso Lino Zanussi 30, Porcia, I-33080, IT)
FAVARO, Daniele (Electrolux Italia S.p.A, Corso Lino Zanussi 30, Porcia, I-33080, IT)
Application Number:
EP2013/063638
Publication Date:
December 31, 2014
Filing Date:
June 28, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTROLUX APPLIANCES AKTIEBOLAG (S:t Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, S-10545, SE)
International Classes:
D06F39/00; D06F29/00; D06F43/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011128745A22011-10-20
WO2007031779A12007-03-22
Foreign References:
EP1681383A12006-07-19
EP1860227A12007-11-28
DE102008027726B32009-10-29
US20070151301A12007-07-05
EP1860227A12007-11-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NARDONI, Andrea et al. (Electrolux Italia S.p.A, Corso Lino Zanussi 30, Porcia, I-33080, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Laundry washing machine (1) comprising an outer casing (2), a washing tub which is arranged inside the casing (2) with its opening or mouth directly facing a laundry loading/unloading opening realized on a the front wall (3) of the casing (2), a rotatable drum which is structured for housing the laundry to be washed and is housed in axially rotatable manner inside the washing tub, a detergent dispensing assembly (5) which is structured for supplying detergent into the washing tub, a main fresh-water supply circuit which is structured for being connected to the water mains and for selectively channeling a flow of fresh water from the water mains to the detergent dispensing assembly (5) and/or to the washing tub, and an appliance control panel (6) which is structured for allowing the user to manually select the desired washing-cycle and is located on the front wall (3) of the casing (2);

the laundry washing machine (1) being furthermore provided with an auxiliary, manually-operated, garment cleaning assembly (15) that comprises an electrically- powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool (16), and being characterized in that the appliance control panel (6) is located/ arranged on a front side of a drawer- like supporting structure (13) which is fitted/inserted in extractable manner into a corresponding drawer housing (14) that extends inside the casing (2) underneath the upper worktop or top wall (7) of the casing (2), and communicates with the outside via a front entrance or opening (14a) which is realized on the front wall (3) of the casing (2) above the laundry loading/unloading opening; and in that the substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool (16) is placed in easy manually seizable manner into a corresponding storage compartment (17) realized on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), behind the appliance control panel (6); the drawer- like supporting structure (13) being movable inside the corresponding drawer housing (14) between a retracted position in which the drawerlike supporting structure (13) is completely recessed inside the casing (2) so as to close the garment stain-removal tool (16) inside the casing (2) and arrange the appliance control panel (6) substantially coplanar to the front wall (3) of the casing (2), and an extracted position in which the drawer-like supporting structure (13) partly juts out from the front wall (3) of the casing (2) so as to place/arrange the storage compartment (17) of the garment stain-removal tool (16) outside of the casing (2) and to arrange the appliance control panel (6) forward spaced apart from the front wall (3) of the casing (2).

2. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 1, characterized in that the auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly (15) additionally comprises a supply line (18, 19, 20, 27, 37, 38, 39, 40) that is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13) and is capable of channelling towards the garment stain-removal tool (16) one or more process fluids and/or supplying electric power.

3. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the garment stain-removal tool (16) is an electrically-powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, ultrasonic garment stain-removal tool (16) provided with a sound emitter capable of emitting ultrasonic waves.

4. Laundry washing machine according to any one of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the auxiliary, manually-operated, garment cleaning assembly (15) additionally comprises a detergent reservoir (18) which is structured for receiving a given quantity of a consumable detergent agent suitable to be used with the garment stain-removal tool (16), and is housed on the drawer-like supporting structure (13) so as to allow the user to easily load the detergent agent into the same detergent reservoir (18) when the drawer-like supporting structure (13) is arranged in the extracted position.

5. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 4, characterized in that said supply line comprises a detergent- agent supply circuit (19) which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of detergent agent from the detergent reservoir (18) to the garment stain-removal tool (16).

6. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 5, characterized in that the detergent- agent supply circuit (19) comprises a connecting pipeline (23) which connects the detergent reservoir (18) to the garment stain-removal tool (16); and an electrically-powered detergent feeding pump (24) which is located/arranged on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured for selectively sucking, from the detergent reservoir (18), the detergent agent stored therein and pumping/ channeling said detergent agent along the connecting pipeline (23), towards the garment stain-removal tool (16).

7. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 4, 5 or 6, characterized in that said supply line moreover comprises a first water supply circuit (20) which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured for selectively channeling a flow of fresh water into the detergent reservoir (18).

8. Laundry washing machine according to any one of Claims 2 to 7, characterized in that said supply line moreover comprises a second water supply circuit (27, 39) which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water to the garment stain-removal tool (16).

9. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 8, characterized in that the second water supply circuit (27, 39) comprises a connecting pipeline (28) which connects the main fresh- water supply circuit of the laundry washing machine (1) to the garment stain-removal tool (16), so as to channel the fresh water of the water mains towards the garment stain-removal tool (16); and an electrically-controlled, valve assembly (29) which is arranged/interposed between the main fresh-water supply circuit and the connecting pipeline (28), and is able to control/regulate the flow of fresh water along the connecting pipeline (28) towards the garment stain- removal tool (16).

10. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 8, characterized in that the said supply line comprises a water reservoir (38) which is structured for receiving a great quantity of fresh water, and is housed on the drawer-like supporting structure (13); and in that the second water supply circuit (39) in turn comprises a connecting pipeline (41) which connects said water reservoir (38) to the garment stain-removal tool (16), and an electrically-powered water feeding pump (42) which is located/ arranged on the drawer- like supporting structure (13), and is structured for selectively sucking, from the water reservoir (38), the fresh water stored therein and pumping/channeling said fresh water along the connecting pipeline (41) towards the garment stain-removal tool (16).

11. Laundry washing machine according to any one of Claims 2 to 10, characterized in that said supply line comprises an umbilical cable (21) having a flexible structure and which connects the garment stain-removal tool (16) to the drawer-like supporting structure (13).

