Title:
STORAGE RECEPTACLE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention describes a storage receptacle (1) for a cleaning device (4) that features a handle (6) and a cleaning head (5), particularly a toilet brush, wherein the storage receptacle (1) comprises at least a main chamber (3) for inserting and storing the cleaning device (4) as well as a closing and sealing arrangement that is coupled to the outer walls of the storage receptacle (1) in such a way that it can be pivoted from an open position into a closed position. According to the invention, the closing and sealing arrangement is formed by two shell elements (28a, 28b) that can be pivoted relative to one another. The storage receptacle (1) of the invention is characterized by the simple handling of the cleaning device (4) during its insertion and removal as well as by its appealing visual appearance.



Inventors:
Weis, Norbert (Heddesheim, DE)
Juergens, Ralf (Glen Ellyn, IL, US)
Mcknight, David (Hinsdale, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/874666
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Assignee:
Carl Freudenberg KG (Weinheim, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/160, 206/349, 206/361
International Classes:
B65D83/00; A45C11/00; A46B9/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RIGGLEMAN, JASON PAUL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD (TWO PRUDENTIAL PLAZA, SUITE 4900 180 NORTH STETSON AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL, 60601-6731, US)
Claims:
1. A storage receptacle for a cleaning device having a handle and a cleaning head, the storage receptacle comprising: a main chamber for inserting and storing the cleaning device and a closing and sealing arrangement that is coupled to an outer wall of the storage receptacle so as to be pivotable between an open position and a closed position, the closing and sealing arrangement including two shell elements that are pivotable relative to one another.

2. The storage receptacle according to claim 1, further including pivoting devices for automatically pivoting the two shell elements into the closed position when the cleaning device is inserted into the main chamber.

3. The storage receptacle according to claim 2, wherein the automatic pivoting devices comprise lever elements.

4. The storage receptacle according to claim 1, wherein the main chamber comprises a separate first receptacle element that is arrangeable on top of a pedestal-like second receptacle element that carries the two pivotable shell elements.

5. The storage receptacle according to claim 4, wherein the first and second receptacle elements are connectable to each other via a plug-type connection.

6. The storage receptacle according to claim 1, further including a device for directing cleaning fluid on the cleaning device.

7. The storage receptacle according to claim 6, wherein the device for directing cleaning fluid on the cleaning device is arranged in a secondary chamber that is connected to the main chamber via a through-opening.

8. The storage receptacle according to claim 7, wherein the secondary chamber with the device for directing cleaning fluid upon the cleaning device is located is in a pedestal-like second receptacle element.

9. The storage receptacle according to claim 8, wherein the device for directing cleaning fluid on the cleaning device comprises a spray container.

10. The storage receptacle according to claim 9, further including an actuating mechanism for actuating the spray container, wherein said actuating mechanism is triggerable by inserting the cleaning device into the storage receptacle.

11. The storage receptacle according to claim 10, further including a resetting mechanism for closing the spray container after a brief discharge of cleaning fluid.

12. The storage receptacle according to claim 11, wherein the resetting mechanism includes a spring.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention pertains to a storage receptacle for a cleaning device that features a handle and a cleaning head, particularly for a toilet brush.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A storage receptacle of the initially cited type is known from US 2004/0159330 A1. This known storage receptacle comprises a main chamber for inserting and storing a toilet brush. The storage receptacle can be closed and sealed by means of a cover element that is laterally arranged on the receptacle and can be pivoted from an open position into a closed position. The cover element is pivoted from the closed position into the open position in order to insert the toilet brush, wherein the toilet brush is inserted in an oblique position through the lateral opening and subsequently positioned vertically and fixed in the receptacle.

