Title:
Low profile combination scrubbing and squeegee device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A low profile combination brush and scrubbing device used to clean tight fitting, narrow, hard to reach windows on a motor vehicle. The device comprises a low profile body with a cleaning surface, such as a sponge or cleaning pad attached on its top surface, and a rubber blade attached along its front surface that extends downward in a direction opposite the cleaning surface. Connected to the body is an articulating elongated pole. Disposed between the body and the elongated pole is a rotating joint that enables the user to rotate the body 180 degrees around the central axis of the elongated pole. Disposed between the body and the elongated pole are first and second pivoting joints that allow the user to selectively adjust the angular position of the pole and body so that the body may be placed against the surface of both windows. The three joints work together to allow the user to easily adjust the position of the elongated pole on the body so that the device may be used on tight fitting, hard to reach surfaces of a vehicle.



Inventors:
Boothby, Michael (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/032800
Publication Date:
06/27/2002
Filing Date:
12/26/2001
Assignee:
BOOTHBY MICHAEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/144.2, 15/220.1, 15/244.2, 15/245, 15/144.1
International Classes:
A47L1/06; A47L13/11; A47L13/12; B25G1/06; (IPC1-7): A47L1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GUIDOTTI, LAURA COLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dean A. Craine (Bellevue, WA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A low profile, combination brush and squeegee device, comprising: a. a body having a top surface a bottom surface and a front edge, said body having a center axis and a cleaning surface longitudinally attached on one side and cleaning blade longitudinally aligned and extended above the opposite side of said body; b. an articulating elongated pole, said pole including a longitudinal center axis and a long section and a short section; c. a first pivoting joint disposed between said long section and said short section of said pole enabling said short section to rotate around an axis perpendicular to said longitudinal axis of said pole; d. a second pivoting joint disposed between said short section of said pole and said body, enabling said body to selectively pivot along the same axis as said first pivoting joint so that said body may be positioned at different angles with respect to said pole; e. a rotating joint disposed between said body and said short section of said pole, enabling said body to rotate 180 degrees around said longitudinal axis of said short section; f. a cleaning surface attached to said body; and, g. a squeegee blade attached to said body and extending from said body opposite said cleaning surface.

2. The device, as recited in claim 1, further including an elastic cord disposed between said body and said elongated pole to resiliently hold said body on said pole and allow said body to rotate over said rotating joint.

3. The device, as recited in claim 2, wherein said rotating joint includes a coupler attached to said second rotating joint with a pair of bores formed therein and two pegs attached to said body, said pegs capable of being inserted into said bores to perpendicularly align said body on said elongated pole.

4. The device, as recited in claim 2, wherein said elastic cord extends longitudinally through bores formed centrally on from body and said coupler and said second pivoting joint to resiliently hold said body and said coupler together.

5. The device, as recited in claim 1, wherein said elongated pole is 56 inches in length.

6. The device, as recited in claim 1, wherein said body is 6 inches in length.

7. The device, as recited in claim 1, wherein said body is 1 inch think.

8. A low profile, combination scrubber and squeegee device, comprising a. an elongated pole; b. a body having a scrubber surface and an squeegee blade located on opposite surfaces; c. an offset fixed rotating joint disposed between said body and said elongated pole enabling said body to be selectively rotate 180 degrees around the longitudinal axis of said elongated pole; and, d. means to bias said combination scrubber and squeegee to said offset rotating joint.

9. The combination scrubber and squeegee device as recited in claim 8, wherein said rotating joint diagonally aligns said body ten degrees relative to the longitudinal axis of said elongated pole.

10. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 9, wherein said rotating joint includes a coupler attached to said elongated pole and a neck attached to said body, said coupler and base having complementary-shaped surfaces that enable said coupler and neck to be aligned.

11. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 10, further including two pegs attached to said neck and two offset bores formed on said coupler so that when said coupler and base are registered and aligned and said pegs are inserted into said bores, said neck is offset from said coupler.

12. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 13, wherein said bores are offset approximately ten degrees from the longitudinal axis of said coupler.

13. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 10, wherein said means for biasing is an elastic cord that extends from said elongated pole to said body.

14. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 8, further including a first pivoting joint attached to said elongated joint dividing said elongated pole into long and short sections.

15. The combination scrubber and sqeeegee device, as recited in claim 8, further including a second pivoting joint located adjacent to said rotating joint enabling said body to pivot around the transverse axis of said elongated pole.

