Title:
Mechanically operable wringing mop
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-wringing mop has a handle and a cleaning mop head with a plurality of cleaning mop head strands of fibrous, cotton, sponge-plastic, or similarly absorbent material. The mop head strands are attached at their lower ends to a lower mop head support and at their upper ends to an upper mop head support which is attached to a rotatable outer sleeve which circumscribes the handle. An inner sleeve is secured to the handle and circumscribes the outer sleeve. It has planetary gears which mesh with a gear ring located on an internal surface of the outer sleeve. A hilt member, with gearing which meshes with the planetary gears, is rotatably mounted on the handle. Rotation of the hilt member by the user rotates the gearing of the system and the outer sleeve, creating a 2:1 mechanical advantage in ultimately rotating the mop head strands to wring them of moisture.



Inventors:
Petner, Robert E. (Burlington, NJ, US)
Gengler, Charles E. (South Orange, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/325793
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2006
Assignee:
NiceLife, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L13/142
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ricci Tyrrell Johnson & Grey, PLLC (Marlton, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A self-wringing mop comprising: a mop head with a plurality of moisture wringable cleaning members; an elongated mop handle connecting to the mop head; a first sleeve circumscribing and immovably secured to the handle, said first sleeve comprising gear means for assisting in the wringing of the cleaning members; a second sleeve circumscribing the first sleeve and attached to the mop head, said second sleeve comprising gear path means which mesh with the gear means of the first sleeve; and hilt means rotatable around the handle, said hilt means having drive means for rotating the second sleeve, whereby rotation of the hilt means by a user rotates the first sleeve gear means along the second sleeve gear path means, thereby rotating the second sleeve to rotate the mop head and rotatably wring its cleaning members of moisture.

2. The self-wringing mop as in claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises drive gear means which mesh with the first sleeve gear means, whereby upon rotation of the hilt means the drive gear means rotates the first sleeve gear means.

3. The self-wringing mop as in claim 1 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

4. The self-wringing mop as in claim 1 wherein the gear path means comprises a gear ring circumscribing an internal surface of the second sleeve.

5. The self-wringing mop as in claim 1 wherein rotation of the hilt means provides at least a two-to-one mechanical advantage to rotatably wring the cleaning members of moisture.

6. The self-wringing mop as in claim 1 further comprises means to secure the first sleeve to the handle.

7. The self-wringing mop as in claim 6 wherein the means to secure the first sleeve to the handle comprises a polygonal shaped component secured to the handle and a corresponding polygonal shaped section of the first sleeve, whereby insertion of the polygonal component of the handle into the polygonal section of the first sleeve connects and secures the first sleeve to the handle.

8. The self-wringing mop as in claim 7 wherein the polygonal shaped component and the polygonal shaped section are hexagonal in shape.

9. The self-wringing mop as in claim 2 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

10. The self-wringing mop as in claim 2 wherein the gear path means comprises a gear ring circumscribed around an internal surface of the second sleeve.

11. The self-wringing mop as in claim 10 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

12. A self-wringing mop comprising: a mop head with a plurality of moisture wringable cleaning members; an elongated mop handle connected to the cleaning head; a first sleeve circumscribing and secured to the handle, the first sleeve having a plurality of planetary gears; a second sleeve circumscribing the first sleeve and attached to the mop head, said second sleeve comprising a gear path substantially circumscribed around an internal surface of the second sleeve, the plurality of planetary gears of the first sleeve meshing with the gear path of the second sleeve; and hilt means for rotating the planetary gears of the first sleeve, wherein upon rotation of the hilt means the second sleeve is rotated, creating at least a two-to-one mechanical advantage to rotate the mop head and rotatably wring the cleaning members of moisture.

13. The self-wringing mop as in claim 12 wherein the hilt means comprises drive gear means which mesh with the planetary gears, whereby upon rotation of the hilt means the drive gear means rotates the planetary gears.

14. The self-wringing mop as in claim 12 wherein the hilt means is configured to be rotated by a user of the mop.

15. The self-wringing mop as in claim 12 further comprising means to secure the first sleeve to the handle.

16. The self-wringing mop as in claim 15 wherein the means to secure the first sleeve to the handle comprises a polygonal shaped component secured to the handle and a corresponding polygonal shaped section of the first sleeve, whereby insertion of the polygonal component of the handle into the polygonal section of the first sleeve connects and secures the first sleeve to the handle.

17. The self-wringing mop as in claim 16 wherein the polygonal shaped component and the polygonal shaped section are hexagonal in shape.

