Title:
Shower enclosure and bathtub cleaning system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cleaning system includes a housing having a lumen defined therein including a first and second end configured to fluidly connect a hose and a pipe connection. The pipe connector is configured to selectively engage a showerhead pipe. The hose includes a first end where it operatively engages the lumen and a second end configured to operatively engage a hand-held scrubbing device for scrubbing a shower enclosure. The pipe connector is configured to divert water from the showerhead pipe through the hose via the lumen and is designed for use with the hand-held scrubbing device. The system further includes a spool disposed in the housing and configured to operatively engage the hose. The spool is selectively rotatable within the housing from a retracted position to a released position. A receiving compartment is defined in the housing and is designated to releasably retain a cartridge therein. The cartridge is configured to retain a cleaning agent therein.



Inventors:
Panasci, Thomas (Forest Hills, NY, US)
Clemente, Joseph (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/799505
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/01/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/29
International Classes:
A46B13/06; A46B11/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARTER, DELUCA & FARRELL LLP (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cleaning system, comprising: a housing having a lumen defined therein, the lumen including a first and second end configured to fluidly connect a hose and a pipe connection, said pipe connector being configured to selectively engage a showerhead pipe, the hose including a first end where it operatively engages the lumen and a second end being configured to operatively engage a hand-held scrubbing device for scrubbing a shower enclosure, the pipe connector being configured to divert water from the showerhead pipe through the hose via the lumen and being designed for use with the hand-held scrubbing device; a spool disposed in the housing and configured to operatively engage the hose, wherein the spool is selectively rotatable within the housing from a retracted position to a released position; and a receiving compartment defined in the housing which is designated to releasably retain a cartridge therein, the cartridge being configured to retain a cleaning agent therein.

2. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the scrubbing device includes at least one rotatable scouring element disposed thereon.

3. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the scrubbing device includes a rotatable cleaning head, the cleaning head being configured to release at least one of the water and the cleaning agent therefrom and having at least one rotatable scouring element.

4. The cleaning system according to claim 3, wherein the scrubbing device includes a button disposed thereon configured to release at least one of the water and the cleaning agent through at least one of the cleaning head and the rotatable scouring element.

5. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein an extension handle is positioned between the hose and the scrubbing device for fluid communication therebetween, the extension handle having a first end configured for connection to the second end of the hose and a second end configured for connection with the scrubbing device.

6. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the housing includes at least one fastener disposed thereon configured to secure the housing to a surface in a shower enclosure.

7. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the housing includes a control valve disposed thereon configured to selectively control the flow of at least one of the water and the cleaning agent through the lumen.

8. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the housing includes a mirror disposed thereon.

9. The cleaning system according to claim 1, wherein the hose is flat.

10. A hand-held scrubbing device configured for fluid communication with a showerhead pipe, comprising: a cartridge being configured for retaining a cleaning agent therein; a yoke configured and dimensioned to receive the cartridge therein, the yoke defining a lumen therein configured to translate water from an inlet end defined at a first end of the yoke to an outlet defined at a second end of the yoke, the inlet end being configured to receive water from a water source and the outlet end being configured to release the water therefrom; at least one mechanical interface configured and dimensioned for placement within the yoke to releasably retain the cartridge therein; a biasing lever configured to bias the cartridge to enable the release of the cleaning agent therefrom; and a cleaning head pivotally connected to the yoke including at least one rotatable scouring element configured to clean a bathroom surface.

11. The device according to claim 10, wherein the cartridge is pressurized.

12. The device according to claim 10, wherein the scrubbing device further includes a controller component disposed thereon configured to selectively release at least one of the water and the cleaning agent through at least one of the cleaning head and the scouring element.

13. The device according to claim 10, wherein the water source is in fluid communication with a showerhead pipe through a hose positioned therebetween.

14. The device according to claim 13, wherein the hose is connected to the showerhead pipe via a quick-release connector.

15. The device according to claim 13, wherein the inlet end of the lumen is coupled to a first end of an extension handle configured for use with the scrubbing device, the extension handle including a second end configured for connection to the hose.

16. The device according to claim 15, further configured to be received in a caddy apparatus, the caddy apparatus being configured and dimensioned to receive at least one of the scrubbing device, the extension handle, and the scrubbing device coupled to the extension handle.

17. A hand-held scrubbing device configured for attachment to a showerhead pipe, comprising: a cartridge configured to retain a cleaning agent therein, the cartridge dimensioned to be received within a housing; an application mechanism disposed within the housing defining a lumen between an inlet connector configured for connection to a water source and an outlet connector configured for connection to a spraying component, the spraying component being configured to release at least one of the water and the cleaning agent therefrom onto a bathroom surface for cleaning purposes; and a rotatable cleaning head coupled to the housing including at least one rotatable scouring element configured to clean a bathroom surface.

18. The device according to claim 17, wherein the water source is a hose in fluid communication with a showerhead pipe.

19. The device according to claim 18, wherein the inlet connector is coupled to a first end of an extension handle configured for use with the scrubbing device, the extension handle including a second end configured for connection to the hose.

20. The device according to claim 19, further configured to be received in a caddy apparatus, the caddy apparatus being configured and dimensioned to receive at least one of the scrubbing device, the extension handle, and the scrubbing device coupled to the extension handle.

