Title:
Window cleaning tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This new window cleaning tool involves the usage of a metal wool in sheet format which can be folded and sewed and fitted onto a handle or an extendable pole. This new window cleaning tool has the performance characteristics of cleaning without scratching the window and it can be used at distance. The sheet material lasts longer and actually does a better job than plain metal wool bundles.



Inventors:
Riddell, Cameron A. (Carson, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/656797
Publication Date:
07/24/2008
Filing Date:
01/23/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L1/15
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GUIDOTTI, LAURA COLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JONES DAY (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An window cleaning tool for cleaning a heavy accumulation of dirt and grime on a window comprising: (a) a handle; and (b) a sleeve, wherein said sleeve is made of a sheet of rectangular metal wool which is folded in half along approximately the symmetric line thereof and attached both said halves to secure said handle therein.

2. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said handle is a T-bar.

3. The window cleaning tool as in claim 2, wherein said T-bar is extendable.

4. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said attachment is by sewing.

5. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said attachment is by stapling, gluing, buttoning, or zipping.

6. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said attachment is by Velcro flapping.

7. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said attachment is by sewing and Velcro flapping.

8. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said metal wool is stainless steel wool.

9. The window cleaning tool as in claim 1, wherein said metal wool is carbon steel wool.

10. An window cleaning tool for cleaning a heavy accumulation of dirt and grime on a window comprising: (a) a T-bar, said T-bar comprises a handle and a top bar, wherein said handle joins said top bar at the center portion thereof; and (b) a sleeve, wherein said sleeve is made of a sheet of rectangular metal wool which is folded in half along approximately the symmetric line thereof and attached both said halves to secure said top bar therein, said sleeve is secured to said top bar by sewing on one side of said sheet of metal wool to cover said top bar and by Velcro flapping on the other side of said sheet of metal wool to cover said other portion of said top bar, said joint, and a portion of said handle.

11. The window cleaning tool as in claim 10, wherein said T-bar is extendable.

12. The window cleaning tool as in claim 10, wherein said metal wool is stainless steel wool.

13. The window cleaning tool as in claim 10, wherein said metal wool is carbon steel wool.

14. A method of making a window cleaning tool for cleaning a heavy accumulation of dirt and grime on a window, said method comprising the steps of: (a) preparing a sheet of rectangular metal wool, said metal wool has a top portion and a bottom portion divided approximately along a horizontal symmetric line; (b) cutting said sheet of rectangular metal wool to separate said top portion into a top-right portion and a top-left portion, wherein said top-left portion is larger than said top-right portion; (c) folding said top-right portion of said metal wool along approximately said horizontal symmetric line; (d) attaching said top-right portion to said bottom portion to form a sleeve; (e) sliding a portion of a T-bar into said sleeve, said T-bar comprises a handle and a top bar wherein said handle joins said top bar at the center portion thereof; (f) folding said top-left portion along said horizontal symmetric line; and (g) securing said top-left portion to said bottom portion.

15. A method as in claim 14, wherein said attaching is by sewing.

16. A method as in claim 14, wherein said securing is by Velcro flapping.

17. A method as in claim 14, wherein said metal wool is stainless steel wool.

18. A method as in claim 14, wherein said metal wool is carbon steel wool.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to a window cleaning tool and, more particularly, to the apparatus of window cleaning tools with metal wool sleeves and method of making thereof.

Window cleaning tools are used for the purpose of cleaning or clearing the surface of a piece of window usually made of glass. The window can be on a house or on a commercial high-rise building. The invention of window cleaning tools can be traced back to the days after the glass window was invented. Today, there exists plenty of commercial products for cleaning and clearing glass windows for both professional and household usages. These products include items such as soft squeegee rubbers for the purpose of removing water from the surface of windows, scrapers for the purpose of removing solid states such as snow, ice or frost, and brushes and sponges for the purpose of damping and clearing with detergent to clear oily window surface. The squeegee rubbers, scrapers, brushes and sponges can be fixed on a handle or an extension pole so to reach a wider working area or high windows from the ground.

A recently-issued U.S. Pat. No. 7,008,130 discloses a version of a window washing tool in which an extension handle serves as both a reach extension device and a water supply pipe for cleaning solution to reach the washing head. The extension handle is hollow and conducts water supplied at pressure to the lower end of the extension handle to the washing head at the top of the extension handle. A lower section of the extension handle includes a shutoff valve for controlling the flow of water to the washing head, and a reservoir for introducing cleaning solution into the flow of water.