16. The combination scrubber and squeegee device, as recited in claim 8, wherein said bore and coupler include longitudinally aligned bores through which said elastic cord extends.

Description:

[0001] This is a utility patent application based on a provisional patent application (Serial No. 60/258,463) filed on Dec. 27, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention pertains to squeegees, and more particularly, to low profile squeegees used to clean surfaces in tight fitting spaces, such as exterior window surfaces on a cab and a canopy of a pickup truck.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Combination brush and squeegee heads attached to an elongated handle are commonly used to clean windows. Typically, the brush and squeegee, mounted on opposite sides of a head, are alternatively moved across the window surface to clean and remove water from the window, respectively. Unfortunately, the combination of a brush and squeegee mounted on opposite sides of a head creates a relatively tall tool that is not well suited for cleaning windows in tight fitting spaces.

[0006] In order to clean the exterior rear window on a pickup truck, the individual usually uses a brush mounted on the end of an elongated handle that enables him or her to stand on one side of the truck and reach across the cab to clean the rear window. The length of the handle must be sufficient so that the user may position the brush at least halfway across the window.

[0007] A squeegee is used to completely remove water droplets from the window. In order to operate properly, the edge of the rubber blade on the squeegee must be held tightly at approximately a 30-degree angle against the glass as the blade is continuously pulled across the entire glass. Because the window frame or sill protrudes outward from the glass, the angle of the squeegee must be adjusted as the squeegee is pulled across the glass so that the blade remains in contact with the class and the squeegee is pulled against the frame or sill.

[0008] On a pickup truck with a canopy attached to the bed, the windows on the truck and canopy are approximately one inch apart. Unfortunately, due to the closeness of the windows, typical squeegees are too thick or wide to fit into the space between the windows or manipulated so that the brush or squeegee contacts the entire surfaces of the windows.

[0009] What is needed is a low profile combination brush and squeegee device with an elongated pole that allows the user to clean and remove water droplets from truck or canopy windows or other windows located in spaces with narrow clearances.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] It is an object of the present invention to provide a low profile combination brush and squeegee device.

[0011] It is another object of the present invention to provide such a device that is attached to an elongated pole that allows the user to reach and clean windows in tight fitting spaces, such as the rear windows on a truck or canopy.

[0012] These and other objects of the present invention which will become apparent are met by the low profile combination scrubbing and squeegee device disclosed herein comprising a low profile body with a cleaning surface such as a sponge or brush attached to the top surface, and a thin, squeegee blade attached to the front surface that extends downward from the opposite bottom surface. Connected to the body is an articulating elongated pole that enables the user to stand next to the truck and position the body against the glass to be cleaned. The elongated pole includes a long section and a short section with a first pivoting joint located there between that allows the user to adjust the angular position of the short section of the elongated pole with respect to the long section. Disposed between the distal end of the short section and the body is a rotating joint that enables the user to rotate the body 180 degrees around the center axis. During use, the user may rotate the body so that either the cleaning surface or the squeegee blade may be positioned against the glass without adjusting the first pivoting joint. In the preferred embodiment, the rotating joint includes a hollow central pin, two alignment pins, and a biasing means that tightly holds the body on the distal end of the short section. In the first embodiment, a second pivoting joint is disposed between the short section and the rotating joint that allows the user to selectively adjust the angle of the body with respect to the short section. In a second embodiment, the pivoting joint is replaced with at a fixed angle joint so that the cleaning surface or squeegee blade is always oriented at a fixed angle with respect to the short section. Together, the pivoting and rotating joints allow the user to easily and quickly adjust the angle of the elongated pole and the body so that the device may be continuously and completely moved over close fitting windows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is perspective view of the low profile, combination brush and squeegee device.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a pickup truck with a canopy.

[0015] FIG. 3 is an illustration showing the device being used to clean the rear window of the pickup truck shown in FIG. 2.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the illustration shown in FIG. 3.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the invention.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the invention.

[0019] FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the device.

[0020] FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the device.

[0021] FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the adjustment joint being used to adjust the relative positions of the body and elongated pole.

[0022] FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the pivoting joint showing the body being selectively rotated around the elongated pole.

[0023] FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the rotation joint taken along line 11-11 in FIG. 6.

[0024] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention wherein the body is oriented at a fixed angle with respect to the short section on the elongated pole.