21. The device according to claim 17, wherein the rotatable cleaning head is configured to releasably retain the cleaning agent therein.

22. The device according to claim 21, wherein the cleaning agent is released from the at least one rotatable scouring element.

23. The device according to claim 17, wherein the water from the water source pressurizes the at least one rotatable scouring element to cause rotational movement thereof.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/796,776 filed on May 2, 2006 entitled “Shower Enclosure and Bathtub Cleaning System,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/844,558 filed Sep. 14, 2006 entitled “Foaming Version,” and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/844,540 filed Sep. 14, 2006 entitled “Caddy Version,” the entire contents all of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present disclosure relates to cleaning systems and methods, and more particularly, to systems and methods for cleaning and/or washing shower enclosures, bathtubs, and the like.

2. Background of Related Art

A dwelling (i.e., a home, an apartment, a hotel room, etc.) has many areas that must be cleaned periodically. For purposes of overall health and sanitation, surfaces in bathroom areas often require special cleaning efforts.

Clean bathroom surfaces are essential for many reasons. The moist wet surfaces in bathrooms provide a haven for bacteria and viruses and must be kept under control to prevent disease. If the surfaces in the bathroom are not kept sanitary or impeccably clean, a bathroom user can be exposed to such ailments as foot fungus, the common cold, or other more serious illnesses.

Conventional methods of cleaning surfaces of a bathroom typically consist of filling a bucket with detergent and water and manually scrubbing the surfaces with a sponge or brush. Such a method has many inherent problems. For example, this method involves repeatedly rinsing the brush and having to fill and dump the bucket numerous times to discard dirty water. The soap or detergent may also cause skin irritations or allergic reactions to any exposed skin. To overcome this drawback, the wearing of rubber gloves has been adopted. However, rubber gloves are known to be very uncomfortable because they promote excess sweating of the hands.

Another problem with manual cleaning is that the person cleaning must manipulate their body in many ways to reach all of the surfaces. This includes kneeling on hard surfaces which can cause knee and back problems. Reaching higher surfaces involves reaching over one's head. This latter movement can easily cause a person to lose their footing on slick surfaces, resulting in injury.

Various instruments and devices have been developed and employed to facilitate the cleaning of the surfaces of a bathroom, such as, for example, powered brushes and the like. In certain instances, the cleaning instruments and/or devices are fluidly attached to an existing fixture (e.g., shower head, bathtub faucet, etc.) of the bathtub or shower enclosure, or the fixture is removed from the water supply pipes and the cleaning instruments and/or devices are directly fluidly connected to a free end of the water supply pipes.

A continuing need exists for a system which facilitates the cleaning of surfaces of a bathroom including a shower enclosure, a bathtub and the like.

A need further exists for a system which facilitates the cleaning of surfaces of a bathroom including an adapter for enabling selective fluid connection of a bath fixture (e.g., a shower head) and a cleaning instrument or device to a free end of a water supply pipe.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to systems and methods for cleaning and/or washing shower enclosures, bathtubs, and the like.

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a cleaning system for cleaning surfaces of a bath, shower enclosure, bath tub and the like is provided. The cleaning system includes a housing having a lumen defined therein including a first and second end configured to fluidly connect a hose and a pipe connection. The pipe connector is configured to selectively engage a showerhead pipe. The hose includes a first end where it operatively engages the lumen and a second end configured to operatively engage a hand-held scrubbing device for scrubbing a shower enclosure. The pipe connector is configured to divert water from the showerhead pipe through the hose via the lumen and is designed for use with the hand-held scrubbing device. The system further includes a spool disposed in the housing and configured to operatively engage the hose. The spool is selectively rotatable within the housing from a retracted position to a released position. A receiving compartment is defined in the housing and is designated to releasably retain a cartridge therein. The cartridge is configured to retain a cleaning agent therein.

In an embodiment, the system may include an extension handle connected between the second end of the hose and the hand-held scrubbing device. It is envisioned that the extension handle may include telescopic functionality to provide additional reach for difficult areas.

According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a cleaning system for cleaning surfaces of a bath, shower enclosure, bath tub and the like is provided. The cleaning system includes a universal adapter configured and dimensioned for connection to a free end of a showerhead pipe of the bath; and a showerhead adapter configured and dimensioned for connection to a fitting of a shower head. The universal adapter and the showerhead adapter are configured for selective fluid-tight connection with one another. The cleaning system further includes a tube having a first fitting provided at a first end thereof for fluid connection with the universal adapter, and a fitting provided at a second end thereof for fluid connection with a cleaning attachment. The cleaning system also includes a cleaning attachment having a handle portion including a first end configured for fluid connection with the second fitting of the tube; a head portion operatively supported on a second end of the handle portion; and at least one scouring element operatively associated with the head portion of the cleaning attachment. In use, the showerhead is replaced by the tube and cleaning attachment for cleaning of the surfaces of the bath.

Desirably, the universal adapter includes a quick release coupling for engaging each of the showerhead adapter and the first fitting of the tube.

In an embodiment, the cleaning attachment may include a plurality of scouring elements extending from a first surface of the head portion. It is envisioned that the cleaning attachment may include a squeegee extending from a surface of the head portion which is opposite the scouring elements. Desirably, the head portion of the cleaning attachment may be pivotable with respect to the handle portion.