18. A self-wringing mop comprising: a mop head with a plurality of moisture wringable cleaning members; an elongated mop handle connected to the mop head; a first sleeve circumscribing and secured to the handle, said first sleeve comprising gear means for assisting in the wringing of the cleaning members; and a second sleeve circumscribing the first sleeve and attached to the mop head, said second sleeve comprising internal gear path means which mesh with the gear means of the first sleeve, whereby rotation of the first sleeve means gear means along the second sleeve gear path means rotates the second sleeve, creating a two-to-one mechanical advantage to rotatably wring the cleaning members of moisture.

19. The self-wringing mop as in claim 18 further comprising hilt means for rotating the first sleeve gear means.

20. The self-wringing mop as in claim 19 wherein the hilt means comprises drive gear means which mesh with the first sleeve gear means, whereby upon rotation of the hilt means the drive gear means rotates the first sleeve gear means.

21. The self-wringing mop as in claim 19 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

22. The self-wringing mop as in claim 19 wherein the gear path means comprises a gear ring circumscribed around an internal surface of the second sleeve.

23. The self-wringing mop as in claim 19 wherein the hilt means is configured to be rotated by the user of the mop.

24. The self-wringing mop as in claim 19 further comprising means to secure the first sleeve to the handle.

25. The self-wringing mop as in claim 24 wherein the means to secure the first sleeve to the handle comprises a polygonal shaped component secure to the handle and a corresponding polygonal shaped section of the first sleeve, whereby insertion of the polygonal component of the handle into the polygonal section of the first sleeve connects and secures the first sleeve to the handle.

26. The self-wringing mop as in claim 25 wherein the polygonal shaped component and the polygonal shaped section are hexagonal in shape.

27. The self-wringing mop as in claim 20 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

28. The self-wringing mop as in claim 20 wherein the gear path means comprises a gear ring circumscribed around an internal surface of the second sleeve.

29. The self-wringing mop as in claim 28 wherein the first sleeve gear means comprises a plurality of planetary gears secured to the first sleeve.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mops have long been employed as effective tools for a variety of cleaning applications, including for cleaning floor surfaces and for mopping and absorbing liquid from surfaces. One such common mop consists of a mop head with a plurality of strands made of fluid absorbent material. An elongated handle is normally attached to the mop head.

Mops of this type work very well when their mop head strands are dry. However, the mop becomes ineffective when the strands become saturated with fluid. To remedy this problem, various mops have evolved with features which allow the strands to be wrung out, compressed, and squeezed of fluid. For instance, the lower ends of the mop head strands on some variations of mops are secured together to facilitate turning and twisting of the strands in order to wring out fluid during the cleaning operation.

While such self-wringing mops are effective, to ensure effectiveness, the user must apply a concentrated rotational force to the cleaning head strands, while continuing to apply effort to maintain the strands in an increasingly twisted or wringed configuration. Fundamentally, mops which employ these systems, and wringable mops generally, all require the user to exert significant and constantly increasing rotational torque during the wringing process, based on a one to one mechanical advantage. That is, one turn of a handle results in one turn or twist on the mop head strands. This clearly is not efficient and often results in the user tiring before the strands are fully wringed of moisture.

In addition, as the user turns the cleaning head strands in order to wring them out, a constant rotational force must be applied to keep the strands tight and to prevent them from loosening. This force, applied through the user's hands and arms, must be maintained for several seconds until the mop head strands are fully tightened and all fluid is squeezed out. The procedure is difficult for the user, in that it first requires excessive manual effort to wring the mop head to its fully twisted position and then to maintain it in that position. The process must then be repeated many times during the entire cleaning or mopping operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus the object of the present invention to overcome the limitations and disadvantages of prior wringable mops.

It is an object of the invention to provide a wringable mop with a fluid wringing arrangement which thoroughly wrings fluid out of the mop head strands of the mop with a minimum of manual exertion.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a wringable mop employing a fluid wringing arrangement which quickly and easily allows loosening of the mop head strands after fluid wringing is completed.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a wringable mop with a fluid wringing arrangement which is easy to operate and has a minimum of mechanical components.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a wringable mop which an be wrung out quickly and efficiently, with minimal user exertion, numerous times during the cleaning operation.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a wringable type mop which employs a simple mechanical operated gear system which provides at least a 2:1 mechanical advantage to the user.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a wringable mop which ensures that the mop head strands remain locked in their wringed positions, while the strands are being twisted and wrung out.

It is another object of the invention to provide a wringable mop which relieves the user of the manual exertion of continually applying rotational effort in order to maintain the mop head strands in a twisted configuration, during the wringing procedure.