[0025] FIG. 13 is a sectional side elevational view taken along line 13-13 in FIG. 12.

[0026] FIG. 14 is a sectional end elevational view taken along line 14-14 in FIG. 13.

[0027] FIG. 15 is a sectional, end elevational view taken along line 15-15 in FIG. 13.

[0028] FIG. 16A-16D is a set of side elevational views showing eh movement of the body around the end of the elongated pole.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0029] Shown in FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of a low profile combination brush and squeegee device 10 disclosed herein used to clean windows or glass surfaces in tight spaces.

[0030] FIGS. 2-4 show a pickup truck 90 with a front cab 91 and a canopy 92 located behind the front cab 91 and attached over the bed of the truck 90. A narrow gap 97 is formed between the cab 91 and canopy 92. The cab 91 and canopy 92 both include rear and front windows, 94, 95 respectively, which the driver looks through when driving. It should be easily appreciated that both windows 94, 95 become dirty over time. Because the windows 94, 95 are placed inside recessed frames and the rear edge of the cab 91 and the front edge of the canopy 92 are only a few inches apart, it is very difficult to clean the entire windows 94, 95 with a sponge or brush. While a narrow brush or squeegee mounted on a pole may be used to clean the outer portions of the two windows 94, 95, they cannot be used to clean or remove water droplets from the entire window. The device 10, shown more clearly in FIGS. 1-16D, is a low profile, combination brush and squeegee device 10 designed to allow individuals to easily and quickly clean both windows 94, 95.

[0031] FIGS. 1-11 show a first embodiment of the device, generally denoted as 10, which includes a low profile rectangular-shaped body 12, a sponge 20 attached to one planar surface 13, and a squeegee blade 30 attached to the opposite planar surface or to the front surface 15 (shown). The squeegee blade 30 is designed to extend downward in a direction opposite the sponge 20.

[0032] The device 10 includes articulating elongated pole 50 designed to allow the user to adjusted the orientation of its distal end so it may be easily inserted between the cab and the canopy and position the body 12 against the glass or surface. As shown in FIG. 1, the articulating elongated pole 50 includes a long section 51 and a short section 55. Disposed between the long section 51 and short section 55 is a first pivoting joint 60 that enables the short section 55 to pivot approximately 120 degrees around the long section's transverse axis 52. In the preferred embodiment, the first pivoting joint 60 includes a male and female hinge members 62, 64 with transversely aligned pin 65 disposed between them to pivotally connect them together.

[0033] Disposed between the distal end of the short section 55 and the body 12 is a second pivoting joint 70 that also allows the distal end of the elongated pole 50 to be further adjusted relative to the longitudinal axis 62 of the long section 51. The second pivoting joint 70 allows the user to extend the elongated pole 50 through the space formed between the cab and canopy without touching the cab or canopy surface and the finely adjust the position the body on the end of the elongated pole 50 so that the squeegee blade 30 is properly position against the glass or surface. Like the first pivoting joint 60, the second pivoting joint 70 allows the body 12 to pivot approximately 120 degrees with respect to the short section's transverse axis 56.

[0034] As shown in FIG. 5, the second pivoting joint 70 includes a T-shaped receiver 71 with a central neck 72 and two opposite ears 73, 74. During assembly, the neck 72 is forced into the hollow distal end of the short section 55 to attach the receiver 71 to the short section 55. Formed between the two ears 73, 74 is a space 75 in which the central portion 78 of a complementary shaped coupler 77 is inserted. The coupler 77 includes a perpendicularly aligned central portion 78 with a transversely aligned bore 79 formed therein. The front and rear surfaces 80, 81, respectively, of the coupler 77 are flat and perpendicularly aligned to the coupler's transverse axis.

[0035] Holes 82, 83 are formed in the two ears 73, 74, respectively. During assembly, the receiver 71 and coupler 77 are aligned and registered so that the holes 82, 83 and the bore 79 on the coupler 77 are aligned and capable of receiving a pin 84 to rotatably attach the coupler 77 to the receiver 71.

[0036] Also attached to the distal end of the short section 55 adjacent to the second pivoting joint 70 is a rotating joint 85 that enables the body to rotate 180 degrees around the elongated pole's longitudinal axis. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-11, the rotating joint 85 includes a perpendicularly aligned neck 86 integrally formed or attached to the rear surface of the body 12. The neck 86 includes a flat rear surface 86A with two pegs 87, 88 that extend rearward therefrom. Two bores 78A, 78B are formed on the front surface 80 of the coupler 77 receive the pegs 87, 88 to lock the body 12 in position on the coupler 77.