In an embodiment, the head portion of the cleaning attachment may include at least one aperture formed therein for discharge of fluid therefrom. The cleaning attachment may include a control switch for opening and closing the apertures formed in the head portion thereof.

In another embodiment, the scouring elements of the cleaning attachment may be capable of oscillating in a transverse direction and/or a longitudinal direction. It is envisioned that the scouring elements of the cleaning attachment may be capable of rotating. It is envisioned that the cleaning attachment may be configured and adapted to cause the scouring elements to rotate, oscillate in a transverse direction, and/or oscillate in a longitudinal direction.

The handle portion of the cleaning attachment may be elongated. In an embodiment, the handle portion of the cleaning attachment has a length of from about 6 inches to about 24 inches. In another embodiment, the handle portion of the cleaning attachment has a length of from about 24 inches to about 60 inches.

According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a cleaning system for cleaning surfaces of a bath, shower enclosure, bath tub and the like is provided. The cleaning system includes a universal adapter configured and dimensioned for connection to a free end of a showerhead pipe of the bath; a tube having a first fitting provided at a first end thereof for fluid connection with the universal adapter, and a fitting provided at a second end thereof for fluid connection with a cleaning attachment; and a cleaning attachment attachable to the fitting at the second end of the tube. The cleaning attachment includes a handle portion including a first end configured for fluid connection with the second fitting of the tube; a head portion operatively supported on a second end of the handle portion; and at least one scouring element operatively associated with the head portion of the cleaning attachment.

The universal adapter may include a quick release coupling for engaging the first fitting of the tube.

The cleaning attachment may include a plurality of scouring elements extending from a first surface of the head portion. The cleaning attachment may further include a squeegee extending from a surface of the head portion which is opposite the scouring elements.

The head portion of the cleaning attachment is desirably pivotable with respect to the handle portion. It is envisioned that the head portion of the cleaning attachment includes at least one aperture formed therein for discharging fluid therefrom. Desirably, the cleaning attachment includes a control switch for opening and closing the apertures formed in the head portion thereof.

It is envisioned that the cleaning attachment is configured and adapted to cause the scouring elements to rotate, oscillate in a transverse direction, and/or oscillate in a longitudinal direction.

The cleaning system may further include a showerhead adapter configured and dimensioned for connection to a fitting of a shower head. The universal adapter and the showerhead adapter are configured for selective fluid-tight connection with one another. Accordingly, in use, the showerhead is replaced by the tube and cleaning attachment when cleaning the surfaces of the bath.

For a better understanding of the present disclosure and to show how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, bay way of example, to the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, with parts separated, of a cleaning system in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a further perspective view, with parts separated, of the cleaning system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the cleaning system of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a cleaning tool of the cleaning systems of FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another cleaning tool of the cleaning systems of FIGS. 1-4;

FIGS. 6 through 8 showing a cleaning head having a removable cartridge;

FIGS. 9A and 9B show a Y valve connector of the unit;

FIGS. 10 through 11 show a caddy for the cleaning tool;

FIGS. 12 through 14 show a wall mounted unit with a quick connect hose;

FIGS. 15 through 29 show various views of the cleaning head;

FIGS. 30 through 33 show a telescopic handle for use with the cleaning tool;

FIGS. 34 through 38 show additional views of the caddy for the cleaning tool;

FIGS. 39 through 40 show a cleaning system according to embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 41 shows a scrubbing device according to embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 42 shows an exploded view of the scrubbing device of FIG. 41;

FIG. 43 shows a scrubbing device according to embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 44 shows an exploded view of the scrubbing device of FIG. 43;

FIG. 45 shows a scrubbing device according to embodiments of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 46 shows an exploded view of the scrubbing device of FIG. 45.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the drawings, new and improved systems and methods for cleaning and/or washing shower enclosure, bathtubs and the like, embodying the principles and concepts of the present disclosure will be described.

With reference to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of a system for cleaning a shower enclosure, bathtub and the like, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, is generally designated as system 100. Cleaning system 100 is intended for fluid connection to a free end of a shower head pipe 12 projecting from a shower wall 10 or other shower structure or the like. Shower head pipe 12 delivers a supply of water to a shower head 14 or cleaning system 100, as will be described in greater detail below. As is typical, a distal end 12a of shower head pipe 12 is threaded for connection with complementary threads provided on a showerhead 14 or the like.

Cleaning system 100 includes a universal adapter 110, at least one cleaning attachment 120, and optionally an elongate hose or tube 130.

Universal adaptor 110 of cleaning system 100 includes a first end 112 configured and dimensioned to connect to distal end 12a of showerhead pipe 12, and a second end 114 configured and dimensioned to selectively connect with one of a plurality of components (e.g., showerhead 14, cleaning attachment 120, etc.). Universal adaptor 110 defines a lumen 116 enabling passage of fluid (e.g., water) and the like therethrough. Desirably, it is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure, for second end 114 of universal adapter 110 to include a quick release fluid coupling 118 for enabling quick and easy connecting and disconnecting of various components thereto. It is also envisioned that second end 114 may be configured and dimensioned for snap-fit, threaded, pressure, friction-fit and/or any other type of coupling known by one having ordinary skill in the art.

