Title:
Steamer attachment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A steamer attachment (10) allows a user to selectively dispense steam from a steamer (12). The attachment (10) broadly comprises a body (14), a first and second steam distributor (16,18) located in a head (20) of the body (14), and a valve (22) located in a handle (24) of the body (14). The first distributor (16) preferably comprises a nozzle (52) to concentrate the steam and a brush (54). The second distributor (18) preferably comprises a plurality of holes (56) to disperse the steam. The second distributor (18) may also include a detachable diffusor (58) to further disperse the steam. The valve (22) preferably opens a first path toward the first distributor (16) before closing a second path toward the second distributor (18). Thus, the steam always has at least one available path, in order to prevent pressure buildup within the steamer (12).



Inventors:
Lee, Benny (Kansas City, MO, US)
Application Number:
10/352596
Publication Date:
07/29/2004
Filing Date:
01/27/2003
Assignee:
LEE BENNY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/320
International Classes:
D06F73/00; (IPC1-7): D06C7/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050204479Self-cleaning spinner topSeptember, 2005Strait
20090145172Washing machine with ultraviolet protection cycleJune, 2009Lubert et al.
20090007601Washing Machine, and Ozone GeneratorJanuary, 2009Suzuki et al.
20090307850Determination of the water storage capacity of textiles in a washing machine, and corresponding washing machineDecember, 2009Czyzewski et al.
20090320530Control panel of laundry machineDecember, 2009Kim et al.
20070012074Foam sensor of drum washing machineJanuary, 2007Hong et al.
20090119848CLOTHES TREATING MACHINE AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE SAMEMay, 2009Kim et al.
20070283726Washing machine and method of controlling spin drying thereofDecember, 2007Lee et al.
20070125134Detergent supply apparatus of washing machineJune, 2007Park
20090293553MODULAR LAUNDRY SYSTEM WITH SEGMENTED WORK SURFACEDecember, 2009Kendall et al.
20080263783Drum washing machine and washing method thereofOctober, 2008Pyo



Primary Examiner:
STINSON, FRANKIE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOVEY WILLIAMS LLP (Kansas City, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A steamer attachment operable to join with a hose of a steamer to dispense steam from the steamer, the attachment comprising: a first steam distributor operable to dispense the steam through a nozzle; a second steam distributor operable to dispense the steam through a plurality of holes; and a valve operable to selectively direct steam toward either the first distributor or the second distributor.

2. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, further including a brush operable to join with the nozzle.

3. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, wherein the holes are substantially linearly arranged.

4. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, wherein the holes are substantially evenly spaced.

5. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, further including a diffusor operable to cover the holes and diffuse the steam.

6. The attachment as set forth in claim 5, wherein the diffusor is detachable.

7. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, wherein the valve opens a first path toward the first distributor before closing a second path toward the second distributor thereby preventing pressure buildup.

8. The attachment as set forth in claim 1, further including a body with a handle and a head.

9. The attachment as set forth in claim 8, wherein the valve is located in the handle and the distributors are located in the head.

10. A steamer attachment operable to join with a hose of a steamer to dispense steam from the steamer, the attachment comprising: a body having a handle and a head; a first steam distributor located in the head and operable to dispense the steam through a nozzle; a second steam distributor located in the head and operable to dispense the steam through a plurality of holes; and a valve located in the handle and operable to selectively direct steam toward either the first distributor or the second distributor.

11. The attachment as set forth in claim 10, further including a brush operable to join with the nozzle.

12. The attachment as set forth in claim 10, wherein the holes are substantially linearly arranged and evenly spaced.

13. The attachment as set forth in claim 10, further including a detachable diffusor operable cover the holes and diffuse the steam.

14. The attachment as set forth in claim 10, wherein the valve opens a first path toward the first distributor before closing a second path toward the second distributor thereby preventing pressure buildup.

15. A steamer attachment operable to join with a hose of a steamer to dispense steam from the steamer, the attachment comprising: a body having a handle and a head, wherein the head includes mounting indentations; a first steam distributor located in the head and operable to dispense the steam through a nozzle; a second steam distributor located in the head operable to dispense the steam through a plurality of substantially evenly spaced holes, wherein the holes are substantially linearly arranged; a valve located in the handle and operable to selectively direct steam toward either the first distributor or the second distributor while preventing pressure buildup; a brush operable to join with the nozzle; and a diffusor operable to detachably engage the indentations and cover the holes to diffuse the steam.

16. A steamer operable to dispense steam through a plurality of apertures, the steamer comprising: a steam generator operable to generate the steam; a hose connected to the generator and operable to guide the steam from the generator; and an attachment operable to join with the hose and including— a first steam distributor operable to dispense the steam through a nozzle, a second steam distributor operable to dispense the steam through a plurality of holes, and a valve operable to selectively direct steam toward either the first distributor or the second distributor.