The disadvantage of this known cleaning receptacle is that the surroundings as well as the inside and the outside of the receptacle walls may become soiled by residual water or residual contaminants that drip off the brush head when inserting the toilet brash, which typically is still wet after being used, into the receptacle in an oblique position through the relatively narrow opening. Therefore, it is hardly avoidable that the outer receptacle walls will come in contact with and thereby be soiled by the bristles of the toilet brash, particularly in the upper region of the insertion opening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is based on the objective of additionally developing a storage receptacle of the initially cited type in such a way that the cleaning device can be easily inserted into it while causing the least contamination possible, particularly from the outer receptacle walls and its surroundings.

A storage receptacle for a cleaning device that features a handle and a cleaning head, particularly a toilet brush, comprises at least one main chamber for inserting and storing the cleaning device as well as a closing and sealing arrangement that is coupled to the outer walls of the storage receptacle in such a way that it can be pivoted from an open position to a closed position. According to the invention, the closing and sealing arrangement is composed of two shell elements that can be pivoted relative to one another.

Due to this relatively simple constructive means, the insertion opening exposed by the opened shell elements is sufficiently large for easily inserting the vertically positioned cleaning device from the top. Droplets that may drip off the cleaning device are collected and guided into the interior of the receptacle because the shell elements form a type of funnel with walls that upwardly widen in an essentially conical fashion in their open position. The undesirable and visually unpleasant soiling of the outer walls of the storage receptacle is thereby prevented.

The symmetric arrangement of the shell elements also makes it possible to easily install an automatic closing mechanism, for example, in the form of a lever arrangement that automatically causes the shell elements to pivot into the closed position when the cleaning device is inserted into the storage receptacle.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the main chamber is realized in the form of a separate receptacle element that can be placed on a second receptacle element from the top, wherein the second receptacle element features the two shell elements that can be pivoted relative to one another and is realized similarly to a pedestal.

This embodiment provides the advantage that the emptying and cleaning of the storage receptacle can be realized in a simple and hygienic fashion. The storage receptacle can be emptied and cleaned by simply lifting the receptacle element with the main chamber off the receptacle element realized in the form of a pedestal and separately cleaning this receptacle element. No other parts need be disassembled or removed. After the cleaning process is completed, both receptacle elements can be easily reconnected to one another. Another advantage of the described embodiment is that the receptacle element with the main chamber can be realized with a very simple geometric design, for example, similar to that of a pot, and therefore easily cleaned. Since the size of the receptacle element does not significantly exceed the size of the brush head in order to achieve the highest concentration of cleaning fluid possible in the main chamber with the least quantity added to it, it is also possible to rinse out the receptacle element with cleaning fluid in a bathtub.

The two receptacle elements are advantageously connected to one another by means of a plug-type connection. This makes it possible very easily to separate and reconnect the two elements with a minimal expenditure of force.

The receptacle element realized in the form of a pedestal can also be realized much wider than the receptacle element with the main chamber in order to ensure adequate stability of the entire storage receptacle without compromising the visual appearance or realizing the entire storage receptacle with an excessively large volume.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, devices are provided for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid. These devices make it possible immediately to clean and disinfect the cleaning device thoroughly after each use. Unpleasant odors are not developed, even after extended periods of disuse. The aforementioned devices may be placed, for example, in a secondary chamber of the storage receptacle that is connected to the main chamber by means of a through-opening.

In one particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the secondary chamber with the device for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid is located in the receptacle element realized in the form of a pedestal. Such an arrangement is characterized in a simple and compact design. Another advantage can be seen in that, for example, a receptacle with cleaning fluid can be easily exchanged by lifting off the receptacle element with the main chamber.

The devices for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid preferably comprise a spray bottle, a cartridge or a dispenser with cleaning fluid analogously to the prior art. The storage and purposeful addition of cleaning fluid is particularly simple in these instances.

