Title:
Apparatus for a cleaning carriage
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an apparatus for a cleaning carriage (2, 102) for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop. More precisely, the apparatus comprises a mop container (6, 106, 202) having connecting sidewalls, a mop-wringing device (14, 50, 116), and also a collecting bowl (24, 52, 124, 200) arranged at the mop container to which cleaning agent is added through a separate vessel for rinsing and cleaning of the mop in the collecting bowl, the collecting bowl (24, 52, 124, 200) comprises liquid-sealed interfaces such that cleaning agent can be filled up in the collecting bowl for rinsing and cleaning of the mop, and also that devices (32, 66, 166, 206; 36, 56, 122, 172, 210) are arranged in connection to the collecting bowl for emptying of the same. The present invention also relates to a method and a use.



Inventors:
Dahl, Thomas (Ekero, SE)
Application Number:
10/486730
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
07/19/2004
Assignee:
DAHL THOMAS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L13/59; (IPC1-7): A47L13/59
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WILSON, LEE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOWELL & DOWELL, P.C. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus at a cleaning carriage (2, 102) for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop, comprising a mop container (6, 106, 202) having connecting sidewalls, a mop-wringing device (14, 50, 116), and a collecting bowl (24, 52, 124, 200) arranged at the mop container to which cleaning agent is added through a separate vessel for rinsing and cleaning of the mop in the collecting bowl, characterised in that the collecting bowl (24, 52, 124, 200) comprises liquid-sealed interfaces such that cleaning agent can be filled up in the collecting bowl for rinsing and cleaning of the mop, and that devices (32, 66, 166, 206; 36, 56, 122, 210) are arranged in connection to the collecting bowl for emptying of the same.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, characterised in that said members for emptying the collecting bowl comprises one or several outlet valves (172) arranged at the bottom of the collecting bowl.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1, characterised in that said members for emptying the collecting bowl comprises an axis of rotation (32, 66, 166, 206), to which the collecting bowl is rotatably arranged, the axis of rotation is arranged in the mop container (6, 106, 202) whereby the collecting bowl is arranged to be angled down so as to pour out contaminated cleaning agent in the collecting bowl.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that the collecting bowl is arranged to a foot pedal (34, 134, 212) via a linkarm system (36, 56, 122, 172, 210).

5. Apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that a spring (68, 168) is arranged pre-stressed to press against the rear wall (69, 141, 138) of the collecting bowl (52, 124) and/or the rear wall of the mop container (138), and also in a state of rest (A) pre-stressed keep the collecting bowl in horizontal position such that liquid can be kept therein.

6. Apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that the collecting bowl (24, 124) when rotating around the shaft journal (32, 66, 166, 206) is pushed out through an opening arranged in the sidewall (38) whereby the mop container (6, 106, 202) is angled down.

7. Apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that the collecting bowl (200) is arranged below the mop container (202), at its opened lower part, and that side edges of the collecting bowl is arranged on the outside edges (204) of the mop container.

8. A method for rinsing, cleaning and wringing when scrubbing during use of an apparatus at a cleaning carriage according to claim 1, where the method comprises the following steps of: i) filling cleaning agent in the collecting bowl (24, 52, 124, 200); ii) soaking and rinsing of the mop in the collecting bowl; iii) wringing out the mop by activation of the mop wringing device (14, 50, 116); and iv) simultaneously with stage iii), or in a subsequent stage draining the liquid from the collecting bowl.

9. The method according to claim 8, whereby the wringing of the mop is carried out in a pre-treatment stage and that emptying of collected contaminated liquid is carried out by angling down (turning) the collecting bowl.

10. A use of an apparatus according to claim 1, at a cleaning carriage for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop.

11. Apparatus according to claim 1, characterised in that the collecting bowl (200) is arranged below the mop container (202), at its opened lower part, and that side edges of the collecting bowl is arranged on the outside edge (204) of the mop container.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to an apparatus for a cleaning carriage for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop. The present invention also relates to a method and a use.