17. The steamer as set forth in claim 16, further including a brush operable to join with the nozzle.

18. The steamer as set forth in claim 16, wherein the holes are substantially linearly arranged and evenly spaced.

19. The steamer as set forth in claim 16, further including a detachable diffusor operable cover the holes and diffuse the steam.

20. The steamer as set forth in claim 16, wherein the valve opens a first path toward the first distributor before closing a second path toward the second distributor thereby preventing pressure buildup.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to steamer attachments. More particularly, the present invention provides a steamer attachment that allows a user to selectively dispense steam from different apertures of a steamer.

[0003] 2. Description of Prior Art

[0004] Steamers are frequently used in homes and businesses to clean and/or remove wrinkles from clothes, drapes and other items. However, tasks, such as removing spots and wrinkles, are generally at odds and require different attachments. Specifically, removing spots typically requires that steam is concentrated directly on the spot. Conversely, efficiently removing wrinkles typically requires that steam is dispersed over a wider surface area of clothes.

[0005] Therefore, people currently have to change attachments between such tasks. In order to change attachments, the steamer must be shut-off to avoid steam burns and other hazards. Once the steamer has cooled down, the person may switch attachments and turn the steamer back on. Finally, the user must wait for the steamer to heat back up. Thus, switching attachments can be very time consuming.

[0006] Accordingly, there is a need for an improved steamer attachment that overcomes the limitations of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention overcomes the above-identified problems and provides a distinct advance in the art of steamer attachments. More particularly, the present invention provides a steamer attachment that allows a user to selectively dispense steam from different apertures of a steamer to remove both spots and wrinkles with the same attachment. The steamer itself is conventional and preferably includes a hose and an internal steam generator. The steamer also preferably includes a telescoping clothes support with a clothes hanging bracket. Thus, clothes may be hung from the bracket while the user steams them using the attachment. The steamer also preferably includes two front wheels and two rear casters, thereby allowing the user to easily maneuver the steamer without having to lift the steamer. The wheels and casters become especially important when the steamer has been filled with water and is especially heavy.

[0008] The attachment of the present invention broadly comprises a body having a head portion and a handle portion, a first and second steam distributor located in the head, and a valve located in the handle. The head is preferably aligned perpendicularly to the handle and includes a flange substantially centered along a top arcuate surface of a substantially flat face. The flange is preferably rounded and houses the first distributor. The face preferably includes the top arcuate surface which meets a bottom arcuate surface at opposing ends and houses the second distributor. Thus, the head preferably forms an oblong shape with no sharp corners, thereby making the head easy to manage and guide over the clothes being steamed.

[0009] The handle preferably includes knurled surfaces on either side and a contoured front surface, thereby providing a secure and comfortable grip. The valve is preferably located near a top end of the front surface, thereby allowing the user to operate the valve without releasing the handle. The handle may be either permanently joined to the hose of the steamer or secured to a fitting of the hose.

[0010] The first distributor preferably comprises a nozzle substantially centered within the flange and able to dispense steam generated by the steam generator of the steamer. The nozzle preferably concentrates the steam and may include a brush. The nozzle and the brush have been found to be highly effective for removing spots from the clothes.

[0011] The second distributor preferably comprises a plurality of evenly spaced holes which are preferably linearly arranged horizontally across the face in order to disperse the steam. The second distributor may also include a detachable diffusor to further disperse and actually diffuse the steam. The holes and the diffusor have been found to be highly effective for general steaming, such as wrinkle removal.

[0012] The valve preferably directs the steam from the steam generator toward the first distributor, the second distributor, or both. More specifically, the valve preferably opens a first path toward the first distributor before closing a second path toward the second distributor. Additionally, with the valve in a mid-position, the steam may be directed to both distributors through both paths simultaneously. Thus, the steam always has at least one available path, in order to prevent pressure buildup within the steamer.

[0013] In use, the user fills the steamer with water, secures the attachment to the hose, turns the steamer on, and hangs the clothes on the bracket. The user may select which distributor to use by operation of the valve. For example, the user may select the first distributor to concentrate the steam on a spot on the clothes. The user may also secure the brush to the nozzle and use the brush to scrub the spot.

[0014] Alternatively, the user may select the second distributor to disperse the steam over the clothes, for general steaming. The user may secure the diffusor over the holes to further disperse the steam. In either case, the user may switch between distributors without turning the steamer off or risking pressure buildup.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] A preferred embodiment of the present invention is described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, wherein:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a steamer attachment for use with and shown connected to a steamer;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a closeup view of the attachment; and

[0018] FIG. 3 is a closeup view of a brush of the attachment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] Referring to FIG. 1, the preferred steamer attachment 10 constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated attached to a steamer 12. Referring also to FIG. 2 the attachment 10 broadly comprises a body 14, a first and second steam distributor 16,18 located in a head 20 of the body 14, and a valve 22 located in a handle 24 of the body 14.

