Title:
Washing device with sponge-like working element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A washing device has a housing having an axis and a peripheral wall which defines an inner hollow and is closed in a peripheral direction around the axis, and a sponge-like working element associated with the housing and movable between a working position in which the sponge-like working element is located outside the hollow of the housing for washing a surface, and a position in which the sponge-like working element is forcedly moved into the hollow formed by the peripherally closed wall so as to be squeezed and therefore to expel liquid from the sponge-like working element and to remain confined within said inner hollow enclosed by said peripheral wall.



Inventors:
Zhadanov, Sam (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Zhadanov, Eli (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/836718
Publication Date:
11/03/2005
Filing Date:
05/03/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
401/123
International Classes:
A46B11/00; A47L7/00; A47L13/14; A47L13/17; A47L13/51; (IPC1-7): A46B11/00; A47L7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALCZAK, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ILYA ZBOROVSKY (Dix Hills, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A washing device, comprising a housing having an axis and a peripheral wall which defines an inner hollow and is closed in a peripheral direction around said axis; and a sponge-like working element associated with said housing and movable between a working position in which said sponge-like working element is located outside said hollow of said housing for washing a surface, and a position in which said sponge-like working element is forcedly moved into said hollow formed by said peripherally closed wall so as to be squeezed and therefore to expel liquid from said sponge-like working element and to remain confined within said inner hollow enclosed by said peripheral wall.

2. A washing device as defined in claim 1; and further comprising a displacing element which is connected with said sponge-like working element and displaces said sponge-like working element between said positions.

3. A washing device as defined in claim 2, wherein said displacing element is turnable about said axis so that when said displacing element moves said sponge-like working element from said inner hollow to said working position, said displacing element is turnable and turns said sponge-like working element about said axis.

4. A washing device as defined in claim 3, wherein said housing is provided with means for squeezing said working element during turning said working element about said axis.

5. A washing device as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for squeezing include at least one formation projecting into said hollow and formed so that when said sponge-like working element is turned it is squeezed by overcoming a resistance of said at least one formation.

6. A washing device as defined in claim 5, wherein said at least one formation is formed as a rib provided on an inner surface of said housing and extending inwardly into said hollow.

7. A washing device as defined in claim 2, wherein said displacing element is hollow and fillable with a washing substance.

8. A washing device as defined in claim 7; and further comprising means for dispensing the substance from said displacing element onto a surface to be washed.

9. A washing device as defined in claim 2, wherein said housing has two axial ends and is closed at at least one of said axial ends by said displacing element; and further comprising means for closing said housing at the other axial end after said sponge-like working element is moved to said non-working position inside said hollow of said housing.

10. A washing device as defined in claim 1; and further comprising a container for accommodating said sponge-like working element before a next use.

11. A washing device as defined in claim 10, wherein said container is associated with said housing so that a part of said housing closes said container.

12. A washing device as defined in claim 10; and further comprising suction means from attaching a bottom of said container to a supporting surface, said suction means being actuatable by a displacing element which is connected with said sponge-like working element and displaces said sponge-like working element between said positions.

13. A washing device as defined in claim 1; and further comprising a connecting element which connects said sponge-like working element and is provided with a brush-shaped portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to washing devices.

More particularly, it relates to washing devices which have a sponge-like working element which can be used for washing of objects and the like by rubbing against said objects with application of water and/or washing solution. Some of such devices are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,140; 5,522,110; 6,217,244; 1,065,975; and 1,122,979. Some of the devices disclosed in the references provide squeezing of the sponge-like working elements. However, it is believed that they can be further improved.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a washing device with a sponge-like working element which is a further improvement of the existing devices.

In keeping with these objects and with others which will become apparent herein after, one feature of the present invention resides, briefly stated, in a washing device, comprising a housing having an axis and a peripheral wall which defines an inner hollow and is closed in a peripheral direction around said axis; and a sponge-like working element associated with said housing and movable between a working position in which said sponge-like working element is located outside said hollow of said housing for washing a surface, and a position in which said sponge-like working element is forcedly moved into said hollow formed by said peripherally closed wall so as to be squeezed and therefore to expel liquid from said sponge-like working element.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the present invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view showing a vertical section of a washing device in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view showing a transverse section of the inventive washing device taken along the line A-A in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view corresponding to the view of FIG. 2 but showing another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a view substantially corresponding to the view of FIG. 1 but showing the device in a non-working position in which a sponge-like working element is retracted into an inner hollow of the housing; and

FIG. 5 is a view corresponding to the view of FIG. 1 but showing a further embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A washing device in accordance with the present invention has a housing which is identified with reference numeral 1. The housing 1 has an axis which is a vertical axis in FIG. 1, and a wall which is peripherally closed around the axis. In the shown embodiment the housing 1 is formed as a hollow truncated cone which has an inner hollow 2. It is however to be understood that the housing 1 can have a different shape (see FIG. 3), but always has the substantially peripherally closed wall with an inner surface 3 which defines the inner hollow 2.