BACKGROUND

[0002] When scrubbing floors in public premises, working premises, restaurants etc., for example, use is often made of a cleaning carriage (equipped with wheels) having a bucket for a cleaning agent and in connection above the bucket a wringing device for wringing out liquid of a mop, swab or the like (fixed to the end of a shaft). Liquid that is squeezed out of the mop is returned to the bucket with the cleaning agent.

[0003] The scrubbing is usually carried out such that the mop, following a scrubbing of a certain area of floor, is soaked in the liquid in the bucket. Subsequently the mop is placed in the wringing device, whereby excess liquid in the mop is pressed out. Possibly also wringing of the mop occurs, even directly after scrubbing of a certain area of floor and before soaking (particularly when the mop is used for drying/sucking up spilled out liquid from the floor). Liquid pressed out of the mop, then often dirty liquid, is thus returned back continuously to the same bucket that initially contained cleaning agent. Especially when scrubbing is carried out in publicly availably premises, the liquid in the bucket becomes contaminated very fast. Even the swab in itself becomes polluted.

[0004] An obvious solution is instead to use two vessels, one for wringed out dirty water and one with unpolluted cleaning agent for soaking of the mop. However, one problem is that the consumption of cleaning agent becomes large, which results in a larger environmental load and increasing working hours for emptying and refilling. Besides, the cleaning agent is contaminated, in that the wringed out but still dirty mop is dipped in the vessel having the cleaning agent, whereby the mop precipitates dirt and contaminates the cleaning agent. Yet another problem is that the cleaning carriage remains unused for longer periods with cleaning agent in the vessel, whereby the cleaning agent evaporate (that is, in the cases use is made of volatile solvent).

[0005] According to U.S. Pat. No. 4,174,977, a cleaning carriage is previously known which comprises a mop-bucket in which a net-basket is arranged, a container for collected wastewater and a container with cleaning agent from which liquid can be added the net-basket for rinsing and cleaning of a mop placed in the net-basket. The soaked mop is wringed out with a conventional wringing device. Cleaning agent that rinses the mop is partly sucked up by the mop, but a substantial amount is flowing on, through the openings in the net-basket, directly down to the wastewater container.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0006] One object according to the present invention is to provide an apparatus at a cleaning carriage for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop, where the amount of cleaning agent for rinsing and cleaning of the mop can be reduced to a minimum and thereby achieving a decreasing environmental load. Yet an object is to provide a simple control, for example with foot or hand in order to rinse, clean and wring out the mop with a limited amount of cleaning agent. Yet another object is that the apparatus should be simple and cheap to produce.

[0007] This object is achieved with an apparatus at a cleaning carriage for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop according to the present invention, where the apparatus comprises a mop container having connecting sidewalls and a mop-wringing device arranged in the mop container. Further, the apparatus comprises a collecting bowl arranged at the mop container for rinsing and cleaning of the mop. Cleaning agent is added through a separate vessel to the collecting bowl for rinsing and cleaning of the mop. The collecting bowl comprises liquid-sealed interfaces such that cleaning agent can be filled up in the collecting bowl for rinsing and cleaning of the mop. Devices are arranged in connection to the collecting bowl for emptying of the same.

[0008] An advantage with this solution according to the invention is that a relatively small amount of cleaning agent can be filled up and retained in the collecting bowl, but a sufficient amount in order to soak and rinse the mop since the collecting bowl can retain the liquid. The degree of utilization of cleaning agent can be more effective and contaminated liquid which is removed from the floor, ends up in a separate container which not is contact with the mop or the floor again, whereby the environmental load decreases.

[0009] The collecting bowl comprises a bottom and connecting sides around it, where all surfaces are closed and liquid sealed, such that cleaning agent can be retained there, at least during a temporary period without any larger liquid losses, in order to once or during repeated times be able to rinse the mop. The collecting bowl, the mop container, and also remaining details on the cleaning carriage are suitably substantially in plastics or stainless steel.