[0037] Formed centrally inside the receiver 71, the coupler 77 and the neck 86 are three bores 75, 81, 87, respectively, which are longitudinally aligned when the device 10 is assembled. During assembly, an elastic cord 40 is extended through the bores 75, 81, 87 to resiliently hold the receiver 71, coupler 77 and the neck 86 together. During assembly, knots are tied on the ends of the elastic cord 40 to prevent it from being pulled through the bores 75, 81, and 87.

[0038] During use, the body 12 is pulled distally so that the pegs 87, 88 are pulled away from the bores 78A, 78B so that the body 12 is able to rotated 180 degrees so that the sponge 20 and squeegee blade 30 may exchange their relative locations on the distal end of the elongated pole 50.

[0039] The joints 70, 80, 85 are sufficiently stiff so that they maintain their relative positions during use. The joints 70, 80, 85 also work together to allow the user to easily adjust the device 10 to easily use the device on tight fitting, hard to reach surfaces of a vehicle, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0040] Shown in FIGS. 12-16D is a second embodiment of the device, denoted 110, that is easier to use and manufacture. On the device 110′, the second pivoting joint 80 is eliminated and the body 112 is offset on the end of the coupler 111 at approximately a ten-degree angle from the longitudinal axis on the short section 55. The coupler 111 includes a half-spherical distal surface that is designed to insert into the curved recessed surface 123 formed on the inside surface of the neck 122 formed on the body 112. The neck 122 is centrally aligned and integrally attached or formed on the body 12. The body 112 includes a flat top surface 113 and a diagonally aligned front surface 114. A squeegee blade 30 is attached to the front surface 114. A semi-circular sponge 130 is adhesively attached to the top surface 113 and adhesively attached to the upper edge of the squeegee blade 30. In the preferred embodiment, a longitudinally aligned semi-circular recessed surface 140 is formed on the bottom surface of the body 112. The recessed surface 140 allows the user to avoid the window sill to moved the rubber blade against the outer edge of the glass. Formed centrally in the body 112 and extending from the neck to the recessed surface 140 is a transversely aligned bore 142. In the second embodiment, the front surface 114 of the body 112 that supports the squeegee blade 30 is oriented 35 to 45 degrees from the vertical axis. Together with the 10 degree offset angle of the coupler 111, the squeegee blade 30 may be pulled across the entire glass surface at a properly position for cleaning.

[0041] Aligned longitudinally inside the short section 55 is an elastic cord 40 that extends through the coupler 110, the neck 122, and the body 112. Knots are tied on the ends of the elastic cord 40 to prevent the ends from slipping through the coupler 111 and body 112. Attached to the inside surface of the neck 112 on opposite sides of the elastic cord 40 are two pegs 146, 148. During assembly, the pegs 146, 148 are inserted into two bores 124, 126 formed on the distal end of the coupler 111. The bores 124, 126 are offset at approximately ten degrees from the longitudinal axis of the coupler 111 so that the body 112 is offset approximately ten degrees.

[0042] During use, the body 112 may be selectively rotated similar to the first embodiment so that the user may use the sponge 20 or blade 30. To rotate the body 112, the body 112 is pulled longitudinally so that the pegs 146, 148 clear the bores 124, 126. The body 112 is then rotated 180 degrees so that the sponge 20 and blade 30 exchange positions. The pegs 146, 148 are then inserted into the bores 124, 126 and body 112 to reset on the coupler 111.

[0043] The second embodiment may be used with or without the first and second pivoting joints 60, 70 assembled in the elongated pole.

[0044] In the preferred embodiment, the body 12 measures 4 to 6 inches in length, 1 to 1½ inches in width, and {fraction (1/2)} to 1 inch in thickness. The long section 51 of the elongated pole 50 measures approximately 48 inches in length and {fraction (1/2)} inch in diameter. The short section 55 of the elongated pole 50 measures approximately 6 inches in length, thus making the overall length of the device 10 approximately 56 inches.

[0045] In compliance with the statute, the invention described herein has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown, is comprised only of the preferred embodiments for putting the invention into effect. The invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the amended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.