Cleaning system 100 further includes a showerhead adapter 210 configured and adapted to fluidly interconnect showerhead 14 to universal adapter 110. Showerhead adapter 210 includes a first end 212 configured and dimensioned to selectively connect to second end 114 of universal adapter 110, and a second end 214 configured and adapted to selectively connect to a fitting 14a of showerhead 14. Showerhead adapter 210 defines a lumen 216 enabling passage of fluid (e.g., water) and the like therethrough. Desirably, it is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure, for first end 212 of showerhead adapter 210 to be configured and adapted to operatively engage quick release fluid coupling 118 of universal adapter 110.

As seen in FIG. 2, tube 130 includes a first end having a first fitting 132 configured and dimensioned to connect with second end 114 of universal adaptor 110. Tube 130 includes a second end having a second fitting 134 configured and dimensioned to selectively connect with cleaning tool 120. Tube 130 defines a lumen 136 enabling passage of fluid (e.g., water) and the like therethrough. Desirably, it is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure, for first fitting 132 of tube 130 to include a quick release fluid coupling configured and adapted to cooperate with quick release fluid coupling 118 of adapter 110 to enable quick release and coupling thereof. It is further envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure, for second fitting 134 of tube 130 to include a quick release fluid coupling (not shown) for enabling quick and easy connecting and disconnecting of various cleaning tools and the like thereto.

Desirably, depending on the size of the shower enclosure, bath tub or the like, an appropriate length tube 130 is connected to second end 114 of universal adaptor 110 which enables the user to reach all of the surfaces or a selected number of surfaces of the shower enclosure with cleaning tool 120.

It is envisioned that a fluid-tight seal is provided between second end 114 of universal adapter 110 and first end 132 of hose 130. For example, an O-ring or the like (not shown) may be used to create the fluid-tight seal between second end 114 of universal adapter 110 and first end 132 of hose 130.

Cleaning attachment or tool 120 of cleaning system 100 further includes a working head portion 122 configured and adapted to affect cleaning and/or scrubbing of a desired surface. Cleaning attachment 120 includes a handle portion 124 having a first end 126 configured and dimensioned to connect with second end 134 of tube 130, and a second end 128 configured and dimensioned to support working head portion 122. Cleaning attachment 120 may have a handle portion 124 having a length of from about 6 inches to about 24 inches, as seen in FIG. 2, or cleaning attachment 120 may have a handle portion 124a having a length from about 24 inches to about 60 inches, as seen in FIG. 3. In accordance with the present disclosure, depending on the size and shape of the shower enclosure or bath tub that is to be cleaned, a cleaning attachment 120 having either a shorter handle portion 124 or a longer handle portion 124a will be attached to tube 130 in order to facilitate the cleaning thereof.

Desirably, cleaning attachment 120 includes a tilt action hinge 129 or the like between handle portion 124, 124a and head portion 122. As seen in FIG. 3, hinge 129 enables head portion 122 to tilt off-axis or to angle, upwardly or downwardly (as indicated by arrow “A”), with respect to a longitudinal axis of handle portion 124, 124a.

As seen in FIGS. 2-5, head portion 122 of cleaning attachment 120 includes at least one scouring element 142 operatively associated with a first or front surface 122a thereof for scrubbing the surfaces of the shower enclosure or bathtub. Desirably, cleaning attachment 120 includes a plurality of scouring elements 142. It is envisioned that scouring elements 142 may include, and are not limited to, sponges, bristles, and the like. If the scouring element 142 is a sponge, it is contemplated that the sponge may be a single larger sponge or a plurality of smaller sponges covering at least a portion of front surface 122a of head portion 122. If scouring element 142 consists of bristles, it is envisioned that the bristles may form a single bristled region covering at least a portion of front surface 122a, or a plurality of tufts of bristles, as shown in FIGS. 2-5, dispersed over at least a portion of front surface 122a of head portion 122.

While cleaning attachment 120 may be “non-powered” or “non-motorized”, as discussed above, it is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure for cleaning attachment 120 to be “powered” or “motorized” (i.e., include mechanisms and/or systems which deliver motion to scouring element 142).

Desirably, head portion 122 of cleaning attachments 120 may be provided with a mechanism or system (not shown) which is capable of causing scouring elements 142 to rotate and/or oscillate, as indicated by arrows “B” and “B′” respectively in FIG. 4. Alternatively, head portion 122 of cleaning attachments 120 may be provided with a mechanism or system (not shown) which is capable of causing scouring elements 142 to rotate, as indicated by arrow “C” in FIG. 5. Optionally, head portion 122 of cleaning attachments 120 may be provided with a mechanism or system (not shown) which is capable of causing scouring elements 142 to oscillate in a longitudinal or transverse direction, as indicated by respective arrows “D” and “E” of FIGS. 4 and 5, with respect to a longitudinal axis of cleaning attachment 120.

Desirably, scouring elements 142 may be removed from head portion 122 of cleaning attachment 120 and replaced with new or sanitized scouring elements 142 as needed and/or desired.

It is envisioned that scouring elements 142 of cleaning attachment 120 may be driven or powered by, for example, fluid pressure, electrical energy, and the like. In an embodiment, as seen in FIG. 3, an electrical power pack or energy source 150 may be incorporated into handle 124a of cleaning attachment 120. Energy source 150 delivers power to the mechanism or system (not shown) used to drive scouring elements 142. Energy source 150 may include replaceable batteries, rechargeable batteries and the like.