[0010] The collecting bowl is arranged to means that provide for emptying of liquid that is collected in the collecting bowl, usually contaminated liquid which is emptied in a waste liquid bucket below the mop container.

[0011] Said means for emptying liquid in the collecting bowl can, according to an embodiment, comprise of one or several outlet valves arranged at the bottom of the collecting bowl.

[0012] Preferably, said means for emptying of liquid in the collecting bowl, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, may comprise an axis of rotation to which the collecting bowl is rotatably arranged, the axis of rotation is arranged in the mop container whereby the collecting bowl is arranged to be angled down so as to pour out contaminated cleaning agent in the collecting bowl. Owing to the function that the bowl can be angled down for empty out of used cleaning agent, a structure is achieved that simply can be adapted to existing and modern cleaning carriages. The angling of the collecting bowl can for example be controlled by a foot pedal or the similar (foot pedal for controlling of wringing devices exists on some modern cleaning carriages) via a linkarm system.

[0013] The present invention also relates to a method for rinsing, cleaning and wringing when scrubbing, during use of an apparatus at a cleaning carriage according to claim 1, where the method comprises the following steps of:

[0014] i) filling cleaning agent in the collecting bowl;.

[0015] ii) soaking and rinsing of the mop in the collecting bowl;

[0016] iii) wringing out the mop by activation of the wringing device; and

[0017] iv) simultaneously with stage iii), or in a subsequent stage draining the liquid from the collecting bowl.

[0018] The present invention also relates to a use of an apparatus at a cleaning carriage according to claim 1, at a cleaning carriage for rinsing, cleaning and wringing out a mop.

[0019] DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The present invention shall now be described in more detail in embodiments, by reference to accompanying drawings, without limiting the interpretation of the invention thereto, where

[0021] FIG. 1 shows schematically a view from the side of one embodiment of the cleaning carriage.

[0022] FIG. 2A-C illustrates in outlines an alternative embodiment of the wringing device and the collecting bowl.

[0023] FIG. 3A shows in an outline yet an alternative embodiment of the cleaning carriage.

[0024] FIG. 3B shows in a view from the side the wringing device and the collecting bowl of the cleaning carriage according to FIG. 3A in a “state of rest” (A);

[0025] FIG. 3C shows in a view from the side the wringing device and the collecting bowl of the cleaning carriage according to FIG. 3A-B in a “state of emptying” (B).

[0026] FIG. 3D shows in a view straight from the rear the collecting bowl according to FIG. 3B, and also shows an alternative member for draining of liquid according to another embodiment.

[0027] FIG. 4A shows in a perspective, angled view from above yet an alternative embodiment of the cleaning carriage.

[0028] FIG. 4B shows emptying of the collecting bowl in an enlarged perspective, angled view from above of the cleaning carriage according to FIG. 4A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0029] An embodiment of the cleaning carriage 2 according to the present invention is shown schematically in FIG. 1. The cleaning carriage 2 is provided with wheels 3 and has a device 4 for rinsing, cleaning and wringing of a mop (not shown). The device 4 comprises a mop container 6 with connecting sidewalls 8 (for example four sidewalls that in a vertical cross-section forms a substantially square/rectangular), open upwards 10 and downwards 12. In the mop container 6 is a mop wringing device 14 arranged, comprising a movable perforated wall 16, jointed arranged in its lower part and in the upper part 18 jointed arranged to a handle 20 via a first linkarm system 22. Further is in the mop container 6 a collecting bowl 24 arranged in which a sufficiently amount of cleaning agent (such as pure water, cleaning agent, chemicals mixed with water, etc.) can be poured in for soaking, rinsing and cleaning the mop. The collecting bowl 24 is formed by connecting and closed interfaces such that a certain amount of cleaning agent temporarily can be retained in the collecting bowl for rinsing and cleaning of the mop. Cleaning agent is added via a separate vessel 26 via a valve 28 and a line 30 to the collecting bowl 24. The collecting bowl 24 is rotatably arranged around an axis of rotation 32 at the mop container 6. A foot pedal 34 can be arranged in connection to the handle 20 by influence of a second linkarm system 36. When wringing out the mop, the movable perforated wall 16 is influenced, via the handle 20 or the foot pedal 34, in a direction against an opposite side wall 38 in the mop container 6. Simultaneously the collecting bowl 24, which is jointed 32 to the movable perforated wall 16, is pushed through an opening in the side wall 38 whereby the collecting bowl 24 is angled/tipped down such that contaminated cleaning agent in the collecting bowl is emptied in a bucket 40 for wastewater placed under the mop container.