These and other objects are accomplished by the present invention which comprises a handle and a cleaning mop head with a plurality of cleaning mop head strands of fibrous, cotton, sponge-plastic, or similarly absorbent material. The mop head strands are attached at their lower ends to a lower mop head support and at their upper ends to an upper mop head support which is attached to a rotatable outer sleeve which circumscribes the handle. An inner sleeve is secured to the handle and circumscribes the outer sleeve. It has planetary gears which mesh with a gear ring located on an internal surface of the outer sleeve. A hilt member, with gearing which meshes with the planetary gears, is rotatably mounted on the handle. Rotation of the hilt member by the user rotates the gearing of the system and the outer sleeve, creating a 2:1 mechanical advantage in ultimately rotating the mop head strands to wring them of moisture.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its design, construction, and use, together with additional features and advantages thereof, are best understood upon review of the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the mop of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the mop of the present invention showing rotational wringing of the mop strands.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of one of the sleeve components of the present invention, positioned on a mop handle.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view showing the positional relationship of the sleeve and hilt components of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the handle of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the handle inserted into the sleeve and hilt components of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken from FIG. 1, showing the positional relationship of the gearing of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Mop 1 of the present invention comprises mop head 2 comprising a plurality of cleaning mop head strands 4 made of cotton, cloth, sponge-plastic, or other fluid absorbent material. Mop head strands 4 extend outwardly and downwardly from lower mop head support 6, which is connected a lower region 10 of mop handle 8. Strands 8 extend downwardly and are secured at their upper ends to upper mop head support 9.

Sleeve locking component 12 is located on mop handle 8. Component 12 is shown to be hexagonal in configuration. Inner sleeve 14 is substantially cylindrical and open through its middle to accept handle 12. Sleeve 14 does comprise lower section 16, which is hexagonal in configuration. The internal diameter of section 16 is only slightly larger than the exterior diameter of component 12. When handle 8 is inserted into the sleeve 14, section 16 is configured to be slid over and encompass component 12, forming a tight pressure fit which secures sleeve 14 over component 12 and around handle 8. Although this sleeve to handle connection system is shown to be hexagonal in shape, the connection between section 16 of sleeve 14 and handle component 12 can be made by employing any convenient polygonal configuration and is not to be deemed restricted to a hexagonal shape.

Secured to upper section 18 of sleeve 14 are planetary gears 20, 21, and 22, spaced equidistantly around sleeve 14. Outer sleeve 24 is configured to surround sleeve 14. Outer sleeve 24 is connected at its lower end 26 to upper mop head support 9. Internal gear path 28 is located around the internal surface at the upper end of sleeve 24. When sleeve 24 is positioned over sleeve 14, planetary gears 20, 21, and 22 mesh with internal gear path 28.

Hilt member 30 also circumscribes handle 8. Hilt member 30 has through opening 31, handle section 32, hilt base 34, and extension 36. Drive gearing 38 circumscribes the upper section of extension 36, nearest to base 34. Lower section 40 of extension 36 is configured to be inserted into circular space 42 of sleeve 14. Once so inserted, gearing 38 meshes with planetary gears 20, 21, and 22.

When all components of the system are assembled, handle 8 extends through opening 31 and hence through hilt member 30, through sleeves 14 and 24, past upper mop head support 9 and through mop head 2, where the handle is connected to lower mop head support 6, as shown most clearly in FIGS. 1 and 4. To wring mop 1, the user grasps upper region 11 of handle 8 with one hand and handle section 32 of hilt member 30 with the other hand. Rotation of hilt member 30, for instance in the clockwise direction, rotates of gear ring 38, which drives planetary gears 20, 21, and 22 of sleeve 14 in the counterclockwise direction, as they travel clockwise along internal gear path 28 of sleeve 24. As planetary gears travel along gear path 28, they drive sleeve 24 in a counterclockwise rotation. Since mop head strands 4 are connected at their upper ends to upper mop head support 9, which is in turn connected to sleeve 24, rotation of sleeve 24 also rotates and twists the strands in the same direction, wringing them of moisture. Thus, by simply rotating or turning hilt member 30, the gearing arrangement of the invention provides for at least a 2:1 mechanical advantage. That is, the turning force exerted by the user will create twice the rotational force and, thus twice the wringing effect on mop head strands 4. Simply rotating or turning hilt member 30, allows the user to exert the same effort to obtain double the result.

In addition, since the wringing process involves tightly meshed gears, if the user releases his or her grasp of hilt member 30, the system will remain locked in place, that is, wringed mop head strands 4 will not loosen. They will remain in their wringed positions. Mop head strands 4 will only be loosen from their, in this example, counterclockwise, wringed position, by rotating or turning hilt member 30 in the counterclockwise direction. When so rotated, the gearing arrangement of the invention will operate to ultimately rotate sleeve 24 clockwise, also rotating mop head strands 4 clockwise, thereby releasing and loosening them from their wringed positions.

Certain novel features and components of this invention are disclosed in detail in order to make the invention clear in at least one form thereof. However, it is to be clearly understood that the invention as disclosed is not necessarily limited to the exact form and details as disclosed, since it is apparent that various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.





 
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