12. Laundry washing machine according to any one of Claims 2 to 11, characterized in that said supply line is controlled via one or more manually- operated, push buttons (30) located on the substantially pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool (16).

13. Laundry washing machine according to any one of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the drawer-like supporting structure (13) is moreover provided with a working area (33) for supporting the garment to be processed with the garment stain-removal tool (16).

14. Laundry washing machine according to any one of Claims 4 to 13, characterized in that the detergent reservoir (18) comprises a storage tank (31) which is structured for being manually fillable with a great quantity of detergent agent, and is located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13) so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure (13) is in the extracted position; and a manually-removable cap (32) which is structured to close the storage tank (31), and is located on top of storage tank (31) so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer- like supporting structure (13) is in the extracted position.

15. Laundry washing machine according to any one of the foregoing claims, characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly (5) comprises a single-dose detergent dispenser (5) structured for selectively feeding into the washing tub a manually measured and pre-loaded amount of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing only a single washing cycle; and/or an auto- dosing detergent dispenser (5) structured for automatically batching/dosing, on the basis of the selected washing cycle, the suitable amount/dose of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent to be used during the selected washing cycle.

16. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 15, characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly (5) is located inside the casing (2) substantially horizontally beside the drawer-like supporting structure (13) including the control panel (6).

17. Laundry washing machine according to Claim 15 or 16, characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly (5) comprises a detergent drawer (10) which is manually fillable with a quantity of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing a single washing cycle, and which is fitted/inserted in manually extractable manner into a corresponding drawer housing (11) which extends inside the casing (2) underneath the upper worktop or top wall (7) of the casing (2), and communicates with the outside via a front entrance or opening (11a) which is realized on the front wall (3) of the casing (2) above the laundry loading/ unloading opening and horizontally beside the front entrance or opening (14a) of the drawer housing (14) of the drawer-like supporting structure (13).

18. Laundry washing machine according to any one of the foregoing claims, characterized by additionally comprising: a push member which is located inside the drawer housing (14) of the drawer-like supporting structure (13) and is structured so to elastically push the drawer- like supporting structure (13) away from the retracted position and towards the extracted position; a locking mechanism (36) which is located on the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured to automatically reach and hook in a stable, though easily releasable manner onto the front portion or dashboard of the drawer housing (14) that surrounds/forms the front entrance or opening (14a) of the drawer housing (14) of the drawer- like supporting structure (13), so as to hold the drawer-like supporting structure (13) in the retracted position and prevent the push member from pushing the drawer-like supporting structure (13) away from the retracted position; and a manually- operated push button (37) which is located on the front side of the drawer-like supporting structure (13), and is structured so as to force, when manually operated, the locking mechanism (36) to release the drawer-like supporting structure (13) from the drawer housing (14), thus allowing the push member to push the drawer-like supporting structure (13) away from the retracted position.

Description:
LAUNDRY WASHING MACHINE

The present invention relates to a laundry washing machine.

In particular, the present invention relates to a front-loading home laundry washing machine, to which the following description refers purely by way of example without this implying any loss of generality.

As is known, currently marketed front-loading home laundry washing machines generally comprise: a substantially parallelepiped- shaped outer boxlike casing structured for resting on the floor; a substantially bell-shaped washing tub which is suspended in floating manner inside the casing, directly facing a laundry loading/unloading through opening realized in the front wall of the casing; a substantially cylindrical, elastically-deformable bellows which connects the front opening of the washing tub to the laundry loading/unloading opening formed in the front wall of the casing; a porthole door which is hinged to the front wall of the casing to rotate to and from a closing position in which the door closes the laundry loading/unloading opening in the front wall of the casing for watertight sealing the washing tub; a substantially cylindrical, bell-shaped rotatable drum structured for housing the laundry to be washed, and which is fitted inside the washing tub with its concavity facing the laundry loading/unloading opening and is supported in axially rotating manner so as to be able to freely rotate about its substantially horizontally- oriented longitudinal axis; and an electrically-powered motor assembly which is structured for driving into rotation the rotatable drum about its longitudinal axis inside the washing tub.

Alike any other home laundry washing machine, this type of laundry washing machine furthermore comprises: a detergent dispensing assembly which is generally located inside the boxlike casing, immediately above the washing tub, and is structured for selectively feeding into the washing tub, according to the washing cycle manually-selected by the user, a given amount of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent suitably mixed with fresh water arriving from the water mains; a fresh-water supply circuit which is structured for selectively drawing fresh water from the water mains according to the washing cycle manually- selected by the user, and channeling said water to the detergent dispensing assembly or directly to the washing tub; and finally an appliance control panel which is generally located on the front wall of the casing, above the laundry loading/unloading opening, and is structured for allowing the user to manually select the desired washing-cycle.

The detergent dispensing assembly, in turn, generally comprises a detergent drawer which is typically divided into a number of detergent compartments each structured for being manually fillable with a manually measured and pre-loaded amount of detergent, softener or other washing agent sufficient to perform a single washing cycle, and which is fitted/inserted in manually extractable manner into a completely recessed drawer housing whose entrance is generally located on the upper right or left corner of the front wall of the casing, above the laundry loading/ unloading opening and horizontally beside the appliance control panel.

In the recent years, some household appliance producers decided to provide the laundry washing machine with a hand-held, pen-shaped, ultrasonic garment stain- removal tool. EP 1860227 discloses a front-loading home laundry washing machine wherein the pen- shaped, ultrasonic garment stain-removal tool is placed inside an auxiliary storage compartment realized in the detergent drawer of the detergent dispensing assembly.

Unfortunately location of the garment stain-removal tool inside the detergent drawer reduces the number and/or overall capacity of the detergent compartments of the detergent drawer, with all problems concerned. Furthermore location of the garment stain-removal tool inside the detergent drawer appears not to satisfy the every-day users because the overall weight of the detergent drawer is significantly increased.

Aim of the present invention is to obviate the drawbacks referred above. In compliance with the above aims, according to the present invention there is provided a laundry washing machine comprising an outer casing, a washing tub which is arranged inside the casing with its opening or mouth directly facing a laundry loading/unloading opening realized on a the front wall of the casing, a rotatable drum which is structured for housing the laundry to be washed and is housed in axially rotatable manner inside the washing tub, a detergent dispensing assembly which is structured for supplying detergent into the washing tub, a main fresh-water supply circuit which is structured for being connected to the water mains and for selectively channeling a flow of fresh water from the water mains to the detergent dispensing assembly and/or to the washing tub, and an appliance control panel which is structured for allowing the user to manually select the desired washing-cycle and is located on the front wall of the casing;

the laundry washing machine being furthermore provided with an auxiliary, manually-operated, garment cleaning assembly that comprises an electrically- powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool, and being characterized in that the appliance control panel is located/ arranged on a front side of a drawer-like supporting structure which is fitted/inserted in extractable manner into a corresponding drawer housing that extends inside the casing underneath the upper worktop or top wall of the casing, and communicates with the outside via a front entrance or opening which is realized on the front wall of the casing above the laundry loading/unloading opening; and in that the substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool is placed in easy manually seizable manner into a corresponding storage compartment realized on the drawer-like supporting structure, behind the appliance control panel; the drawer-like supporting structure being movable inside the corresponding drawer housing between a retracted position in which the drawer- like supporting structure is completely recessed inside the casing so as to close the garment stain-removal tool inside the casing and arrange the appliance control panel substantially coplanar to the front wall of the casing, and an extracted position in which the drawer-like supporting structure partly juts out from the front wall of the casing so as to place/arrange the storage compartment of the garment stain-removal tool outside of the casing and to arrange the appliance control panel forward spaced apart from the front wall of the casing.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly additionally comprises a supply line that is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure and is capable of channelling towards the garment stain-removal tool one or more process fluids and/or supplying electric power.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the garment stain-removal tool is an electrically- powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, ultrasonic garment stain-removal tool provided with a sound emitter capable of emitting ultrasonic waves.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly additionally comprises a detergent reservoir which is structured for receiving a given quantity of a consumable detergent agent suitable to be used with the garment stain-removal tool, and is housed on the drawer-like supporting structure so as to allow the user to easily load the detergent agent into the same detergent reservoir when the drawer-like supporting structure is arranged in the extracted position.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that said supply line comprises a detergent- agent supply circuit which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of detergent agent from the detergent reservoir to the garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the detergent- agent supply circuit comprises a connecting pipeline which connects the detergent reservoir to the garment stain- removal tool; and an electrically-powered detergent feeding pump which is located/arranged on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured for selectively sucking, from the detergent reservoir, the detergent agent stored therein and pumping/ channeling said detergent agent along the connecting pipeline, towards the garment stain-removal tool. Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that said supply line moreover comprises a first water supply circuit which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured for selectively channeling a flow of fresh water into the detergent reservoir.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that said supply line moreover comprises a second water supply circuit which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water to the garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the second water supply circuit comprises a connecting pipeline which connects the main fresh-water supply circuit of the laundry washing machine to the garment stain-removal tool, so as to channel the fresh water of the water mains towards the garment stain-removal tool; and an electrically-controlled, valve assembly which is arranged/interposed between the main fresh-water supply circuit and the connecting pipeline, and is able to control/regulate the flow of fresh water along the connecting pipeline towards the garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the said supply line comprises a water reservoir which is structured for receiving a great quantity of fresh water, and is housed on the drawer-like supporting structure; and in that the second water supply circuit in turn comprises a connecting pipeline which connects said water reservoir to the garment stain-removal tool, and an electrically-powered water feeding pump which is located/ arranged on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured for selectively sucking, from the water reservoir, the fresh water stored therein and pumping/channeling said fresh water along the connecting pipeline towards the garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that said supply line comprises an umbilical cable having a flexible structure and which connects the garment stain-removal tool to the drawer-like supporting structure.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that said supply line is controlled via one or more manually-operated, push buttons located on the substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the drawer-like supporting structure is moreover provided with a working area for supporting the garment to be processed with the garment stain-removal tool.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the detergent reservoir comprises a storage tank which is structured for being manually fillable with a great quantity of detergent agent, and is located on the drawer-like supporting structure so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure is in the extracted position; and a manually-removable cap which is structured to close the storage tank, and is located on top of storage tank so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure is in the extracted position.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly comprises a single-dose detergent dispenser structured for selectively feeding into the washing tub a manually measured and pre-loaded amount of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing only a single washing cycle; and/or an auto- dosing detergent dispenser structured for automatically batching/dosing, on the basis of the selected washing cycle, the suitable amount/dose of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent to be used during the selected washing cycle.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly is located inside the casing substantially horizontally beside the drawer-like supporting structure including the control panel.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized in that the detergent dispensing assembly comprises a detergent drawer which is manually fillable with a quantity of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing a single washing cycle, and which is fitted/inserted in manually extractable manner into a corresponding drawer housing which extends inside the casing underneath the upper worktop or top wall of the casing, and communicates with the outside via a front entrance or opening which is realized on the front wall of the casing above the laundry loading/ unloading opening and horizontally beside the front entrance or opening of the drawer housing of the drawer-like supporting structure.

Preferably, though not necessarily, the laundry washing machine is furthermore characterized by additionally comprising: a push member which is located inside the drawer housing of the drawer-like supporting structure and is structured so to elastically push the drawer-like supporting structure away from the retracted position and towards the extracted position; a locking mechanism which is located on the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured to automatically reach and hook in a stable, though easily releasable manner onto the front portion or dashboard of the drawer housing that surrounds/forms the front entrance or opening of the drawer housing of the drawer-like supporting structure, so as to hold the drawer-like supporting structure in the retracted position and prevent the push member from pushing the drawer-like supporting structure away from the retracted position; and a manually-operated push button which is located on the front side of the drawer-like supporting structure, and is structured so as to force, when manually operated, the locking mechanism to release the drawer-like supporting structure from the drawer housing, thus allowing the push member to push the drawer-like supporting structure away from the retracted position.

A non-limiting embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

- Figures 1 is a perspective view of a front-loading, home laundry washing machine realized in accordance with the teachings of the present invention; Figure 2 is a perspective view of the Figure 1 laundry washing machine in a different working configuration;

Figure 3 is a side view of the upper portion of the Figure 2 laundry washing machine with parts removed for clarity;

Figure 4 is a schematic view of the auxiliary cleaning assembly of the Figure 1 laundry washing machine; whereas

Figure 5 is a schematic view of an alternative embodiments of the auxiliary cleaning assembly shown of the Figure 1 laundry washing machine.

With reference to Figures 1, 2 and 3, reference number 1 indicates as a whole a front-loading home laundry washing machine which comprises: a preferably, though not necessarily, substantially parallelepiped-shaped, rigid outer boxlike casing 2 which is structured for resting on the floor; a preferably substantially cylindrical, bell-shaped hollow washing tub (not shown) which is arranged inside the casing 2 with its opening or mouth directly facing a laundry loading/unloading through opening realized in the front wall 3 of boxlike casing 2; and a substantially cylindrical, bell-shaped rotatable drum (not shown) which is structured for housing the laundry to be washed, and is housed in axially rotatable manner inside the washing tub so as to be able to freely rotate about its longitudinal reference axis.

In the example shown, in particular, the laundry loading/unloading opening is preferably realized on the front wall 3 of casing 2 substantially astride of the vertical center-plane of the casing 2, and the front opening or mouth of the washing tub (not shown) is preferably watertight connected to the laundry loading/unloading opening realized on front wall 3 by means of a preferably substantially cylindrical, connecting bellows (not shown) preferably having an elastically-deformable structure.

Furthermore the washing tub (not shown) is preferably suspended in floating manner inside the casing 2 and is preferably also arranged inside the boxlike casing 2 with its longitudinal reference axis L substantially horizontally-oriented, i.e. substantially perpendicular to front wall 3.

The rotatable drum (not shown), in turn, is housed in axially rotating manner inside the washing tub (not shown) with its front opening directly faced/aligned to the laundry loading/unloading opening on front wall 3, and the drum rotation axis is preferably arranged locally substantially coincident with the horizontally-oriented longitudinal reference axis L of the washing tub.

With reference to Figures 1, 2 and 3, the front-loading laundry washing machine 1 furthermore comprises:

a porthole door 4 which is hinged to the front wall 3 of casing 2 to rotate about a preferably, though not necessarily, vertically-oriented reference axis to and from a closing position in which the peripheral border of the porthole door 4 rests completely on front wall 3 for closing the laundry loading/ unloading opening and watertight sealing the washing tub (not shown); an electrically-powered motor assembly (not shown) which is housed inside the casing 2 and is structured for driving into rotation the rotatable drum (not shown) about its longitudinal reference axis inside the washing tub (not shown);

a detergent dispensing assembly 5 which is housed inside the casing 2 in easily reachable manner by the user, and is structured for selectively feeding into the washing tub (not shown), according to the selected washing cycle, a given amount of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent preferably suitably mixed with the fresh water arriving from the water mains; and a main fresh-water supply circuit (not shown) which is structured for being connected to the water mains and for selectively channeling a flow of fresh water from the water mains to the detergent dispensing assembly 5 and/or directly to the washing tub (not shown), preferably while controlling/ regulating the flowrate of fresh water towards the detergent dispensing assembly 5 and/or the washing tub.

Finally, the laundry washing machine 1 comprises an appliance control panel 6 which is structured for allowing the user to manually select the desired washing- cycle, and which is located on front wall 3 of casing 2, above the laundry loading/ unloading opening and substantially immediately beneath the preferably substantially horizontally oriented, upper worktop or top wall 7 of the same casing 2.

The detergent dispensing assembly 5, in turn, is preferably housed inside the casing 2 above the washing tub (not shown), i.e. between the upper worktop 7 of casing 2 and the washing tub (not shown), and is structured for selectively feeding into the beneath located washing tub (not shown) a manually measured and preloaded amount of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing only a single washing cycle. In other words, the detergent dispensing assembly 5 is a single-dose detergent dispenser.

With reference to Figures 1 and 2, in the example shown, in particular, the detergent dispensing assembly 5 preferably comprises a detergent drawer 10 which is manually fillable with a quantity of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing only a single washing cycle, and which is fitted/ inserted in manually extractable manner into a corresponding, completely recessed, drawer housing 11 which extends preferably substantially horizontally inside the boxlike casing 2 while remaining beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 and above the washing tub (not shown), and communicates with the outside of casing 2 via a front entrance or opening 11a which is realized on front wall 3 of casing 2 above the laundry loading/unloading opening and underneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of the casing 2.

In the example shown, in particular, the drawer housing 11 is preferably completely recessed inside the casing 2, immediately beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2, so as to locate its front entrance or opening 1 la on front wall 3 immediately beneath the front side edge of the upper worktop or top wall 7 of the same casing 2.

The detergent drawer 10, in turn, is preferably movable inside the drawer housing 11 along a preferably substantially horizontally-oriented, displacement direction between a retracted position (see Figure 2) in which the detergent drawer 10 is completely recessed inside the drawer housing 11, i.e. inside the casing 2, preferably while at same time closing the front entrance or opening 1 la of the drawer housing 11; and a completely extracted position (see Figure 1) in which the detergent drawer 10 partly juts out from the front wall 3 of casing 2 through the front entrance or opening 11a of the drawer housing 11 so as to allow easy manual refilling of the same detergent drawer 10.

In addition to the above, the detergent drawer 10 is preferably movable inside the drawer housing 11 along a substantially horizontally-oriented, displacement direction which is locally substantially perpendicular to the front wall 3 of casing 2.