As seen in FIGS. 2-5, head portion 122 of cleaning attachment 120 includes a squeegee 144 extending from a second or rear surface 122b thereof for wiping off excess water from the surfaces of the shower enclosure or bathtub.

Desirably, as seen in FIGS. 2-5, head portion 122 of cleaning attachment 120 includes at least one opening or aperture 146 formed in a distal surface 122c thereof. Desirably, during use, apertures 146 of head portion 122 permit water to exit therefrom in the form of a spray or the like. The water exiting apertures 146 of head portion 122 may be used to rinse of the surfaces of the shower enclosure of bathtub. While apertures 146 are shown and described as being provided in distal surface 122c of head portion 122, it is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure for apertures to be located anywhere around the surface of head portion 122, either an upper surface, a lower surface or a side surface.

It is envisioned and within the scope of the present disclosure for cleaning attachment 120 to be provided with a control switch 148 (i.e., an “on/off” switch”), see FIGS. 2-5, which is configured and adapted to open and close apertures 146 of head portion 122, or configured and adapted to permit, impede, or prevent water from being delivered to apertures 146 of head portion 122.

Referring now to another embodiment of the present disclosure shown in FIG. 6 through 8 there is shown an extension handle 200 connected with a cleaning head 202. The extension handle 200 can be connected between a cleaning head 202 and a hose 204 in a shower (not shown) as discussed above. The cleaning head 202 has an insertion compartment 206. The insertion compartment 206 is a receiving surface on the cleaning head 202 and which is dimensioned to receive a disposable cartridge 208 having a detergent therein. The disposable cartridge 208 has a valve sealed by an O ring. The valve mates with a corresponding structure on the insertion compartment 206 of the cleaning head 202 to permit the user to removably insert and connect the cartridge 208 having a detergent therein into the cleaning head 202 for an improved cleaning tool. The cartridge 208 can then communicate detergent through a lumen formed through the cleaning head 202. The lumen (not shown) is connected with a sponge or scouring element 210 on the distal end of the head 202 to release the detergent into the sponge 210 for scrubbing purposes. It is also envisioned that the cleaning head 202 is configured to release the detergent directly onto the surface to be cleaned. For example, the detergent may be released through any suitable location of the cleaning head 202 such as the distal-most portion, forward-most portion, and/or sides of the cleaning head 202. The cleaning product is released by pushing a button, trigger, dial, or some other mechanism or interface on the head 202 or on the bottom of the head 202. The button or dial may also control water flow through the head 202. The head 202 may be fitted with attachable tools such as scrubbing bristles, a grout cleaner, a squeegee and a shower door track cleaner. The tools will break down and store in the caddy 300 shown in FIG. 11.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown the cartridge 208 removably connected on the head 202, and FIG. 7 shows the cartridge 208 snap fit or mated on the cleaning head 202. An advantageous feature of the present disclosure is that the cartridge 208 may be easily replaced from the head 202, and can be sold separately from the unit with a favored detergent in the cartridge 208 for cleaning or scrubbing. Various different detergents can be used with the present cartridge 208.

Referring now to FIG. 9A, there is shown a showerhead 220. In this embodiment, the showerhead has a Y-shaped valve 222 to permit selective water access to a hose for cleaning purposes. It should be understood that the term “Y-shape” is utilized for illustrative purposes only and valve 222 may be any shape suitable for use with the present disclosure such as, for example, “T-shaped” or the like. The showerhead 220 has a first lumen 224 on the Y-shaped valve 222 for communicating with the extension hose 226 as shown in FIG. 9B, and another lumen 228 for communicating with a conventional spout 230. The Y-shaped valve 222 also has a collar 232 with a detent 234. The detent 234 is disposed on the collar 232. A hose 226 has a matching interface (not shown) to receive the detent 234. The detent 234 and interface may be arranged on multiple sides of the collar 232 and hose 226. An advantageous feature of the present disclosure is that the extension hose 226 having the interface can ride up onto the collar 232 and mate with the detent 234 for a quick snap fit water tight connection arrangement. In this manner, the Y-shaped valve 222 is configured to divert water from the spout 230 to the hose 226 while the hose 226 is mated with the detent 234. Upon the conclusion of the use of the hose 226, the user can simply pull the hose 226 away from the Y-shaped valve 222 to disengage the hose 226.

Referring now to FIGS. 10 and 11, there is shown a caddy 300. The caddy 300 has a receiving space 302 defined therein to receive the head 202. Preferably, the caddy 300 is made from a thermoplastic material and can be stored in the shower or in the bathroom, and is portable. The caddy 300 also has an interior space 304 to receive a number of cleaning products or related items.

Referring now to FIGS. 12 through 14, there is shown a wall mounted hose with a quick connection apparatus 400. In this embodiment, the apparatus 400 has a wall plate 402 that forms a lumen 404 defined therein. The wall plate 402 has a bellows pipe 404 and an exit port 406. A hose 408 is adapted to be connected to the port 406 as shown in FIG. 13. Referring now to FIG. 14, there is shown a cross sectional view of the wall plate 402. The wall plate 402 is connected to the wall by a threaded member 410 that engages a feed pipe. The feed pipe connects with the shower head 412. However, some of the water that escapes from the feed pipe enters the bellows tube 404 and flows through lumen 414. The lumen 414 communicates with the port 406, and may be releasably opened or closed using a valve 416. Referring now again to FIG. 12, the valve 416 can be rotated to open or close the flow of water to the hose 408.