Another example of existing window cleaning tool is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,410,771. This patent discloses a version of window washing tool with removable fabric washing sleeves and handles with variable positions. Although many window cleaning tools are available, there is still a need to find a window cleaning tool to solve problems that can not be effectively solved by existing products.

If a window has been exposed to outdoor for a long period of time without cleaning, an accumulation of dirt and grime would cover on the window and make the window difficult to dislodge by normal soft-washing tools. The same problem also occurs when there are debris on the window surface due to accidents caused by human beings or by the mother nature. Normally, a professional window washer would use steel wool to clean windows with a heavy accumulation of dirt and grime. Steel wool is an artificial material produced by the careful shaving of a steel wire into a mass of strands resembling “wool.” One of the advantages of using steel wool is that it is effective for cleaning debris and would not scratch the window while cleaning. The steel wool usually comes in small bundles that can be grabbed by the hand of a window washer. However, the usage of steel wool bundles has some disadvantages, first, the steel wool bundles wear out quickly due to the nature of its construction. Second, the steel wool bundles only can be used within an arm's reach of a human window washer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed at an alternative apparatus of a new window cleaning tool and method of making thereof. Specifically, a window cleaning tool for clean a heavy accumulation of dirt and grime on the window. This new window cleaning tool involves the usage of a metal wool in sheets so that they can be folded and sewed and fitted onto a handle or an extension pole. This new window cleaning tool has the same performance characteristics as hand-held steel wool bundles (i.e., clean without scratching the window) but it can be used at distance when attached to an extendable pole or a handle. Therefore, the sheet material lasts longer and actually does a better job than plain steel wool bundles. Also, the usage of a handle increase the productivity of each pass of moving.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a T-bar of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a piece of metal wool of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a piece of metal wool forming a folding sleeve.

FIG. 5 shows a piece of metal wool sleeve with a T-bar partially slide-in.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The invention is based on the realization that the metal wool in sheet format can be used to substitute steel wool bundles in a window cleaning tool. The invention is further based on the recognition that the metal wool in sheet format can be fixed to a handle or an extension pole so that a window washer can wash areas beyond his hand can reach so to increase the productivity of each pass of moving.

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of a window cleaning tool of the present invention. In FIG. 1, the window cleaning tool 10 is constructed by a metal wool sleeve 20 and a handle 90 preferable a T-bar. A cutting line 70 separates the sleeves 20 into two parts: the front-right piece 27 and the front-left piece 28. The sleeve 20 is preferable a folded tailored sheet of metal wool with the front-right piece 27 been sewed to a back piece 32 on stitching lines 26 and 36. The bottom edge 24 of the front-right piece 27 and the bottom edge 22 of the back piece 32 are aligned. The front-left piece 28 of the sleeve 20 is folded and attached to the back piece 32 preferably with a Velcro flap. A Velcro flap consists of two pieces of fastener with a mat of nylon hooks on one side and a mat of loops on the other. In one embodiment of the present invention, the mat of loops is sewed onto the inner side of the front-left piece 28 of the sleeve 20 on stitching lines 44, 46 and 48 while the mat of nylon hooks is sewed onto the inner side of the back piece 32. In another embodiment of the present invention, the mat of nylon hooks is sewed onto the inner side of the front-left piece 28 of the sleeve 20 on stitching lines 44, 46 and 48 while the mat of loops is sewed onto the inner side of the back piece 32. Yet it is another embodiment of the present invention that the front-left piece 28 and the back piece 32 can be secured by any means of fast attaching and removing such as zippers or buttons. The bottom edge 38 of the front-left piece 28 and the bottom edge 22 of the back piece 32 are also aligned.

The term metal wool refers to a family of artificial materials produced by the careful shaving of a metal wire into a mass of strands resembling “wool.” Metal wool shaved from stainless steel wire is called stainless steel wool, wool shaved from bronze wire is bronze wool, and so on. Virtually any metal that can be drawn into wire can be shaved into metal wool. Metal wool is also available in low carbon steel which is called carbon steel wool. By varying the shaving process, the size or thickness of the individual strands can be varied. This allows for the separation of metal wool products by fiber thickness into categories called “grades.” The fiber widths of metal wool range between 25 and 125 microns. Metal wool is available in a wide assortment of formats, from simple pads to complex shapes and forms. A suitable commercially available metal wool is that provided by Global Material Technologies, Inc. (www.gmt-inc.com). The grade of metal wool and other specifications for the window cleaning tool are matters of choice depending on the application for the tool.