The spray bottle or the cartridge or the dispenser must be arranged in the storage receptacle, for example, in a secondary chamber, such that the cleaning fluid is introduced into the main chamber accommodating the cleaning device to be cleaned via the common through-opening. The geometric arrangement is not subject to any other restrictions. For example, the secondary chamber may be arranged, centrally as well as non-centrally relative to the main axis of the cleaning receptacle. However, it is preferred that the cleaning head of the cleaning element is acted upon by cleaning fluid from the bottom analogously to the prior art in order to achieve the best cleaning results possible.

The addition of the cleaning fluid can be easily realized by actuating the opening mechanisms that are already provided on spray bottles, cartridges or dispensers, e.g., by depressing the head of the spray bottle or the cartridge or the dispenser.

The spray bottle, cartridge or dispenser can be easily actuated manually.

However, the storage receptacle of the invention is advantageously provided with an actuating mechanism for automatically actuating the spray bottle, cartridge, dispenser or other device for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid, wherein said actuating mechanism is triggered, for example, by inserting the cleaning device into the storage receptacle. Such automated actuating mechanisms are generally known. They are typically realized in the form of projections, levers or the like that are provided on the storage receptacle and actuate the opening mechanism, for example, of the spray bottle, the cartridge or the dispenser when the cleaning device is inserted into the storage receptacle, particularly by depressing the head of the spray bottle, the cartridge or the dispenser.

In addition, an automatic resetting mechanism is advantageously provided for closing the spray bottle, cartridge, dispenser or other device for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid after a brief discharge of cleaning fluid. Such resetting mechanisms are also generally known. For reasons of simplicity, spring elements that counteract the movement for triggering the actuating mechanism are used for this purpose.

In another preferred embodiment of the invention, a time switch is provided for actuating the opening mechanism. Due to these measures, the cleaning process can be carried out within regular, freely adjustable time intervals, particularly after extended storage periods during which the cleaning device is not used. If the cleaning fluid used also contains aromatics, the non-hermetic seal of the cleaning receptacle also leads to the pleasant side effect of regularly releasing a fragrance into the surroundings.

In addition to the above-described device for acting upon the cleaning device with a cleaning fluid, it is also possible to provide other devices for cleaning the cleaning device, for example, lamps that emit fluorescent light in order to kill bacteria or the like.

The above-described storage receptacle is intended for use, in particular, in sanitary applications. It is particularly preferred that the described storage receptacle be used to store and, if so required, clean toilets brushes.

However, the storage receptacle of the invention is generally suitable for storing and, if so required, cleaning all types of cleaning devices that feature a handle and a cleaning head, for example, for storing and cleaning toothbrushes.

The storage receptacle of the invention can not only be used for storing and, if so required, cleaning brushes, but also is suitable, in principle, for cleaning devices in which the cleaning head is not realized in the form of a brush, but rather a molded body consisting of a foam or a nonwoven material or the like.

All conceivable cleaning agents used in the sanitary industry may be used as cleaning fluid.

When used in toilets, it is particularly preferred to utilize cleaning fluids that contain so-called “drying accelerators,” for example, liquids that form an azeotrope when they are mixed with water. For example, alcohols, such as, in particular, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol, are particularly suitable for use as drying accelerators.

Furthermore, the cleaning fluids to be used in the context of the invention may conventionally contain antibacterial/antimicrobial substances, particularly quarternary ammonium chlorides such as, e.g., octyldecyldimethylammonium chloride, dioctyldimethylammonium chloride, didecyldimethylammonium chloride, alkyldimethylbenzylammonium saccharate as well as phenols, for example, o-phenylphenol, o-benzyl-p-chlorophenol, triclosane, silver and silver salts, hydrogen peroxide in free or bound form, hypochlorite, chlorine in free or bound form.

As mentioned above, aromatics may also be admixed to the cleaning fluid.

A particularly preferred cleaning medium contains: 0.1% alkyl[50% 0(14), 40% 0(12), 10% 0(16)]dimethylbenzylammonium saccharate 79% ethanol 20.9% miscellaneous inert additives.