Referring now to FIGS. 15 through 19 as shown, the cleaning head 202 in this embodiment has a compartment 206 with a cartridge 208 that is removable. In embodiments, it is envisioned that a door or cover (not shown) may be included to secure the cartridge 208 within the compartment 206. The cleaning head 202 also has a scouring element 210 or brush as shown. As shown in FIG. 17, the scouring element 210 or brush can be articulated by a pivot member 212 in the direction of reference arrow “F” as shown. Referring to FIGS. 18 and 19 there is shown a top elevation view and a side view of the cleaning head 202. In this embodiment, the cartridge 206 has a detent 214 to easily remove the cartridge 208 for replacement purposes.

Referring now to FIGS. 20 through 23, the cleaning head 202 simplifies and improves the efficiency of cleaning hard surfaces including shower walls and the tub surface. The system consists of a quick release adapter (not shown), a flexible hosing and a handle/cleaning head 202. Quick release fittings will allow the system to have a snap fit connection to an existing conventional shower as discussed above. The handle/cleaning head 202 may be configured and dimensioned for a user to hold and move the cleaning head 202 for scrubbing. The cleaning head 202 may further include telescopic extension on that provides additional reach for difficult areas. The telescopic portion allows the handle/cleaning head to extend from first predetermined length to a second predetermined length as shown in FIGS. 30 through 33. The head 202 also accommodates various accessories such as liquids or sprays cleaning products in the cartridge 208 as shown in FIG. 20. The cleaning head 202 also has removable/interchangeable accessories including scrubbing bristles, a squeegee, replaceable/disposable cleaning pads, and other tools for cleaning difficult areas. The accessories will be installed on the bottom surface 215 of the cleaning head 202 as shown in FIG. 22. A rotational dial 217 on the top 219 of the head 202 (or a button 217′ on the bottom side shown in FIG. 22) will allow the head to spray water or cleaning product in the cartridge 208 or from the hose from either the front, sides, or bottom of the head 202. At least one of the dial 217 and the button 217′ may also be configured to release the scouring element 210 from the bottom surface 215 of the head 202, as shown in FIG. 22, and/or alter the direction of the water released from the head 202 (not explicitly illustrated). A reservoir is disposed in or on the top of the cleaning head 202 which accepts replaceable/disposable cartridges 208 having cleaning product therein. In another embodiment, the user may load an amount of cleaning product in the head for future use. The cartridge 208 can be replaced when the cleaning product runs out or if the user wants to install a different cleaning product (bleach vs. non bleach, etc.).

Referring now to FIGS. 23 through 29, the head portion 202 will pivot in the direction of arrow “G” to allow the head 202 to ride the cleaning surface efficiently, and scour any surface. The head 202 may be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise to release and/or control water flow. Alternatively, the cleaning head 202 or the handle 219 of the head 202 may be rotated clockwise or counter clockwise from the head 202 to release cleaning product and water simultaneously. Therefore, the user can spray water or cleaning product and water from the head 202.

Referring now to FIGS. 30 through 33, there is shown the head 202 connected to the handle 500. Here, the handle 500 is connected to the head 202 by a telescopic portion 502. The telescopic portion 502 can vary the length of the handle portion 500 from a first predetermined size to a second predetermined size as shown. The telescopic portion 502 has a first portion 504 and a second portion 506 with the first portion 504 being adapted to be coaxial with the second portion 506 as shown in FIG. 32. The handle portion 500 is connected to flexible hosing that will, in turn, connect to the shower pipe using a quick release adapter that attaches to the shower pipe as discussed above. As shown, the head 202 may be detachable from the telescopic portion 502 for installation purposes. In another embodiment, the telescopic portion 502 may be rotatable in the direction of reference arrow “H” shown in FIG. 30 and second portion 506 may also be rotatable in the direction of reference arrow “J” shown in FIG. 30. Rotation of each of the portion 502 and portion 506 may activate the water spray, or may activate the head 202 to release the detergent or contents of the cartridge 208. Alternatively, the device may further have a knob 501 to activate the head to release the detergent or contents of the cartridge 208 or activate the water spray.

The system may be stored in a plastic caddy 300 having a handle 301 when not in use as shown in FIGS. 34 through 38. The head region 202 will have a quick disconnect so it can be removed from the handle and the system can collapse further for storage in the caddy as shown in FIG. 37. To install the cleaning head 202, the showerhead is removed from the shower pipe. A quick release adapter is installed on the naked shower pipe. The shower head is reinstalled at one of the open ends of the adapter. The open end includes a quick release fitting that will accept the hose for the system.

Referring now to FIGS. 39, 39A, and 40, there is shown a wall mounted caddy 600 configured and dimensioned for coupling to a showerhead pipe 612 via a “T” connector 605. The “T” connector 605 is configured to permit selective water access to a hose 610 for cleaning purposes. In this embodiment, the caddy 600 has a body portion 602 that forms a lumen (not explicitly shown) defined therein. The lumen is configured to facilitate fluid communication between a first lumen 607 defined through the “T” valve 605, shown in FIG. 9B, and the hose 610. The “T” connector 605 has another lumen 609, shown in FIG. 9B, for communicating with a conventional spout 630. The hose is configured at a first end (not explicitly shown) to couple to the lumen within the body portion 602 for fluid communication with the “T” connector 605 via the first lumen 607. A connector 612 coupled to a second end 611 of the hose 610 is configured for attachment to a cleaning attachment such as, for example, the cleaning head 202 or alternatively the extension handle 200 shown in FIGS. 6-8.