[0030] An alternative embodiment of the wringing device and the collecting bowl to a cleaning carriage is illustrated in FIGS. 2A-C, where the cleaning carriage in general features corresponds to the one shown in FIG. 2, but where the mechanism for the wringing device and the collecting bowl is slightly different from that embodiment shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 2A shows a wringing device 50 and a collecting bowl 52 in a “state of rest”. The wringing device 50 comprises two pressing plates, a fixed 54 and a movable 56, arranged against each other. The press plates are arranged to each other by intermediate arms, one upper arm 58 and one lower arm 60. One end of the said arms, respectively, has slots 62, in which they are arranged (by fixing elements) to the fixed press plate 54, such that the arms can be permitted to move in relation to it. A handle 64 is arranged to the movable press plate 56 via a link arm or a linksystem (not shown). The collecting bowl 52 is jointed and rotatably arranged at a shaft journal 66 on the movable press plate. The apparatus further comprises a spring 68 which is arranged pre-stressed, to press against the rear wall of the collecting bowl 52 and thereby in the state of rest keep the collecting bowl in horizontal position such that liquid can be kept therein. When the handle 64 is influenced in vertical direction 70 as evident from FIG. 2B, the press plates 54, 56 are pressed together and the collecting bowl slides against the fixed press plate 54 whereby the collecting bowl 52 is tilted/tipped down such that the liquid content is poured out.

[0031] However, if the handle 64 is influenced in horizontal direction 72 as evident from FIG. 2C, refilling of cleaning agent can be made in the collecting bowl 52 from a container 74 via a line 76 by that the handle 64 influences, alternatively the fixed press plate 54, the opening of a valve in the line. The container also comprises an air nipple 78 to prevent vacuum.

[0032] Yet an alternative embodiment of the cleaning carriage, the wringing device and the collecting bowl according to the invention, is shown schematically in FIGS. 3A-D where some details hidden in the mop container are illustrated with broken lines. FIG. 3A illustrates a favourable shaping of the cleaning carriage 102, provided -with wheels 103, and comprising an apparatus 104 for rinsing, cleaning and wringing of a mop (not shown). The apparatus 104 comprises a mop container 106. In the mop container 106 is a mop wringing device arranged, comprising a movable wall 116, movably arranged in a horizontal joint inside the mop container 106 and further arranged to a foot pedal 134 via a linkarm system 122. Foot pedal strut 135 is rotatably arranged in a joint 136 in a position under the chassis 137 of the cleaning carriage to a handle strut 139. Further is in the mop container 106 a collecting bowl 124 arranged, in which a sufficient amount of cleaning agent can be poured in to soak, rinse and clean the mop. Cleaning agent is added via a separate vessel 126 via a valve 128 and a line 130 to the collecting bowl 124. The collecting bowl 124 is rotatably arranged around an axis of rotation 132 at the mop container 106. When wringing out the mop the movable wall 116 is influenced, via the foot pedal 134, in direction against an opposite sidewall 138 in the mop container 106. Simultaneous the collecting bowl 124 is pushed, during simultaneous rotation around the joint 132, through an opening in the sidewall 138 whereby the collecting bowl 125 is angled/tipped down such that contaminated cleaning agent in the collecting bowl is emptied below 140 the mop container 106, preferably in a bucket or the similar for polluted/dirty liquid. By the described design of the cleaning carriage where the foot pedal strut 134 is jointed arranged to the handle strut 139 in a position below the chassis 137 of the cleaning carriage, installation and removal of a vessel for polluted liquid is facilitated at the area 140 under the mop container 106. By the way of placing the vessel 126 for cleaning agent on a plane of a shelf 142 above the mop container 106, a large space 144 is achieved under the cleaning agent vessel where cleaning equipment or the like can be stored. The vessel 126 for cleaning agent may suitably be a separate container that only is fixed to the plane of the shelf 142 via the valve 128 at the bottom of the cleaning agent vessel. In this way a simple structure is achieved for loading and unloading of cleaning agent vessel 126.