The invention is described in greater detail below with reference to the embodiment illustrated in the drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal section view of a preferred embodiment of the storage receptacle of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a storage receptacle 1 with a first receptacle element 2 that features a main chamber 3 with a cleaning device 4 comprising a cleaning head 5 and a handle 6 situated therein. Although the invention is not limited to such embodiments, the cleaning device 4 in the embodiment shown consists of a toilet brush with bristles 7. In this FIGURE, the reference symbol 12 identifies a second receptacle element. A secondary chamber with a spray bottle 15 is arranged in the second receptacle element 12. Although the invention is not limited to such embodiments, the storage receptacle 1 consists of two parts in the embodiment shown. This provides the advantage that the receptacle element 2 with the main chamber 3 can be easily lifted off the second receptacle element 12 in order to be emptied and cleaned and reattached after the cleaning process.

In the embodiment shown, the secondary chamber 13 for the spray bottle 15 is also formed by a centrally arranged retainer 22 in the receptacle element 12 that has the form of a hollow cylinder. A radial widening 23 for accommodating the receptacle element 2 is arranged above the retainer 22 in the form of a hollow cylinder. The through-opening 16 to the main chamber 3 of the receptacle element 2 is arranged in the bottom of the receptacle element 2 directly above the head 17 of the spray bottle 15 such that the cleaning fluid is sprayed into the main chamber 3 with the cleaning head 5 from the bottom when the opening mechanism for the spray bottle 15 is actuated.

The hollow-cylindrical retainer 22 for the spray bottle 15 as well as the radial widening 23 for inserting the receptacle element 2 are bordered by an actuating element 24 that can be inserted into a corresponding receptacle 26 in the receptacle element 12 and displaced vertically downward relative to it, against the force of a spring element 27 arranged on the bottom of the receptacle element 12. This arrangement makes it possible automatically to close the receptacle 2 during the insertion of the cleaning device 4 as described below.

In the embodiment shown, two shell elements 28a, 28b that can be pivoted relative to one another are coupled to the upper circumferential region of the receptacle element 12 in order to close and seal the storage receptacle. In the FIGURE, both shell elements are in an open position. Lever elements 29a, 29b that are rigidly connected to the shell elements 28a, 28b are provided for automatically pivoting the shell elements into the closed position when the cleaning device 4 is inserted into the main chamber 3, wherein said lever elements are coupled to the inner walls 30 of the receptacle element 12 in the region of the radial widening as well as to the actuating element 24.

When pressure is exerted upon the receptacle element 2 from above, for example, during the insertion of the cleaning device 4 into the main chamber 3, it is moved downward and analogously exerts pressure upon the actuating element 24 that is also moved downward against the spring force of the spring element 27. This movement of the actuating element causes the lever elements 29a and 29b coupled to the actuating element 24 to tilt downwards such that the shell elements 28a, 28b pivot in the direction of their closed position. The spring force of the spring element 27 and the weight of cleaning device 4 are ideally adapted to one another in such a way that the insertion of the cleaning device 4 only results in the closing of the receptacle element 2, and the opening mechanism of the spray bottle 15 is not actuated unless additional pressure is exerted upon the handle 6 of the cleaning device. This provides the advantage that the cleaning device 4 can be stored in a closed receptacle element 2 without causing the opening mechanism of the spray bottle 15 to be actuated automatically.

In the embodiment shown, the spray bottle 15 protrudes into the retainer for the receptacle element 2 in the region of the radial widening 23 to such an extent that the spray head is briefly depressed if additional pressure is briefly exerted after the cleaning device 4 is inserted into the main chamber 3 and the shell elements 28a, 28b are pivoted into the closed position. This results in cleaning fluid being briefly sprayed upwards into the main chamber 3.

It is advantageous in the embodiment shown, as well as generally, to construct and arrange the two shell elements in such a way that they automatically pivot apart into their open position due to gravitational force when the cleaning device is removed and the lever elements are no longer subjected to pressure.