In embodiments, the “T” connector 605 may include a valve 603 configured to selectively divert water from the showerhead pipe 612 through the first lumen 607 for fluid communication with the hose 610 or through the second lumen 609 to the conventional spout 630. In this manner, water may be diverted from the showerhead pipe 612 through the body portion 602 of the caddy 600 to the hose 610 for use with the cleaning head 202 (FIG. 15).

In embodiments, the caddy 600 may include a mirror 604, as shown in FIG. 39. The mirror 604 may be integrally formed with the surface of body portion 602 as, for example, reflective plastic. In other embodiments, the mirror 604 may be releasably attached to body portion 602 by, for example, suction cups, fasteners, double sided adhesive tape, etc.

The caddy 600 may further include fasteners such as, for example, one or more suction cups 615 configured to secure the body portion to a surface 620 below the showerhead pipe 612, as shown in FIG. 39. The surface 620 may be any surface suitable for a shower/bath environment such as, for example, tile, plastic, vinyl, etc.

In embodiments, caddy 600 may be configured to store the hose 610 within the body portion 602 of caddy 600, as shown in FIG. 39. In this configuration, the hose 610 may be wound around a spool (not shown) within the body portion 602 for storage therein. The body portion 602 may include at least one handle 606 on either side in operative association with the spool configured for turning in a manner depicted by the arrow “K” in FIG. 39. In this manner, the hose 610 may alternate between a stored configuration within the body portion 602, wherein the hose 610 is coiled around the spool, and an extended configuration for cleaning purposes, wherein the hose 610 is extended from the body portion 602. It should be understood that the hose 610 may be, for example, a flat hose and/or a tube or hose sufficiently pliant as would be suitable for coiling the hose 610 around the spool within body portion 602.

FIG. 40 shows another embodiment of caddy 600 including an insertion compartment 650 dimensioned to receive a cartridge 652 having a detergent therein. It is envisioned that a door or cover (not shown) may be included to secure the cartridge 652 within the compartment 650. The cartridge 652 has a valve sealed by an O ring. The valve mates with a corresponding structure (not shown) on the insertion compartment 650 of the caddy 600 to permit the user to removably insert and connect the cartridge 652 having a detergent therein into the caddy 600 for an improved cleaning system. The cartridge 652 may be disposable or be configured for refill with detergent while mated to the insertion compartment 650. The cartridge 652 can then communicate detergent through a lumen formed through the body portion 602 of the caddy 600. It is also envisioned that the compartment 650 is configured to receive detergent directly therein without the use of the cartridge 652. For example, a liquid detergent may be received within the compartment 650 for communication through the body portion 602 of the caddy 600. The lumen (not shown) is connected with the hose 610 to release the detergent out of the hose 610 and/or through the sponge or scouring element 210 on the distal end of the head 202 to release the detergent into the sponge 210 for scrubbing purposes (FIGS. 6-8). It is envisioned that the cleaning head 202 is configured to release the detergent directly onto the surface to be cleaned. For example, the detergent may be released through any suitable location of the cleaning head 202 such as the distal-most portion, forward-most portion, and/or sides of the cleaning head 202. In this embodiment, the body portion 602 of the caddy 600 may further include a detergent valve 603 configured to allow the release of detergent from the cartridge 652 into the lumen within the body portion 602. The valve 603 may be embodied as a knob, a button, or the like and configured to be positioned in a plurality of configurations or cleaning settings of the caddy 600. Any setting or configuration suited for cleaning purposes is envisioned such as, for example: a detergent configuration wherein detergent is released into the lumen, a rinse configuration wherein fluid communication is permitted between the body portion 602 and the hose 610; a combination configuration wherein detergent is released into the lumen and fluid communication is simultaneously permitted between the body portion 602 and the hose 610; and an off configuration wherein no fluid communication is permitted between the body portion 602 and the hose 610 and detergent is not released into the lumen, etc. Caddy 600 may further include a receiving space 660 defined therein to receive the head 202 or, alternatively, the head 202 including the extension handle 200 (FIGS. 6-8), as shown in FIG. 40.