[0033] FIGS. 3B and 3D shows mop container 106 and in that the collecting bowl 124 arranged in a “state of rest” (A). In the mop container 106 is arranged a movable press plate 116, which is fixed to a portion 133 via the linkarm system 122 to the foot pedal 134 (which is evident from FIG. 3A). The collecting bowl 124 is jointed and rotatably arranged in a shaft journal 166, here in the shape of a through bolt, via the mop container 106. The apparatus further comprises a spring 168 which is arranged pre-stressed to push against the rear wall 141 of the collecting bowl 124 and the mop container backside 138, respectively, and thereby keep the collecting bowl horizontally pre-stressed in the state of rest (A) such that liquid can be stored therein. When the foot pedal 134 is influenced in vertical direction 170 which is evident from FIG. 3A, the press plate 116 is pushed in direction against the sidewall 138 in the mop container 106 and slides against the collecting bowl 124. As evident from FIG. 3C, the collecting bowl 124 rotates around the shaft journal 166 and is simultaneously pushed out through an opening in the sidewall 138 and angled/tipped down such that the liquid content is emptied. The collecting bowl is then in a “state of emptying” (B).

[0034] FIG. 3D shows also with broken lines, according to an embodiment of the present invention, an alternative member for emptying of liquid in the collecting bowl instead for the mechanism mentioned above, for angling/tipping of the collecting bowl. The collecting bowl 124 can in that case in its bottom comprise one or several outlet valves 172, which can be controlled for opening/closing by the person skilled in the art in known manner.

[0035] Yet an alternative embodiment of the cleaning carriage is shown in FIG. 4A where the collecting bowl 200 is in a “state of rest” where cleaning agent can be poured in the collecting bowl. In FIGS. 4A-B is the collecting bowl 200 arranged below the mop container 202, at its opened lower part, and is arranged positioned against outside the mop containers lower edges 204, i.e. with the collecting bowls side edges arranged against/on at the outside of the lower edges 204 of the mop container, whereby it is guaranteed that cleaning agent can not flow outside on the outer surface of the collecting bowl. The collecting bowl 200 is rotatably arranged to the mop container at a joint 206, here shown as a hinge. The collecting bowl is furthermore fixed 208 to a linkarm system 210 to perform a movement, which in turn is arranged to a foot pedal 212. When the foot pedal 212 is influence in vertical direction 214, which is evident from FIG. 4A, the linkarm system 210 is influenced which in turn influences down-tipping/angling of the collecting bowl 200. The collecting bowl 200 rotates around the joint 206, which is evident from FIG. 4B, and slants/tips down such that the liquid content is emptied. The collecting bowl is now in a “state of emptying”. In this embodiment, the collecting bowl 200 is only influenced by the foot pedal. The press plate/plates 216 in the mop container 202 can be separately arranged to a handle or a foot pedal, or be arranged to be influenced when the collecting bowl is brought to rotate via the linkarm system 210.