Preferably the drawer housing 11 also has a substantially basin-shaped bottom portion (not shown) which directly communicates with the inside of the beneath located washing tub via a suitable connecting duct (not shown), and the detergent dispensing assembly 5 preferably additionally comprises a further water supply circuit (not shown) which is connected or incorporated to the main freshwater supply circuit, and is structured for selectively channeling/pouring, when the detergent drawer 10 is in the retracted position, a given amount of fresh water arriving from the water mains directly into the detergent drawer 10, so as to selectively flush/push the detergent, softener or other washing agent out of detergent drawer 10 and down on the bottom of the drawer housing 11. This mixture of water and detergent, softener or other washing agent afterwards flows into the washing tub via the connecting duct (not shown) branching off from the basin- shaped bottom of drawer housing 11.

With reference to Figure 1, in the example shown, in particular, the detergent drawer 10 is preferably divided into a number/plurality of detergent compartments 10a (three detergent compartments in the example shown) each of which is manually fillable with a respective given quantity of detergent, softener or other washing agent sufficient for performing a single washing cycle; and the water supply circuit of the detergent dispensing assembly 5 is preferably structured for spilling/pouring the fresh water arriving from the main fresh-water supply circuit (not shown) selectively and alternatively into any one of the detergent compartments 10a of detergent drawer 10, so as to selectively flush the detergent, softener or other washing agent out of the same detergent compartment 10a and down onto the bottom of drawer housing 11.

More in particular, in the example shown the water supply circuit of the detergent dispensing assembly 5 is preferably structured for selectively spilling/ pouring a dense shower of water droplets by gravity directly into any one of the detergent compartments 10a of detergent drawer 10, so as to flush the detergent, softener or other washing agent out of the detergent comportment 10a and down onto the bottom of drawer housing 11.

With reference to Figures 1, 2 and 3, the laundry washing machine 1 is additionally provided with a drawer-like supporting structure 13 which is fitted/ inserted in extractable manner into a corresponding, completely recessed, drawer housing 14 which extends preferably substantially horizontally inside the casing 2 while remaining beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 and above the washing tub (not shown). Drawer housing 14 moreover communicates with the outside of casing 2 via a front entrance or opening 14a which is realized on front wall 3 of casing 2 above the laundry loading/unloading opening and beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of the casing 2, and the appliance control panel 6 is located/arranged on a front side of the drawer- like supporting structure 13.

More in details, the drawer housing 14 communicates with the outside of casing 2 via a front entrance or opening 14a which is realized on front wall 3, above the laundry loading/unloading opening and beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2, and preferably also horizontally beside the front entrance or opening 11a of drawer housing 11.

In other words, the drawer housing 14 is preferably completely recessed inside the casing 2, immediately beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2, so as to locate its front entrance or opening 14a on the front wall 3 of casing 2, immediately beneath the front side edge of the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2 and beside the front entrance or opening 1 la of drawer housing 11.

The detergent dispensing assembly 5 is therefore preferably located inside the casing 2 horizontally beside the drawer- like supporting structure 13 and the corresponding completely recessed, drawer housing 14.

In the example shown, in particular, the drawer housing 11 of the detergent dispensing assembly 5 is preferably arranged inside the casing 2 so as to locate its front entrance or opening 11a immediately beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2, approximately at the upper left corner of front wall 3; whereas the drawer housing 14 of the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is preferably arranged inside the boxlike casing 2 so as to locate its front entrance or opening 14a immediately beneath the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2 and beside the front entrance or opening 11a of drawer housing 11, approximately at the upper right corner of front wall 3.

Preferably the front entrance or opening 14a of drawer housing 14 is moreover immediately adjacent to the front entrance or opening 11a of drawer housing 11 and extends beneath the worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2, from the front entrance or opening 11a of drawer housing 11 substantially up to the right sidewall of the same casing 2, i.e. beneath the remaining portion of the front side edge of the upper worktop or top wall 7 of casing 2.

The drawer- like supporting structure 13, in turn, directly supports the appliance control panel 6 and is movable inside the drawer housing 14 along a preferably substantially horizontally-oriented, displacement direction d between

— a retracted position (see Figure 1) in which the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is completely inserted into the drawer housing 14, i.e. completely recessed inside the casing 2, and arranges the appliance control panel 6 substantially coplanar to the front wall 3 of casing 2, substantially at closure of the front entrance or opening 14a of the drawer housing 14; and

— a completely extracted position (see Figures 2 and 3) in which the drawerlike supporting structure 13 partly juts out from front wall 3 of casing 2 through the front entrance or opening 14a of the drawer housing 14, so as arrange the appliance control panel 6 forward spaced apart from the front wall 3 of casing 2, at maximum distance from said front wall 3. In the example shown, in particular, the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is preferably fitted/inserted in manually extractable manner into the completely recessed drawer housing 14, and is movable inside the drawer housing 14 along a substantially horizontally-oriented, displacement direction d which is preferably locally substantially perpendicular to front wall 3 of casing 2, and is therefore locally substantially parallel to the displacement direction of the detergent drawer 10 of the one-cycle detergent dispenser 8.

The appliance control panel 6, in turn, is preferably powered via a power cable or via electromagnetic induction and moreover preferably communicates with the electronic central control unit (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1 via cable or wireless.

With reference to Figures 2, 3 and 4, the front-loading laundry washing machine 1 is furthermore provided with an auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly 15 which comprises an electrically-powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 and is arranged/located into the drawer-like supporting structure 13, behind the appliance control panel 6, so as to be closed/recessed inside the casing 2 when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the retracted position (see Figure 1).

More in details, the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 is placed in easy manually seizable manner into a corresponding upper storage compartment 17 realized/provided on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, behind the appliance control panel 6. The drawer-like supporting structure 13 therefore directly supports also the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 and is movable in a preferably substantially horizontally- oriented, displacement direction d between

— a retracted position (see Figure 1) in which the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is completely recessed/inserted into the drawer housing 14, so as to place/close the storage compartment 17 inside the casing 2 for hiding the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 to the user, i.e. for making the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 inaccessible to the user, and so as to arrange at same time the control panel 6 substantially coplanar to the front wall 3 of casing 2, at closure of the front entrance or opening 14a of the drawer housing 14; and

— a completely extracted position (see Figures 2 and 3) in which the drawer- like supporting structure 13 partly juts out from the front wall 3 of casing 2, so as to place/arrange the storage compartment 17 completely outside of the casing 2 to make the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 easy accessible to the user, and so as to arrange at same time the appliance control panel 6 forward spaced apart from the front wall 3 of casing 2 at maximum distance from front wall 3.