FIG. 41 shows an alternative embodiment of a cleaning head 700 for use with the present disclosure. In this embodiment, the cleaning head 700 includes a cartridge 702 having detergent therein configured to be received within a connector yoke 710. The cartridge 702 may be disposable or be configured for refill with detergent while mated to the connector yoke 710. The cartridge 702, shown in detail in FIG. 42, may be a pressurized canister configured to release detergent through a valve 703 upon pressure applied on the valve 703 from a lever 715 pivotally mated to a first end 711 of the connector yoke 710. As shown in FIG. 41, the lever 715 may include a biasing member 715a configured to bias the valve 703 inward toward the cartridge 702 and allow the release of detergent from the valve 703 through the biasing member 715a via an aperture (not explicitly shown). The lever 715 is configured to pivot about an “X-X axis” defined by a throughbore 716 (FIG. 42) through the first end of the connector yoke 710. The lever 715 includes a throughbore 717 configured to be positioned coaxial to the throughbore 716 defined through the connector yoke 710. In this manner, throughbores 716 and 717 may be configured to receive a fastener or pin therethrough (not shown) configured to operatively mate the lever 715 to the first end 711 of the connector yoke 710. The pivoting motion of the lever 715 about the X-X axis is depicted in FIG. 41 by an arrow “L.” Once placed within the connector yoke 710, the cartridge 702 may be secured therein by a plunger 720 inserted between the cartridge 702 and a second end 712 of the connector yoke 710 to bias the cartridge 702 toward the first end of the connector yoke 710, as shown in FIG. 41. Connector yoke 710 further defines a lumen 730 therethrough having a first end 731 including an aperture 734 configured to dispense water therefrom and a second end 732 including a connector 736 configured to receive a water source such as, for example, the hose 610 (FIG. 39), the extension handle 200 (FIG. 6-8), etc.

The cleaning head 700 further includes a head portion 740 in mated relation to the connector yoke 710, as shown in FIG. 41. The head portion 740 includes at least one scouring element (not shown) operatively associated with a first or front surface 740a thereof for scrubbing the surfaces of the shower enclosure or bathtub. The head portion 740 may include a plurality of scouring elements. It is envisioned that the scouring elements may be, for example, sponges, bristles, etc. The head portion 740 includes a throughbore 743 configured to be positioned coaxial to the throughbore 716 defined through the connector yoke 710 along the X-X axis. In this manner, throughbore 743 and throughbore 716 may receive a fastener or pin (not shown) therethrough to pivotally mate the head portion 740 to the connector yoke 710. The pivoting action of the head portion 740 relative to the connector yoke 710 is depicted by arrow “M”, as shown in FIG. 41. The pivoting motion capacity of the head portion 740 provides for improved cleaning performance of the system of the present disclosure.

FIG. 43 shows another alternative embodiment of a cleaning head 800 for use with the present disclosure. In this embodiment, the cleaning head 800 includes a cartridge 810 having detergent therein configured to be coupled with an application mechanism 830, shown in FIG. 44. The cartridge 810 may be a self-contained canister configured to release detergent into the application mechanism 830 upon mating to a receiving compartment 835 defined on the application mechanism 830. The cartridge 810 may be disposable or configured to be refilled with detergent while mated to the receiving compartment 835. The cartridge 810 may be, for example, threaded, snap-fit, slide-fit, etc. to the receiving compartment 835. The cleaning head 800 includes a housing 820 configured to house the application mechanism 830 and the cartridge 810 therein, as illustrated in FIG. 44. The application mechanism 830 includes a connector 832 configured to receive a water source such as, for example, the hose 610 (FIG. 39), the extension handle 200 (FIG. 6-8), etc. The connector 832 may be configured to protrude from the housing 820 through an aperture (not shown) formed in the housing 820. The application mechanism 830 further includes a fitting 834 configured to receive a nozzle 840 thereon in, for example, a snap-fit or threaded manner. As shown in FIGS. 43 and 44, the fitting 834 may be disposed outside the housing 820 through an aperture 820a defined thereon. In this manner, the nozzle 840 may be configured to attach to the fitting 834 on the outside of the housing 820 and to spray water and/or detergent for cleaning purposes. In use, the detergent is released by the cartridge 810 into the receiving compartment 835 and subsequently translated into a chamber 837 in fluid communication with the fitting 834 and the connector 832, as shown in FIG. 44. In this way, detergent and/or water may be released from the nozzle 840 as desired.

The cleaning head 800 further includes a head portion 850 in mated relation to the housing, as shown in FIG. 43. The head portion 850 includes at least one scouring element (not shown) operatively associated with a first or front surface 850a thereof for scrubbing the surfaces of the shower enclosure or bathtub. The head portion 850 may include a plurality of scouring elements. It is envisioned that the scouring elements may be, for example, sponges, bristles, etc. The head portion 850 includes a throughbore 851 configured to be positioned coaxial to a throughbore 821 defined through the housing 820 along an X-X axis, as shown in FIG. 43. In this manner, throughbore 851 and throughbore 821 may receive a fastener or pin (not shown) therethrough to pivotally mate the head portion 850 to the housing 820. The pivoting action of the head portion 850 relative to the housing 820 is depicted by the arrow “N” in FIG. 43. The pivoting motion capacity of the head portion 850 provides for improved cleaning performance of the system of the present disclosure.

Alternatively, the cleaning head 800 of FIGS. 43 and 44 may be configured to include a cartridge 860 in place of the head portion 850, as depicted in FIG. 45. In this embodiment, the cartridge 860 may be, for example, snap-fit, threaded, etc. into the housing 820 for releasing detergent into the application mechanism 830, as discussed above with respect to FIGS. 43 and 44. The cartridge 860, shown in detail in FIG. 46 includes at least one scouring element (not shown) operatively associated with a first or front surface 860a thereof for scrubbing the surfaces of the shower enclosure or bathtub. The cartridge 860 may include a plurality of scouring elements. It is envisioned that the scouring elements may be, for example, sponges, bristles, etc.

As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present disclosure, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present disclosure.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the disclosure. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the disclosure to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the disclosure.