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Title:
CLEANING APPARATUS FOR CLEANING MOP MATERIAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/073249
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus for cleaning mop material for use with a bucket, said apparatus comprising a wringer and a scrubbing apparatus, said scrubbing apparatus comprising a first scrubbing member and a second scrubbing member, said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member arranged substantially opposite one another, said first scrubbing member resiliently biased towards said second scrubbing member, such that the distance between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member is variable to engage mop material inserted between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member.

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Inventors:
YOUNG RONALD ALEXANDER (GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052932
Publication Date:
April 18, 2019
Filing Date:
October 12, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SCOT YOUNG RES LIMITED (GB)
International Classes:
A47L13/58
Foreign References:
US20110099745A12011-05-05
GB2500266A2013-09-18
CN203524609U2014-04-09
US20110203613A12011-08-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHAPMAN, Helga et al. (GB)
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Claims:
An apparatus for cleaning mop material for use with a bucket,

said apparatus comprising a wringer and a scrubbing apparatus,

said scrubbing apparatus comprising a first scrubbing member and a second scrubbing member,

said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member arranged substantially opposite one another,

said first scrubbing member resiliently biased towards said second scrubbing member, such that the distance between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member is variable to engage mop material inserted between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of claim 1 , wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are arranged in a spaced relationship.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of claim 2, wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are arranged to form a channel.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of claim 3, wherein said channel's cross- sectional area can vary along its length.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of claim 1 , wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are resiliently biased to abut one another in the absence of mop material inserted between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member comprise bristles.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein said bristles are generally perpendicular to the plane of the scrubbing member on which they are located.

The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein said resilient bias is provided by a resiliently deformable member.

9. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of claim 7, wherein said resiliently deformable member comprises a spring.

10. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member comprises a resiliently deformable material.

1 1. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are orientated substantially parallel with respect to one another.

12. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are substantially planar. 13. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein mop material is inserted between the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member through an opening.

14. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member comprises a guide element.

15. The apparatus for cleaning mop material of any preceding claim, wherein said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member together have a substantially rectangular cross-section.

16. A cleaning device comprising a bucket and the apparatus of any one preceding claim.

17. The cleaning device of claim 15, wherein said apparatus for cleaning mop material extends into said bucket.

Description:
Cleaning apparatus for cleaning mop material

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a cleaning apparatus, and more particularly to a cleaning apparatus for cleaning mop material. Background to the Invention

Cleaning devices are commonly used to clean surfaces in the home and at workplaces, such as hospitals and commercial premises. One such cleaning device is a mop.

There are several different varieties of mop. One type of mop is known as a 'flat mop', and they generally include a flat mop head. Flat mops are known to comprise a flat mop head which can sweep, mop and apply cleaning fluid to the floor simultaneously.

Such a flat mop head is usually secured to a handle via a threaded or other suitable connection such that the mop head and handle are detachable. The lower side of a flat mop head is typically adapted to carry mop cleaning material, which is usually an absorbent fabric material in the form of a pad or sheet. The cleaning material can be attached directly to the mop head by a fastening mechanism, for example, hook and loop fastening or by the mop head receiving and holding part of the mop material. Once a mop head has been used to clean a surface the mop cleaning material becomes dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced with a new or cleaned material. Replacing a mop head or the material whenever it becomes dirty is not ideal for the user as it requires the user to have a ready supply of new or cleansed mop heads. It also requires the user to touch and interact directly with the mop head and/or mop cleaning material, which is undesirable. Further, it may require the user to wash or dispose of the dirty mop heads, and store them before washing or disposing of them.

To alleviate problems associated with users handling unhygienic cleaning material it is known to provide wringers to clean mop heads and mop head materials. Typically, wringers have been used to several types of mops including string mops and flat mops. A wringer cleans a mop head by removing fluid from the mop head after that fluid has become dirty by being applied to a surface.

However, flat mop material collects and retains loose dirt much more effectively than a string mop, thus, the flat mop's cleaning material requires a more extensive cleaning process. Typically, a flat mop head includes a pair foldable parts. During use, the foldable pieces are locked in a position, such that the majority of the length of the flat mop head is in contact with the surface being cleaning via the cleaning material. The mop flat mop heads can then be released from their locking mechanism and folded relatively together, to form a chevron-like conformation. In this formation, the cleaning typically material freely depends from the mop head. The freely hanging material may then be inserted into a cleaning apparatus, for example, a scrubber or a wringer. Currently, the cleaning apparatuses that clean mop material do not do so adequately. One problem with some cleaning apparatuses is that they do not scrub the surface of the cleaning material, for example, wringers. Another problem some devices do scrub, but they do not scrub with sufficient force or vigour to remove embedded dirt and detritus. A further problem is still is that the scrubbing area of the device may be smaller than the area of the cleaning material, this means the surface of the cleaning material is not fully engaged when being cleaned, and as such time is wasted. On a similar point, a smaller scrubbing device has to potential to become dirty, fouled or worn out more quickly, which would thus require more frequent maintenance and attention from the operator. It is an aim of the present claimed invention to alleviate the problems mentioned above.