In the example shown, in particular, the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 of the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 preferably includes an electrically-powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, ultrasonic garment stain- removal tool 16 which is preferably provided, at its tip portion, with a sound emitter capable of emitting ultrasonic waves that can be used for treating the stained portion/s of the garment preferably in combination with a process fluid, such as, for example, fresh water and/or a consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent suitable to be used with the pen-shaped ultrasonic garment stain-removal tool 16.

In a less sophisticated embodiment, the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 of the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 may alternatively includes an electrically-powered, hand-held, substantially pen-shaped, rubbing garment stain- removal tool 16 which is provided, at its tip portion, with a vibrating brush head which can be used for mechanically rubbing/brushing the stained portion/s of the garment preferably in combination with a process fluid, such as, for example, fresh water and/or a consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent suitable to be used with the pen-shaped rubbing garment stain-removal tool 16.

In addition to the above, with reference to Figures 2 and 4, the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 preferably furthermore comprises a detergent reservoir 18 which is structured for receiving a given quantity (for example half a litre) of a consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent suitable to be used with the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, i.e. a given quantity of process fluid. This detergent reservoir 18 is preferably arranged/located on a corresponding seat realized on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, so as to allow the user to easily load the stain-removal agent or other detergent agent into the same detergent reservoir 18 when the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the completely extracted position.

In other words, the detergent reservoir 18 is preferably housed into the drawer-like supporting structure 13 and the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is movable in a preferably substantially horizontally- oriented, displacement direction d between

— a retracted position (see Figure 1) in which the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is completely recessed/inserted into the drawer housing 14, so as to place/close the storage compartment 17 and the detergent reservoir

18 inside the casing 2 for hiding both the pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16 and the detergent reservoir 18 to the user, i.e. for making the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 and the detergent reservoir 18 both inaccessible to the user, and so as to arrange at same time the control panel 6 substantially coplanar to the front wall 3 of casing 2, at closure of the front entrance or opening 14a of the drawer housing 14

— a completely extracted position (see Figures 2 and 3) in which the drawerlike supporting structure 13 partly juts out from the front wall 3 of casing 2, so as to place/arrange the storage compartment 17 and the loading inlet or mouth of the detergent reservoirs 18 completely outside of the casing 2 to make the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 and the loading inlet or mouth of the detergent reservoirs 18 both easy accessible to the user, and so as to arrange at same time the appliance control panel 6 forward spaced apart from the front wall 3 of casing 2 at maximum distance from front wall 3.

With reference to Figure 4, the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 provided either with the sound emitter or the vibrating brush head is preferably, though not necessarily, also provided, preferably at its tip portion, with a nozzle capable of spaying onto the garment the process fluid to be used in combination with the same garment stain-removal tool 16 during treatment of the stained area of the garment, that is to say, for example, fresh water and/or a stain-removal agent or other detergent agent; and the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 is preferably additionally provided with a supply line which is preferably at least partly arranged/ located on the drawer- like supporting structure 13, and is capable of channelling towards the garment stain-removal tool 16 a flow of one or more process fluids, preferably while controlling/regulating the flowrate of the/each process fluid towards the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

The drawer-like supporting structure 13 therefore comprises at least part of the supply line of the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15.

Obviously, in a less sophisticated embodiment, the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 of the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 could lack the sound emitter or the vibrating brush and be provided, at its tip portion, with the nozzle capable of spaying onto the garment a process fluid arriving through the supply line.

More in detail, with reference to Figure 4, the supply line of the garment cleaning assembly 15 preferably comprises: a detergent- agent supply circuit 19 which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, and which is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of stain-removal agent or other detergent agent from the detergent reservoir 18 to the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, preferably while controlling/regulating the flowrate of the detergent agent towards the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16; and optionally also a water supply circuit 20 which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer- like supporting structure 13, and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water into the detergent reservoir 18, preferably while controlling/regulating the flowrate of the fresh water towards the detergent reservoir 18.

In the example shown, in particular, the supply line of the garment cleaning assembly 15 preferably comprises an umbilical cable 21 having a flexible structure and which connects the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 to the drawer-like supporting structure 13, and the detergent-agent supply circuit 19 is preferably at least party incorporated into the umbilical cable 21 so as to reach the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

Preferably the supply line of the garment cleaning assembly 15 is furthermore structured to supply electric power to the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

In other words, the supply line preferably comprises a power cable (not shown) structured for electrically powering the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, and this power cable is preferably at least party incorporated into the umbilical cable 2.

As an alternative, the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 may also be powered by a battery pack housed inside the same pen- shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16.

In addition to the above, the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is preferably additionally provided with an auxiliary storage compartment structured for housing the supply line 21 when the garment stain-removal tool 16 rests inside the storage compartment 17. In the example shown, in particular, storage compartment 17 is suitably shaped/dimensioned to accommodate both the pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16 and the supply line 21.

With reference to Figure 4, in the example shown, in particular, the detergent- agent supply circuit 19 preferably comprises a connecting hose or pipeline 23 which connects the detergent reservoir 18 to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, and which is preferably also structured so as to at least partially extend into the supply line 21 up to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16; and an electrically-powered detergent feeding pump 24 which is preferably located/arranged on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, along the connecting hose or pipeline 23, and is structured for selectively sucking, from the detergent reservoir 18, the stain- removal agent or other detergent agent stored therein, and pumping/channeling said stain-removal agent or other detergent agent along said connecting hose or pipeline 23, towards the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

More in detail, the detergent feeding pump 24 is preferably a volumetric pump which is structured for selectively sucking a sequence of one or more basic amounts of stain-removal agent or other detergent agent from the detergent reservoir 18 and pumping/channeling said sequence of one or more basic amounts of stain- removal agent or other detergent agent towards the pen- shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16.