Means are provided in the inner hollow 2 of the housing 1, which cause the inner surface 3 to deviate from a strictly circularly cylindrical shape. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, these means include at least one rib 4, or in particular in this embodiment four ribs. It is to be understood that the number of ribs can be different. In another embodiment, means which cause deviation of the inner surface 3 from a circular cylindrical shape can be for example an oval shape of the inner surface 3 (FIG. 2). The purpose of this means, formed for example as the ribs 4 the oval shape of the wall of the housing 1 will be explained herein below.

The housing 1 has an upper opening 5 which can be for example cylindrical. A displacing element 6 is slidingly movable in the opening 5. It is formed as a container having an inner chamber 7 which can be filled with a washing liquid, etc. The displacing element 6 has a bottom formed as a hub 8 with a threaded opening 9, while the upper portion of the displacing element 6 is provided with a thread 10 and a supporting step 11.

A sponge-like working element 13 which can be formed for example as a disc with an opening 14 is connected to the displacing element 6 by a threaded flange 12. The flange 12 is composed of plastic material and has a threaded part 15 which is threaded into the threaded opening 9 of the hub 8, and a disc 16 for holding the sponge-like working element 13. Conical projections 17 are provided on the lower surface of the hub 8 for engaging into the sponge-like working element 13 and preventing its turning relative to the displacing element 6. The housing 1 at the lower end ends with a flange 18 which simultaneously forms a support for the sponge-like working element 13 and as a cover.

A unit for dispensing the substance from the chamber 7 of the displacing element 6 is identified with reference numeral 19 and can be formed as a spraying unit, a pumping unit, and the like. It is threaded on the thread 10 of the displacing element 6.

The device is further provided with a container 20 having a peripherally closed wall and a somewhat conical bottom 21 with an opening 22. An elastic suction disc 23 is located inside a cavity of the conical bottom 21, and its integrated threaded insert 24 is threadingly connected with a screw 25 having wings 26 for screwing the screw 25 into the insert 24.

The washing device in accordance with the present invention operates in the following manner.

The chamber 7 of the displacing element 6 is filled with a washing substance. By means of the dispensing device 19 it is supplied on a surface to be washed with the sponge-like working element of the device. The surface is then washed with the sponge-like working element. When the washing process is finished, the sponge-like working element 13 is pulled upwardly in FIGS. 1 and 4 in an axial direction. The sponge-like washing element is washed with water and pulled into the hollow 2 of the housing 1 which is completely peripherally closed many times, so as to provide squeezing of the substance/water from the sponge-like working element. During pulling of the sponge-like working element 13 by displacing of the displacing element 6, the displacing element 6 is turned by a user around its axis. As a result, during pulling the sponge-like working element 13 into the hollow of the housing 1 it is not only squeezed because of its introduction into the hollow 2, but it is also twisted since at least a part of the sponge-like working element 13 is subjected to resistance of the ribs 4 in the embodiment of FIG. 2 or to resistance of two opposite walls of the oval cross-section which are closer to the axis than two other opposite walls in the embodiment of FIG. 3.

In order to prevent hardening of the sponge-like working elements 13 in the inner hollow of the housing 1 the sponge-like working element 13 is moved downwardly into the container 20 so as to be held in a spread-out position.

By pressing down the displacing element 6, the movement is transmitted to the suction cup 23 through the parts 25 and 12, and air is partially expelled from a chamber 27 under the suction cup 23 so that the container 20 is sucked to a supporting surface, the container 20 is retained on the supporting surface, while the device with the sponge-like working elements 13 can be removed from the container. In order to permanently retain the container 20 on the supporting surface a greater suction must be provided in the cavity 27. For this purpose the disc 25 is screwed a little more upwardly out of the insert 24, and therefore by pressing the displacing element 6 downwardly a greater vacuum is created in the cavity 27.

In the washing device in accordance with the present invention, the sponge-like working element 13 in its position of non-use is reliably confined in the container 20, so that the sponge-like working element retains a little moist and does not harden. The hardened sponges usually require additional time and substance for their moisturizing and also are prone to damages and tears in their hardened condition. Also, since the sponge-like working element is confined in the completely enclosed container 20, it does not contaminate surrounding objects.

FIG. 5 shows a further embodiment of the invention. Here a threaded flange 32 has a threaded part 33 which is threaded into the threaded opening 9 of the hub 8 and also has a plurality of projections 34 engaged in the sponge-like working element 13 to hold in it.

In addition, the threaded flange 32 has a brush-like portion with a plurality of bristle bundles 35, to perform also a brushing action.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in washing device with sponge-like working element, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.