Summary of the Invention

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided an apparatus for cleaning mop material for use with a bucket, said apparatus comprising a wringer and a scrubbing apparatus, said scrubbing apparatus comprising a first scrubbing member and a second scrubbing member, said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member arranged substantially opposite one another, said first scrubbing member resiliently biased towards said second scrubbing member, such that the distance between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member is variable to engage mop material inserted between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member.

In this way, there is provided an apparatus for cleaning mop material where the scrubbing members of the mop material are resiliently biased towards one another. The resilient bias helps the scrubbing members in their engagement of the material being cleaned. Furthermore, the resilient bias may confer extra force to scrubbing members. Additionally, the variable nature of the distance between the scrubbing members helps to engage the scrubbing members with the material. Preferably, the first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member are arranged in a spaced relationship. Preferably, the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member are arranged to form a channel. Preferably, the channel's cross-sectional area can vary along its length. Preferably, the channel extends along and parallel to a face of both the scrubbing members. In this way the material being cleaned may be inserted in between the scrubbing members and may be into a channel for cleaning. Once inserted the variable cross- sectional area of the channel may help to engage more of the surface being cleaned than otherwise possible.

Preferably, the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member are resiliently biased to abut one another in the absence of mop material inserted between said first scrubbing member and said second scrubbing member. Preferably, at least one of the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member comprise bristles. Preferably, the bristles are generally perpendicular to the plane of the scrubbing member on which they are located. The bristles engage the surface of the material being cleaned and remove dirt or detritus. Preferably, the resilient bias is provided by a resiliently deformable member. Preferably, the resiliently deformable member comprises a spring. Preferably, at least one of the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member comprises a resiliently deformable material. The resilient deformable member may be deformed along its surface during the cleaning process and as such it helps the scrubbing members engage more fully with the mop material being cleaned along its surface and it also increases the force behind the engagement.

Preferably, the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member are orientated substantially parallel with respect to one another. Preferably, the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member are substantially planar. This shape and orientation may be beneficial as it may complement the shape of the mop material being cleaned, for example a flat mop head.

Preferably, mop material is inserted between the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member through an opening. Preferably, the opening has a substanitally rectangular cross section. Preferably, at least one of the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member comprises a guide element. Preferably, the first scrubbing member and the second scrubbing member together have a substantially rectangular cross-section. According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a cleaning device comprising a bucket and the aforementioned cleaning apparatus.

Preferably, the apparatus for cleaning mop material extends into the bucket. Detailed Description

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a schematic isometric view of an apparatus for cleaning mop material in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic isometric view of an apparatus for cleaning mop material in accordance with the present invention; Figure 3 is a schematic top-down view of a scrubbing apparatus in accordance with the present invention; and

Figure 4 is a schematic side on view of a scrubbing apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to figure 1 and figure 2 of the drawings, there is depicted an embodiment of a cleaning apparatus for cleaning mop material 10. The apparatus 10 is situated within a bucket 20 and comprises two parts: a scrubbing apparatus 30 and wringer 40. The scrubbing apparatus 30 is attached to the material wringer 40 and is located above the bucket's 20 base. The gap between the bucket walls 60 and the scrubbing apparatus 10 allows the insertion of the material mop being cleaned into the bucket 20 before insertion into the cleaning apparatus 10. This gap is also orientated and located so that the material being cleaned can be inserted into the bucket's fluid, then the material surface cleaner 30 and then the wringer 40 without rotation of the material. Referring now to figure 3 and figure 4 of the drawings, there is depicted a top-down view of the an apparatus for cleaning mop material 10 and in particular the scrubbing apparatus 30. The scrubbing apparatus 30 comprises a first scrubbing, or structural, member 80 and a second scrubbing, or structural, member 90.

The first scrubbing member 80 has a generally squared U-shape cross-section and is elongated in the direction perpendicular to the U-shaped cross section, such that it forms a generally U-shaped channel where the channel's width is substantially constant along its length. The first scrubbing member 80 forms a U-shaped channel via a base 100, two side walls 1 10 and a guide portion 95, all of which have substantially rectangular faces.

Each of the two side walls 1 10 comprises an array of apertures 120. The arrays 120 are aligned and evenly spaced along a substantially straight line, and the apertures 120 are substantially parallel to the top and bottom edge of the side walls 1 10 and substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the first scrubbing member 80. The arrays 120 comprise five apertures, three central apertures which are substantially circular 130 and two peripheral apertures which are substantially rectangular with rounded corners 140. The rounded rectangular aperture's 140 longitudinal axis is perpendicular with the straight line orientation of the aperture array 120.

The base 100 of the first scrubbing members comprises an area of bristles 150 or other scrubbing surface, where the bristles 150 protrude in a general perpendicular orientation to the base 100. The bristles 150 comprises many individual bristles in a substantially rectangular shape. The bristles 150 are occupies approximately the whole width of the base 100 and approximately 70-80% of the base's length.

The second scrubbing member 90 comprises two portions, a generally squared U-shaped channel 160 and a guide portion 170. The U-shaped channel portion 160 is similarly proportioned and complementary to the first scrubbing member 80. The length of the portion 160 is substantially similar to the length of the first scrubbing member 80; the channel portion 160 comprises an area of bristles 190 substantially similarly sized and proportioned to the bristles of the first scrubbing member 150; and the portion 160 comprises an evenly spaced straight-line array of five substantially circular apertures 200 along its walls 180 that substantially align with the apertures of the first scrubbing member 130, 140. The portion's base 165 has a slightly narrower width than the base 100, and the walls of the portion 180 are smaller in height than the walls of first scrubbing member 1 10 by approximately 40-60%. As such the second scrubbing member 90 can be inserted into the first scrubbing member 80 such that the two sets of walls 1 10,180 substantially abut along their height and length and that the aperture arrays 120,200 align. However, the two peripheral apertures of the array 200 are circular unlike the elongated rounded rectangular peripheral apertures 140 of the first scrubbing member 80.

The first and second scrubbing members 80,90 are moveably attached by four couplings 210. The couplings 210 comprise a nut, bolt and washer and they are threaded through the aligned peripheral apertures of the aperture arrays 120,200, such that the first and second scrubbing members are attached 80,90 is such a way that the second scrubbing member 90 is movable relative to the first scrubbing member 80 along an axis.

The attachment of the first scrubbing member 80 to the second scrubbing member 90 forms a substantially rectangular cleaning channel 220 between them. The bristle areas of the scrubbing members 150, 190 face into the channel and reduce the channel's cross-sectional area. The channel 220 is open ended at either end. The insertion of cleaning material into the cleaning channel 220 is guided by the guide portions of the first and second scrubbing members 95, 170, respectively. The guide portions 95, 170 are generally planar and rectangular and extend in the same direction as one another, from the base of their respective scrubbing member's 80,90 U-shaped channel.

Now referring to figure 4 of the drawings, each coupling mechanism 210 is itself attached to an anchor element 230 on the outside of the first scrubbing member 80 via a spring 240. The anchors 230 and springs 240 are orientated and attached to the coupling mechanisms 210 such that the springs 240 are stretched when the first and second scrubbing members 80,90 are moved apart. The coupling mechanism 210 is attached internally to the walls 180 of the second scrubbing member 90 via its circular peripheral apertures 200, whilst externally the coupling 210 is movably attached to the rounded rectangular aperture 140. Thus, the coupling mechanisms 210 can translate along the rounded rectangular aperture 140 and translate the second scrubbing member 90 relative to the first scrubbing member 80. The channel's 220 area is adaptive. Additionally, the two coupling mechanisms 210 located on a wall of the first scrubbing member 1 10 maybe translated independently from one another, i.e. the springs 240 along a side 110 can be compressed or stretched independently from the other on that side 110, such that the channel's 220 cross-sectional area can vary along the length of the channel 220.

The second scrubbing member 90 comprises two parts: a main scrubbing member 250 and a resiliently deformable scrubbing member 260. The main scrubbing member 250 comprises a substantially U-shaped channel, whereas the flexible scrubbing member 260 is substantially rectangular and sheet-like. The flexible member 260 is attached to the main member 250 at the top edge of the guide portion 170, this attachment forms a plenum of air between the flexible member 260 and the base 165. The resiliently deformable member 260 extends from the top guide of the guide portion 170 to the bottom of the channel 220 and comprises the area of bristles 190 on its surface. The resiliently deformable member 260 may be resiliently deformed towards the main member 250.

In use, mop material is inserted into the channel 220 of the scrubbing apparatus 30 and agitated predominantly in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the channel 220. The channel 220, the resiliently deformable nature of the channel 220, scrubbing members 80,90 and the resiliently deformable member 260 help to ensure that the bristle areas 150,190 engage the surface of the material to be cleaned. The scrubbing apparatus 30 can be attached to a bucket 20, wringer 40 or similar using the attachment member 270 and the guide portion of the first scrubbing member 95, both of which have apertures for accepting attachment means.




 
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