The water supply circuit 20, in turn, is preferably connected or incorporated to the main fresh- water supply circuit (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1, and preferably moreover comprises: a connecting hose or pipeline 25 which connects the detergent reservoir 18 to the fresh- water supply circuit (not shown) so as to channel the fresh water of the water mains towards the detergent reservoir 18; and preferably also an electrically-controlled, on-off valve 26 or similar which is arranged/ interposed between the fresh-water supply circuit and the connecting hose or pipeline 25, and is able to control/regulate the flow of fresh water along connecting hose or pipeline 25, towards the detergent reservoir 18.

With reference to Figure 4, the supply line of the garment cleaning assembly 15 preferably additionally comprises a second water supply circuit 27 which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer- like supporting structure 13, and which is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, preferably while controlling/regulating the flowrate of the fresh water towards the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

In the example shown, in particular, the water supply circuit 27 is preferably connected or incorporated to the main fresh-water supply circuit (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1. Alike the detergent-agent supply circuit 19, the water supply circuit 27 is moreover preferably at least party incorporated into the umbilical cable 21, so as to reach the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 through the umbilical cable 21.

More in detail, in the example shown, the water supply circuit 27 preferably comprises a connecting hose or pipeline 28 which connects the fresh-water supply circuit (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1 to the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 so as to channel the fresh water of the water mains towards the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, and which is preferably also structured so as to at least partially extend into the supply line 21 up to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16; and preferably also an electrically-controlled, on-off valve 29 or similar which is arranged/interposed between the fresh-water supply circuit and the connecting hose or pipeline 28, and is able to control/regulate the flow of fresh water along connecting hose or pipeline 28, towards the pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16.

With reference to Figure 2, functioning of detergent feeding pump 24, functioning of on-off valve 26, functioning of on-off valve 29, and/or switching on and off of the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, is/are preferably controlled via corresponding manually-operated, push button/s 30 located on the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

With reference to Figures 2 and 4, the detergent reservoir 18, in turn, preferably comprises: a preferably substantially parallelepiped-shaped, storage tank 31 which is structured for being manually fillable with a great quantity (for example half a litre) of consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent, and is located/incorporated into the drawer- like supporting structure 13 behind control panel 6, so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is in the completely extracted position, and to be hidden and inaccessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the retracted position; and a manually-removable cap 32 which is structured to close the storage tank 31, and is preferably located on top of storage tank 31 so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is in the extracted position.

In the example shown, in particular, the storage tank 31 is preferably arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, behind the appliance control panel 6, so that at least the manually-removable cap 32 of storage tank 31 is freely accessible by the user when the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the extracted position (see Figure 2), and is completely hidden and inaccessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the retracted position. Being freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is in the extracted position, the manually-removable cap 32 allows the user to load the consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent inside the detergent reservoir 18, and therefore forms the exposable loading inlet or mouth of the detergent reservoir 18.

With reference to Figures 2 and 3, the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is preferably moreover provided with a preferably substantially flat and preferably substantially horizontally-oriented working area 33 on which the user is allowed to spread the portion of the generic garment to be processed with the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

In the example shown, in particular, the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is preferably provided with a preferably substantially flat and horizontally- oriented shelf portion 33 which is structured for supporting the stained portion of the generic garment to be processed with the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

Furthermore, in the example shown the shelf portion 33 of the drawer-like supporting structure 13 preferably has a perforated structure and is preferably underneath provided with a collector basin 34 which is structured for collecting the process fluid poured/sprayed on the garment during the use of the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, i.e. the fresh water and/or consumable stain-removal agent or other detergent agent.

The collector basin 34 preferably moreover communicates via a suitable drain pipeline 35 with the bottom of the washing tub (not shown) or directly with the drain sump (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1 or with a generic drain line of the laundry washing machine 1, so as to channel the used process liquid, i.e. the used water and/or the used stain-removal agent or other detergent agent, into the drain pump of the laundry washing machine 1, or directly outside of the laundry washing machine 1.

With reference to Figure 2, in addition to the drawer-like supporting structure 13, the laundry washing machine 1 is preferably, though not necessarily, additionally provided with: — a push member which is preferably located inside the drawer housing 14 and is structured so as to elastically push the drawer-like supporting structure 13 away from the retracted position (see Figure 1) and towards the completely extracted position (see Figures 2 and 3);

— a locking mechanism 36 which is preferably located on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, behind the appliance control panel 6, and is structured to automatically reach and hook in a stable, though easily releasable manner onto the front portion or dashboard of the drawer housing 14 that surrounds/forms the front entrance or opening 14a of the drawer housing 14, so as to hold the drawer- like supporting structure 13 in the retracted position and prevent the inner push member from pushing the drawer-like supporting structure 13 away from the retracted position; and finally

— a manually- operated push button 37 which is located on front side of the drawer-like supporting structure 13, i.e. on the appliance control panel 6, and is structured so as to force, when manually operated, the locking mechanism 36 to release the drawer-like supporting structure 13 from the drawer housing 14, thus allowing the inner push member to push the drawer- like supporting structure 13 away from the retracted position. General operation of the front-loading home laundry washing machine 1 is clearly inferable from the above description, with no further explanation required.

As regards the auxiliary, manually-operated, garment cleaning assembly 15, when believes that a stain on a garment is difficult to remove solely with the washing cycle, the user can open the drawer-like supporting structure 13 and use the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 for trying to remove the stain. The stain- removal treatment performed by the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 basically consists in applying ultrasonic waves or mechanical friction onto a garment portion locally wetted with a suitable amount of water, stain-removal agent and/or other detergent agent.

Obviously, the user can arrange the drawer-like supporting structure 13 in the completely extracted position and use the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 even when a washing cycle is taking place inside the laundry washing machine 1.

The advantages resulting from the arrangement of the auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly 15 on the drawer-like supporting structure 13 that support the control panel 6 are remarkable. The overall capacity and weight of detergent drawer 10, in fact, are equal to that of a traditional front-loading laundry washing machine lacking the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool.

Moreover location of the auxiliary, manually- operated, garment cleaning assembly 15 on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, behind the appliance control panel 6, allows to maximise the use of the empty space inside the boxlike casing 2. In today's front-loading laundry washing machines, in fact, the space behind the appliance control panel usually remains unused.

Furthermore, housing the detergent reservoir 18 on the drawer- like supporting structure 13 and connecting the detergent reservoir 18 to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16 via the detergent- agent supply circuit 19 and the water supply circuit 27, i.e. via the supply line, greatly simplifies the use of the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

Clearly, changes may be made to the front-loading laundry washing machine 1 as described above without, however, departing from the scope of the present invention.

For example, according to a more sophisticated embodiment of the laundry washing machine 1, the detergent dispensing assembly 5 may be an auto-dosing detergent dispenser which is preferably located inside the casing 2, horizontally beside the drawer- like supporting structure 13 and the corresponding drawer housing 14, and is structured for automatically batching/dosing, on the basis of the selected washing cycle, the suitable amount/dose of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent to be used during the selected washing cycle and afterwards feeding said amount/dose of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent into the washing tub (not shown).

More in detail, preferably the detergent drawer 10 may be replaced by a second drawer-like supporting structure which is fitted/inserted in extractable manner into a corresponding, completely recessed, drawer housing that takes the place of drawer casing 11. This second drawer-like supporting structure houses/incorporates at least part of the auto-dosing detergent dispenser.

The auto-dosing detergent dispenser, in turn, may preferably comprise one or more detergent reservoirs each of which is structured for receiving a great quantity (for example half a litre or one litre) of detergent, softener and/or other washing agent sufficient for performing a great number of washing cycles; and one or more electrically-powered detergent feeding pumps (not shown) preferably of volumetric type, each of which is preferably structured for selectively sucking, from a corresponding detergent reservoir, the specific amount of the detergent, softener or other washing agent necessary and sufficient for performing the selected washing cycle, and pumping/ channelling said specific amount of the detergent, softener or other washing agent towards the washing tub.

Furthermore, with reference to Figure 5, according to a further, more- sophisticated embodiment of the laundry washing machine 1, the supply line of the auxiliary garment cleaning assembly 15 lacks the water supply circuit 27, and instead comprises:

— a water reservoir 38 which is structured for receiving a great quantity (for example half a litre) of fresh water, and is preferably housed on the drawer- like supporting structure 13 together with detergent reservoir 18;

— a water supply circuit 39 which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water from the water reservoir 38 to the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16, preferably while controlling/ regulating the flowrate of the fresh water towards the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16; and optionally also

— a water refilling circuit 40 which is at least partly arranged/located on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, and is structured for channeling, on command, a flow of fresh water arriving the water mains to the water reservoir 38, preferably while controlling/regulating the flowrate of the fresh water towards the water reservoir 38.

More in detail, in the example shown the water supply circuit 39 preferably comprises a connecting hose or pipeline 41 which connects the water reservoir 38 to the connecting hose or pipeline 23 and/or directly to the pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16 (and in the last case it is preferably also structured so as to at least partially extend into the supply line 21 up to the pen-shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16); and an electrically-powered water feeding pump 42 which is preferably located/arranged on the drawer-like supporting structure 13, along the connecting hose or pipeline 41, and is structured for selectively sucking, from the water reservoir 38, the fresh water stored therein and pumping/channeling said fresh water along said connecting hose or pipeline 41, towards the substantially pen-shaped, garment stain- removal tool 16.

In the example shown, in particular, the water feeding pump 42 is preferably a volumetric pump which is structured for selectively sucking a sequence of one or more basic amounts of fresh water from the water reservoir 38 and pumping/ channeling said sequence of one or more basic amounts of fresh water towards the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

Alike the detergent feeding pump 24, functioning of the water feeding pump 42 is preferably controlled via a corresponding manually- operated, push button 30 located on the pen- shaped, garment stain-removal tool 16.

The water refilling circuit 40, in turn, is preferably connected or incorporated to the main fresh- water supply circuit (not shown) of the laundry washing machine 1, and preferably comprises: a connecting hose or pipeline 43 which connects the water reservoir 38 to the fresh- water supply circuit (not shown) so as to channel the fresh water of the water mains towards the water reservoir 38; and preferably also an electrically-controlled, on-off valve 44 or similar which is arranged/interposed between the fresh-water supply circuit and the connecting hose or pipeline 43, and is able to control/regulate the flow of fresh water along connecting hose or pipeline 43, towards the water reservoir 44. Finally, the water reservoir 38 preferably consists in a preferably substantially parallelepiped- shaped, closed storage tank 38 which is structured for storing a great quantity (for example half a litre) of fresh water.

As an alternative, if the water refilling circuit 40 is missing, the water reservoir 38 may preferably comprise: a preferably substantially parallelepiped- shaped, storage tank which is structured for being manually fillable with a great quantity (for example half a litre) of fresh water, and is located into the drawer-like supporting structure 13 so to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is in the completely extracted position, and to be hidden and inaccessible by the user when the drawer- like supporting structure 13 is arranged in the retracted position; and a manually-removable cap which is structured to close the storage tank, and is preferably located on top of the same storage tank so as to be freely accessible by the user when the drawer-like supporting structure 13 is in the extracted position.

Moreover, according to a further more sophisticated, non-shown embodiment of the laundry washing machine 1, the detergent reservoir 18 and the water reservoir 38, if present, may be recessed/housed in the drawer-like supporting structure 13 in a stable, though easily manually detachable manner, so as to allow the user to easily manually remove the detergent reservoir 18 and/or the water reservoir 38 from the drawer-like supporting structure 13 when the latter is arranged in the extracted position. This option allows the user to refill the detergent reservoir 18 and the water reservoir 38, if present, above the sink with all advantages concerned.

Obviously, in this case the manually-removable detergent reservoir 18, i.e. tank 31, is connected to the detergent-agent supply circuit 19 and to the water supply circuit 20, if present, via a suitable number of self-closing hydraulic connectors; whereas the manually-removable water reservoir 38 is connected to the water supply circuit 39 and to the water refilling circuit 40, if present, via a suitable number of self-closing hydraulic connectors of known type.