Title:
Method of washing laundry
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention discloses a method of washing laundry by controlling the intensity of washing according to the temperature of washing water. In the method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, a temperature of a washing water supplied to the outer tub is sensed. Then, the intensity of washing laundry is controlled according to the sensed temperature of the washing water.



Inventors:
Choi, Soung-bong (Changwon-shi, KR)
Application Number:
11/898792
Publication Date:
04/17/2008
Filing Date:
09/14/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06F33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CORMIER, DAVID G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method comprising the steps of: a) sensing a temperature of a washing water supplied to the outer tub; and b) controlling intensity of washing laundry according to the sensed temperature of the washing water.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the intensity of washing is controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein in the step b), a season is determined according to the temperature of the washing water, and the intensity of washing laundry is controlled according to the determined season.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein in the step b), at least one of a rotating speed and a rotating time of the inner tub is controlled according to the temperature of the washing water.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein in the step b), the rotating speed of an inner tub is controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein in the step b), the rotating time of the inner tub is controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

7. A method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method comprising the steps of: a) sensing volume of laundry putted in the inner tub; b) supplying a washing water to the laundry; c) sensing a temperature of the supplied washing water; and d) controlling intensity of washing laundry, which is decided according to the sensed volume, by reflecting a season that is determined according to the sensed temperature of the washing water.

8. A method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method comprising the steps of: a) supplying washing water to the laundry; b) sensing a temperature of the supplied washing water; and c) determining whether the laundry is thick or thin according to the temperature of the washing water.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising the step of: d) sensing volume of the laundry before the step a); and e) washing laundry based on the volume and the determination of the step c).

10. The method of claim 8, wherein in the step c), a season is determined according to the temperature of the washing water, and the laundry is determined whether it is thick or thin according to the determined season.

11. A method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method comprising the steps of: a) sensing volume of laundry putted in the inner tub; b) supplying a washing water to the laundry; c) sensing a temperature of the washing water supplied to the outer tub; and d) controlling at least one of a rotating speed and a rotating time of an inner tub, which are decided according to the sensed volume, according to the temperature of the washing water.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein in the step d), the rotating speed of the inner tub is controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein in the step d), the rotating time of the inner tub is controlled in inverse proportion to a temperature of the washing water.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a method of washing laundry, and more particularly, to a method of washing laundry by controlling the intensity of washing according to the temperature of washing water.

BACKGROUND ART

Korean Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2005-0117004 describes one of typical drum-type washing machine including a cabinet, a tub disposed in the cabinet, and a drum disposed in the tub.

Korean Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2005-0102916 describes a temperature sensing device for sensing the temperature of washing water supplied to an outer tub in a drum-type washing machine. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a temperature sensing device introduced in Korea Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2005-0102916. As shown in FIG. 4, the temperature sensing device includes a temperature sensor 42 for sensing the temperature of washing water, a connector 46 connected to the temperature sensor 42 through a lead line 44 and a power supply, and a temperature sensor cover 48 for shielding the temperature sensor 42 and the lead line 44.

Korea Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2001-0057848 describes a volume sensing method for fully automatic washing machine, which senses the volume of laundry and decides a water level according to previous inputted or stored data.

Korea Laid-open Patent Publication No. 1998-0068971 describes a method of controlling a washing machine including a cabinet, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet, an inner tub rotatably disposed in the outer tub, and a pulsator rotatably installed at the bottom of the inner tub.

However, the methods of washing laundry according to the related art cannot reflect the characteristics of laundry such as thickness, contamination degree, and washing frequency, which vary according to seasons although the methods of washing laundry according to the related art can control the washing intensity such as a water level and a washing duration according to the volume of laundry after the volume of laundry is sensed.

That is, although the same volume of the laundry is washed, winter clothes must be washed at a higher intensity and for a longer time duration than those for summer clothes because the winter clothes are generally thicker and less frequently washed than the summer clothes. Such characteristics of the seasonal clothes are not reflected to the method of controlling washing machine according to the related art.

The capability of washing laundry varies according to the temperature of washing water. However, the laundry is washed equally regardless of the temperature of washing water. Accordingly, the washing efficiency thereof may deteriorate.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is achieved to solve the above problems. An object of the present invention is to provide a method of washing laundry for improving the washing efficiency by differently washing laundry, which has characteristics varied according to the seasons, based on the temperature of the washing water, which varies according to the seasons.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of washing laundry by controlling the intensity of washing according to the temperature of the washing water although the weight of the laundry is the same.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a method of washing laundry differently according to the temperature of the washing water for improving the washing efficiency.

In order to achieve the above-described objects of the invention, there is provided a method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tube disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method including the steps of: a) sensing a temperature of a washing water supplied to the outer tub; and b) controlling intensity of washing laundry according to the sensed temperature of the washing water.

The intensity of washing may be controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

In the step b), a season may be determined according to the temperature of the washing water, and the intensity of washing laundry may be controlled according to the determined season.

In the step b), at least one of a rotating speed and a rotating time of the inner tub may be controlled according to the temperature of the washing water.

In the step b), the rotating speed of an inner tub may be controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water. As described above, the intensity of washing is controlled. In the present invention, the rotating speed and the rotating time means one of means to control the intensity of washing. The intensity of washing can be controlled by controlling the volume of a washing water, or a time of performing a washing cycle, a rinsing cycle, and a spin-drying cycle.

In the step b), the rotating time of the inner tub may be controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method including the steps of: a) sensing volume of laundry putted in the inner tub; b) supplying a washing water to the laundry; c) sensing a temperature of the supplied washing water; and d) controlling intensity of washing laundry, which is decided according to the sensed volume, by reflecting a season that is determined according to the sensed temperature of the washing water. For example, if the temperature of the washing water is about 5° C., it is determined that a current season is winter so as to determine that the laundry is thick clothes. If the temperature of the washing water is about 18° C., it is determined that a current season is summer so as to determine that the laundry is thin clothes.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method including the steps of: a) supplying washing water to the laundry; b) sensing a temperature of the supplied washing water; and c) determining whether the laundry is thick or thin according to the temperature of the washing water. For example, if the temperature of the washing water is lower than about 6° C., it is determined that the laundry is thick clothes. If the temperature of the washing water is higher than 6° C. and lower than about 15° C., the laundry is washed under normal conditions. If the temperature of the washing water is higher than about 15° C., it is determined that the laundry is thin clothes. Such a temperature range may vary according to regions, nations, and type of washing water such as a tap water, a underground water, and a water reserved in a water tank.

The method may further include the step of: d) sensing volume of the laundry before the step a); and e) washing laundry based on the volume of the laundry and the determination of the step c).

In the step c), a season may be determined according to the temperature of the washing water, and the laundry may be determined whether it is thick or thin according to the determined season.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of washing laundry using a washing machine including a cabinet having a laundry inlet for putting the laundry in, an outer tub disposed in the cabinet for reserving a washing water, and an inner tub disposed in the outer tub for rotating the laundry, the method including the steps of: a) sensing volume of laundry putted in the inner tub; b) supplying a washing water to the laundry; c) sensing a temperature of the washing water supplied to the outer tub; and d) controlling at least one of a rotating speed and a rotating time of an inner tub, which are decided according to the sensed volume, according to the temperature of the washing water.

In the step d), the rotating speed of the inner tub may be controlled in inverse proportion to the temperature of the washing water, or the rotating time of the inner tub may be controlled in inverse proportion to a temperature of the washing water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become better understood with reference to the accompanying drawings which are given only by way of illustration and thus are not limitative of the present invention, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagram depicting a washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing a method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a method of controlling the intensity of washing, which is included in a method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a temperature sensing device included in a drum-type washing machine introduced in Korean Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2005-0102916.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

A method of washing laundry in accordance with preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Hereinafter, a drum-type washing machine will be described as an example that a method of washing laundry according to the present embodiment is applied to. However, the method of washing laundry according to the present embodiment can be applied to a direct-connection type washing machine or a pulsator-type washing machine

FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, the washing machine according to the present embodiment includes a cabinet 10, an outer tub 20, an inner tub 30, a motor 40, a water supply passage 50, a drain passage 50, a sensor 52, and a controller 70.

The cabinet 10 provides a room for reserving laundry and includes a laundry inlet 12 for enabling a user to put the laundry in the cabinet 10. In the present embodiment, the laundry inlet 12 is formed at the front side of the cabinet 10 in a circle shape, and a door 14 is disposed at the front side of the cabinet 10 to open or close the laundry inlet 12. Preferably, a gasket 16 is disposed between the laundry inlet 12 and the door 14 in order to prevent the washing water from being leaked.

The outer tub 20 is disposed in the cabinet 10 for reserving the washing water. In the present embodiment, the outer tub 20 has a form of cylinder with one side closed. The outer tub 20 is fixedly disposed in the cabinet 10, connected to the water supply passage 50 for supplying the washing water, and connected to the drain passage 60 for flowing out the washing water.

The inner tub 30 is disposed inside the outer tub 20 for rotating the laundry. In the present embodiment, the inner tub 30 has a shape corresponding to that of the outer tub 20 to smoothly rotate inside the outer tub 20. The inner tub 30 includes a plurality of holes formed on the circumference side thereof for letting the washing water in the outer tub 20 to flow in and out. Accordingly, the laundry in the inner tub 30 is washed while the inner tub 30 rotates inside the outer tub 20. Also, the inner tub 30 includes lifts 32 for lifting the laundry up by the rotation of the inner tub 30.

The motor 40 is disposed at the outer tub 20 with the inner tub 30 connected thereto for rotating the inner tub 30 inside the outer tub 20.

The water supply passage 50 supplies the washing water to the outer tub 20. In the present embodiment, the water supply passage 50 is connected to the outer tub 20 for supplying the washing water to the outer tub 20 and has a valve 54 for controlling the volume of the washing water in the outer tub 20. The water supply passage 50 is connected to a detergent box 18 disposed at one side of the cabinet 10 to supply detergent with the washing water.

The drain passage 60 drains the washing water from the outer tub 20. In the present embodiment, the drain passage 60 is connected to the outer tub 20 for draining the washing water from the outer tub 20, and a drainer is disposed to control the volume of the washing water drained through the drain passage 60. In the present embodiment, a pump 64 is used as the drainer.

The sensor 52 senses the temperature of the washing water. In the present embodiment, the sensor 52 is disposed on the water supply passage 50 and measures the temperature of washing water flowing through the water supply passage 50. The sensor 52 may be directly disposed at the outer tub 20 for directly sensing the temperature of the washing water.

The controller 70 is connected to the motor 40, the sensor 52, the valve 54, and the pump 64 for controlling the intensity level of washing laundry. In the present embodiment, the controller 70 controls the rotating speed and the rotating time of the motor 40 according to the sensed temperature of the washing water and controls the operations of the valve 54 and the pump 64.

Hereinafter, a method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating a method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention. The method of washing laundry according to the present embodiment includes a volume sensing step S5, a first water supplying step S10, a washing step S20, a first spin-drying step S30, a first draining step S40, a second water supplying step S50, a rinsing step S60, a second draining step S80, and a second spin-drying step S90.

At the volume sensing step S5, the volume of a washing water in the inner tub 30 is sensed using the well-know method. Based on the sensed volume of the washing water, predetermined conditions are set for controlling overall washing processes including a water supplying process, a washing process, a drain process, and a spin-dry process.

At the first water supplying step S10, the washing water is supplied to the outer tub 20. In the present embodiment, the washing water is supplied to the outer tub 20 through the water supply passage as much as the volume decided by sensing the volume of the washing water putted in the inner tub 30 at the step S10.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating a method of controlling the intensity of washing, which is included in a method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 3, at step S1, the sensor 52 disposed on the water supply passage 5 senses the temperature of the washing water, which was supplied at the step S10.

After the washing water is completely supplied into the outer tub 20 at the first water supply step S10 in FIG. 2, the laundry is washed by rotating the inner tub 30 at step S20. In the present embodiment, at the step S20, the washing intensity is controlled according to the temperature of the washing water, which is sensed at the step S10. That is, at the step S20, the motor 40 continuously rotates the inner tub 30 with the lifts 32, and the lifts 32 lift up and fall down the laundry, thereby washing the laundry. At least one of the rotating speed and the rotating time of the inner tub 30 are controlled according to the sensed temperature of the washing water in order to control the washing intensity at step S20.

Referring to FIG. 3 again, if the sensed temperature of the washing water is low, for example, about 5° C., at step S2, it is determined that the thickness of the laundry is thick and the washing frequency is low. According to the determination, the inner tub 30 rotates at a higher rotating speed or the inner tub 30 rotates for a longer time than a preset washing time by increasing the previously set washing time by a predetermined time at step S3. For example, the inner tub 30 rotates for about 35 minutes by increasing 30 minutes of the preset washing time that is set at S5 by 5 minutes. On the contrary, if the washing water temperature sensed at the step S10 is comparative high, for example, about 18° C., at step S2, it is determined that the thickness of the laundry is thin and the washing frequency is high. According to the determination, the inner tub 30 rotates at a low rotating speed or rotates for a time shorter than a previously set washing time by reducing the previously set washing time by a predetermined time at step S4. For example, the inner tub 30 rotates for 20 minutes by reducing 25 minutes of the preset washing time that is set at the step S5 by 5 minutes. Then, the washing step S20 is terminated.

Referring to FIG. 2, after the washing step S20 is terminated, the washing water in the outer tub 20 is drained at step S30. In the present embodiment, the pump 64 is driven for draining the washing water in the outer tub 20 through the drain passage 60.

At the first spin-drying step S40, the laundry is spin-dried by rotating the inner tub 30. In the present embodiment, the inner tub 30 rotates at high speed for spin-drying the laundry at the first spin-drying step S40. The washing water dehydrated from the laundry is drained from the outer tub 20 through the drain passage 60. In the present embodiment, the intensity of spin-drying the laundry can be controlled by controlling at least one of the rotating speed and the rotating time of the inner tub 30 for spin drying the laundry according to the sensed washing water temperature at step S40.

The washing cycle including the first water supplying step S10, the washing step S20, the first draining step S30, and the first spin-drying step S40 may be performed in several times for increasing the intensity of washing laundry.

At the second water supplying step S50, washing water is supplied to the outer tub 20 to rinse the laundry. In the present invention, the washing water is supplied to the outer tub 20 through the water supply passage 50 at the step S50.

At the rinsing step S60, the laundry rotates with the washing water putted in the inner tub 30. In the present embodiment, the laundry rotates with the inner tub 30 at step S60, thereby rinsing the laundry with the washing water. In the present embodiment, the intensity of rinsing the laundry is controlled by controlling at least one of the rotating speed and the rotating time of the inner tub 30 for rinsing the laundry according to the sensed temperature of the washing water, which is sensed at the step S10, at the rinse step S60.

At the second draining step S80, the washing water in the outer tub 20 for the rinsing step S60 is drained. In the present embodiment, the pump 64 disposed on the drain passage 60 is completely opened and the washing water in the outer tub 20 is completely drained at step S80.

At the second spin-drying step S90, the laundry is spin-dried by rotating the inner tub 30 after the washing water is completely drained out. In the present embodiment, the inner tub 30 rotates at low speed or at a predetermined interval at the beginning of the step S90, then, the inner tub 30 rotates at a high speed to spin-dry the laundry in order to reduce the vibration generated by the partial disposition of the laundry.

The spin-drying cycle including the first spin-drying step S40 and the second spin-drying step S90 may be performed several times in order to increase the intensity of washing laundry.

As described above, the method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention can improve the washing efficiency by differently washing laundry, which has characteristics varied according to the seasons, based on the temperature of the washing water, which varies according to the seasons.

The method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention can control the intensity of washing laundry according to the temperature of the washing water although the weight of the laundry is the same.

The method of washing laundry according to an embodiment of the present invention can improve the washing efficiency by washing laundry differently according to the temperature of the washing water.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, it is understood that the present invention should not be limited to these preferred embodiments but various changes and modifications can be made by one skilled in the art within the spirit and scope of the present invention as hereinafter claimed.