Now referring to FIG. 2 which is a perspective view of a T-bar of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The T-bar has a handle 90 which has a lower handle part 82 with rings 86 for preventing slippery and an upper part 84 which is relatively smooth on the surface. The T-bar has a top bar 88 which is preferable a tube. The joint 92 of the handle 90 and the top bar 88 can be fixed by melting, screwing, or any means available. The joint 92 can also be adjustable to a variety of directions so that the relative position of the handle 90 and the top bar 88 are not necessary fixed.

FIG. 3 shows a piece of metal wool 20 of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The sheet of metal wool 20 has a rectangular shape and is cut off along a line segment 70 so that the top-right piece 54 and the top-left piece 56 of the sheet of metal wool 20 can be folded independently along a horizontal line 66 which is approximately the symmetric line of the sheet of metal wool 20. Referring to both FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, the top-right piece 54 in FIG. 3 is actually the inner side of the front-right piece 27 in FIG. 1 and the top-left piece 56 in FIG. 3 is actually the inner side of the front-left piece 28 in FIG. 1. A mat of loops 50 is sewed onto the top-left piece 56 on stitching lines 44, 46 and 48 (shown on FIG. 1 only). A mat of nylon hooks 52 is sewed onto the left side of the back piece 32 (stitching lines not shown). The exact position for placing the mat of nylon hooks 52 depends on where the mat of loops 50 is placed. The goal is to have both mats 50 and 52 fasten together when the top-left piece 56 is folded along the horizontal line 66.

Referring to FIG. 4, the front-right piece 27 of the metal wool 20 is folded and formed a sleeve with the back piece 32. The previous top edge 24 is now aligned with the bottom edge 22. In order to form a sleeve, the preferred means for attaching the inner side of the front-right piece 27 and the back piece 32 is by sewing. Because the braided elements of the metal wool are composed of multiple strands somewhat loosely woven together, there is sufficient free space between the adjacent strands such that the sewing operation never has to pierce, and preferably does not piece, any of the strands. Rather, the sewing operation creates a secure mechanical lock as the thread used to sew bridges across the individual strands. A single line of stitching 26 near the bottom edge 24 has proven sufficient, although many other sewing stitches, styles and placement would work as well.

Of cause, other attachment means for attaching the inner side of the front-right piece 27 and back piece 32 could be used instead of or in addition to sewing. For example, they could also be glued, stapled, zipped, buttoned, or Velcro flapped. However, it is believed that for durability, sewing is preferred.

FIG. 5 shows a piece of metal wool sleeve with most of the right portion of the top bar 88 slide-into the sleeve which is formed by the front-right piece 27 and the back piece 32. Once this is done, one can fold the top-left piece 56 of the metal wool sheet 20 and further secure the left portion of the top bar 88 preferably by a Velcro flap. Once the top-left piece 56 of the metal wool sheet 20 is folded, the mat of loops 50 and the mat of nylon hooks 52 would fasten together. The top edge 38 and the bottom edge 22 would be aligned together. In this manner, the metal wool sleeve 20 is secured to the handle 90 and can easily be removed and replaced when it is wear out. It is understandable that other means for fastening the top-left piece 56 and the back piece 32 are also available such as zipping, gluing, sewing, stapling, or buttoning.

Referring to FIG. 5, the purpose of using a two part securing system is to make a removable sleeve, therefore, the right portion of the sleeve can be secured in a permanent or semi-permanent manner such as sewing, stapling, or gluing. However, the left portion of the sleeve better be secured in a removable manner such as zipping, buttoning, or Velcro flapping. It can be seen that under this arrangement, the right portion of the sleeve is smaller than the left portion which covers the whole left part of the top bar 88 and a small portion of the right part of the top bar 88, the joint 92, and a portion of the upper part 84 of the handle 90. It is understandable that the right portion and the left portion mentioned above are interchangeable and one can make the left portion of the sleeve secured in a permanent or semi-permanent manner and make the right portion of the sleeve secured in a removable manner.

The invention thus is based on the realization that metal wool in sheet can be used to substitute the steel wool bundles as a window cleaning tool so that the sheet metal wool can be folded and sewed into a sleeve so to secure a handle or an extension pole. Hence a window washer can reach the area beyond his hand's reach that could increase the productivity of each pass of moving. Specifically, this tool does not use traditional steel wool bundles, therefore, it is not wearing out as quickly as the traditional steel wool bundles which has to be discarded frequently. Further, the material of sheet metal wool is not the same as the traditional steel wool and it offers the advantage of a better protection of the window while effectively cleaning up the window. The foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been present for the purposes of illustrative or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. There are thus numerous adaptations and variations that can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, which are set forth in the following claims.