[0020] The steamer 12 is preferably conventional and preferably includes a hose 26 and an internal steam generator. For example, the steamer 12 may be similar to that disclosed in “GARMENT STEAMING DEVICE WITH SAFETY NOZZLE”, U.S. Pat. No. 5,609,047, hereby incorporated into the present application by reference. The steamer 12 also preferably includes a telescoping clothes support 28 with a clothes hanging bracket 30. Thus, clothes may be hung from the bracket 30 while a user steams them using the attachment 10. Additionally, the clothes may remain hanging from the bracket 30 until the user wishes to wear them. Furthermore, the steamer 12 preferably includes two front wheels 32 and two rear casters 34, thereby allowing the user to easily maneuver the steamer 12 without having to lift the steamer 12. The wheels 32 and casters 34 become especially important when the steamer 12 has been filled with water and is especially heavy.

[0021] The body 14 is preferably made of plastic with the head 20 aligned perpendicularly to the handle 24. The head 20 is preferably approximately two inches tall and approximately six inches wide. The head 20 preferably includes a flange 36 substantially centered along a top arcuate surface 38 of a substantially flat face 40. The flange 36 is preferably rounded and houses the first distributor 16. The face 40 preferably includes the top arcuate surface 38 which meets a bottom arcuate surface 42 at opposing ends 44 and houses the second distributor 18. Thus, the head 20 preferably forms an oblong shape with no sharp corners, thereby making the head 20 easy to manage and guide over the clothes being steamed.

[0022] The handle 24 is preferably approximately six inches long and approximately one and one half inches in diameter. The handle 24 preferably includes knurled surfaces 46 on either side and a contoured front surface 48, thereby providing a secure and comfortable grip. The valve 22 is preferably located near a top end 50 of the front surface 48, thereby allowing the user to operate the valve 22 without releasing the handle 24. The handle 24 may be either permanently joined to the hose 26 of the steamer 12, threaded onto a threaded fitting of the hose 26, or secured to the hose using another commonly used attachment mechanism.

[0023] The first distributor 16 preferably comprises a nozzle 52 substantially centered within the flange 36 and able to dispense steam generated by the steam generator of the steamer 12. The nozzle 52 preferably comprises an approximately one quarter inch internal diameter which is operable to accept a brush 54. The brush 54 is preferably made of plastic and includes bristles that extend outwardly approximately one inch. Thus, the nozzle 52 concentrates the steam and is useful for lifting dirt from the clothes, especially with the assistance of the brush 54. The nozzle 52 and the brush 54 have been found to be highly effective for removing spots from the clothes.

[0024] The second distributor 18 preferably comprises approximately eleven evenly spaced holes 56 which are preferably linearly arranged horizontally across the face 40. Thus, the holes 56 disperse the steam rather than concentrate the steam like the nozzle 52. The second distributor 18 may also include a detachable diffusor 58 to further disperse and actually diffuse the steam. The diffusor 58 preferably comprises a cloth screen supported by a plastic frame which preferably includes three legs that fit into mounting indentations 60 in the face 40, thereby detachably securing the diffusor 58 to the face 40. The holes 56 and the diffusor 58 have been found to be highly effective for general steaming, such as wrinkle removal.

[0025] The valve 22 preferably directs the steam from the steam generator toward the first distributor 16, the second distributor 18, or both. More specifically, the valve 22 preferably opens a first path toward the first distributor 16 before closing a second path toward the second distributor 18. Additionally, with the valve 22 in a mid-position, the steam may be directed to both distributors 16,18 through both paths simultaneously. Thus, the steam always has at least one available path, in order to prevent pressure buildup within the steamer 12.

[0026] While the present invention has been described above, it is understood that other materials and/or dimensions can be substituted. For example, the head 20 may be between one three inches tall and between four and eight inches wide. These and other minor modifications are within the scope of the present invention.

[0027] In use, the userfills the steamer 12 with water, secures the attachment to the hose 26, turns the steamer 12 on, and hangs the clothes on the bracket 30. The user may select which distributor 16,18 to use by operation of the valve 22. For example, the user may select the first distributor 16 to concentrate the steam on a spot on the clothes. The user may also secure the brush 54 to the nozzle 52 and use the brush 54 to scrub the spot.

[0028] Alternatively, the user may select the second distributor 18 to disperse the steam over the clothes, for general steaming. The user may secure the diffusor 58 over the holes 56 to further disperse the steam. In either case, the user may switch between distributors 16,18 without turning the steamer 12 off or risking pressure buildup.

[0029] Having thus described a preferred embodiment of the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent includes the following: