Title:
Method for Controlling Rinsing in Washing Machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, which a heating course is selected in the rinsing operation to increase sterilization of laundry and removal of residual detergent. The method includes selecting a rinsing mode before a washing operation is started; and performing rinsing operations, comprising heating rinsing water, according to the selected rinsing mode, when the washing operation according to a selected washing course is completed. The rinsing operations are repeated according to kinds and states of laundry, thereby increasing rinsing capacity. Further, since the temperature of the rinsing water is increased using a heating unit in the final rinsing operation or in each of a designated number of times of the rinsing operations in the late stage, including the final rinsing operation, of the repeated rinsing operations, it is possible to increase removal of residual' detergent and sterilization of the laundry, thus allowing the laundry to be sanitized.



Inventors:
Kang, Dong Won (Gyeongsangnam-do, KR)
Application Number:
11/629492
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
02/28/2006
Assignee:
LG ELECTRONICS INC. (Seoul, KR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06F33/02; D06F39/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BARR, MICHAEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine comprising: selecting a washing course; and performing the rinsing operation comprising heating rinsing water, when the selected washing course is a rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course.

2. The method as set forth in claim 1, further comprising selecting a first rinsing mode for repeating the rinsing operations and heating the rinsing water, when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected.

3. The method as set forth in claim 1, further comprising selecting a second rinsing mode for only repeating the rinsing operations, when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected.

4. The method as set forth in claim 3, wherein the number of times of the repeated rinsing operations when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected is larger than the number of times of the repeated rinsing operations when another washing course is selected.

5. A method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine comprising: selecting a rinsing mode before a washing operation is started; and performing the rinsing operation, comprising heating rinsing water, according to the selected rinsing mode, when the washing operation according to a selected washing course is completed.

6. The method as set forth in claim 5, wherein the rinsing mode is one selected from the group consisting of a first mode for repeating the rinsing operations and heating the rinsing water and a second mode for only repeating the rinsing operations.

7. The method as set forth in claim 6, wherein the rinsing water is heated only in the final rinsing operation of the repeated rinsing operations, when the first mode is selected.

8. The method as set forth in claim 6, wherein the rinsing water is heated only in each of a designated number of times of the rinsing operations in the late stage, including the final rinsing operation, of the repeated rinsing operations, when the first mode is selected.

9. The method as set forth in claim 6, wherein the rinsing water is heated to a temperature of 95° C., when the rinsing operation is performed according to the first mode.

10. The method as set forth in claim 5, further comprising determining the selected rinsing mode after draining of washing water and dehydrating of laundry are performed, when the washing operation according to the selected washing course is completed.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a washing machine, and more particularly, to a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, in which a heating course is selected in the rinsing operation to increase sterilization of laundry and removal of residual detergent.

BACKGROUND ART

Generally, a washing machine removes dust from laundry using chemical reaction of a detergent dissolved in washing water and friction between the washing water and the laundry due to rotating hydraulic power of the washing water generated by mechanical reaction, and selectively perform washing, rinsing, and dehydrating operations.

The above rinsing operation is a process for rinsing detergent components and contaminants from laundry by supplying washing water, which is not mixed with a detergent, to the laundry.

Hereinafter, with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a rinsing operation of a conventional washing machine will be described in detail.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a general washing machine, and FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating a conventional method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventional washing machine comprises an input unit 11 for allowing a user to input a control signal for controlling operations of the washing machine, a controller 12 for controlling the overall operation of the washing machine according to an output signal of the input unit 11, a water supply valve driving unit 16 for operating water supply valves, such as a cold water valve, a hot water valve, and a shower valve, under the control of the controller 12, a drain valve driving unit 17 for operating a drain valve so that washing water supplied through the water supply valve driving unit 16 is drained, a water level sensing unit 14 for sensing a water level in a tub, a rotational speed sensing unit 15 for sensing a rotational speed of the tub, a motor driving unit 13 for operating a motor to perform a washing operation according to a control signal of the controller 12, and a heating unit (not shown) for heating or drying the washing water.

In the above washing machine, after a washing operation is completed, a rinsing operation is performed, as described below.

As shown in FIG. 2, after the washing operation is performed according to a set course (S201), and is completed (S202), dirty washing water resulting from the washing operation is drained (S203).

The laundry is intermittently dehydrated for a designated time. After the intermittent dehydrating of the laundry is completed, the laundry is dehydrated at a rotational speed differing from that of the intermittent dehydrating of the laundry for a designated time (S204).

After the dehydrating of the laundry is completed, a rinsing operation including supplying water, rinsing, and draining, is performed (S205).

Generally, the rinsing operations are repeated a designated number of times. After one rinsing operation is finished, it is determined whether or not the designated number of times of the rinsing operations have been performed (S206). When it is determined that the designated number of times of the rinsing operations have not been yet performed, another rinsing operation is performed (S207).

When it is determined that the designated number of times of the rinsing operations have been performed, the washing water is drained (S208), and the laundry is dehydrated (S209).

The above conventional method for controlling the rinsing operation of the washing machine has several problems, as described below.

In order to increase a rinsing capacity of laundry during the rinsing operation, an additional rinsing operation selected by a user is performed. Here, the additional rinsing operation is limited in a rinsing effect, in which washing water not containing a detergent is supplied to the laundry to rinse detergent components and other contaminants out of the laundry.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

An object of the present invention devised to solve the problem lies on a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, in which a heating course is selected in the rinsing operation to increase sterilization of laundry and removal of residual detergent

Technical Solution

The object of the present invention can be achieved by providing a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine comprising selecting a washing course; and performing the rinsing operation comprising heating rinsing water, when the selected washing course is a rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course.

The method further comprises selecting a first rinsing mode for repeating the rinsing operations and heating the rinsing water, when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected.

The method further comprises selecting a second rinsing mode for only repeating the rinsing operations, when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected.

The number of times of the repeated rinsing operations when the rinsing/sterilization reinforcing course is selected is larger than the number of times of the repeated rinsing operations when another washing course is selected.

In another aspect of the present invention, provided herein is a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine comprising selecting a rinsing mode before a washing operation is started; and performing the rinsing operation, comprising heating rinsing water, according to the selected rinsing mode, when the washing operation according to a selected washing course is completed.

The rinsing mode is one selected from the group consisting of a first mode for repeating the rinsing operations and heating the rinsing water and a second mode for only repeating the rinsing operations.

The rinsing water is heated only in the final rinsing operation of the repeated rinsing operations, when the first mode is selected.

Advantageous Effects

The method of the present invention has effects, as described below.

First, the rising operations are repeated according to kinds and states of laundry, thereby increasing a rinsing capacity.

Second, since the temperature of the rinsing water is increased using a heating unit in the final rinsing operation or in a designated number of times of the rinsing operations including the final rinsing operation of the repeated rinsing operations, it is possible to increase removal of residual detergent and sterilization of the laundry, thus allowing the laundry to be sanitized.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a general washing machine;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating a conventional method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine; and

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine in accordance with the present invention.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine in accordance with the present invention.

The method of the present invention comprises setting a medic care program, which raises the temperature of rinsing water, for rinsing laundry, using a heating unit, to a designated temperature in the rinsing operation.

Preferably, the heating of the rinsing water is performed in the final rinsing operation in consideration of the removal of residual detergent and the sterilization of the laundry.

In accordance with the method of the present invention, the repetition of the rinsing operations and the sterilization of the laundry by heating the rinsing water facilitate the increase of the rinsing capacity of the overall rinsing operations.

First, as shown in FIG. 3, in addition to the selection of a washing course for a washing operation, a user selects one mode out of two modes, i.e., first and second modes, for a rinsing operation (S301).

Here, in one mode of the first and second modes, the medic care program for increasing the sterilization of the laundry and the rinsing capacity is selected so that the repetition of the rinsing operations and the heating of the rinsing water are performed, and in the other mode of the first and second modes, the only repetition of the rinsing operations is performed.

After the washing operation is performed according to the set course (S302), and is completed (S303), dirty washing water resulting from the washing operation is drained (S304).

Thereafter, the laundry is intermittently dehydrated for a designated time, and, after the intermittent dehydration is completed, the laundry is dehydrated at a rotational speed differing from that of the intermittent dehydration for a designated time (S305).

Here, the dehydrating operation may be performed by a different method.

After the dehydration is completed, the rinsing mode selected by the user is determined (S306).

When the rinsing mode includes the repetition of the rinsing operations and the heating of the rinsing water, the rinsing operations are performed, as follows.

Here, one rinsing operation includes supplying water, rinsing, and draining.

In general, the rinsing operations are repeated a designated number of times. After one rinsing operation is completed, it is determined whether or not the designated number of times of the rinsing operations have been performed (S307), and the rinsing operations are repeated until the designated number of times is reached according to the determined result (S310).

When the final rinsing operation is performed, the rinsing water is heated so that the temperature of the rinsing water is raised to a designated temperature using the heating unit (S309).

The heating of the rinsing water is not limited to the final rinsing operation. The heating of the rinsing water using the heating unit may be performed at each of a designated number of times of the rinsing operations in the late stage, including the final rinsing operation, of the overall rinsing operations.

The reason that the heating of the rinsing water is limited to the designated number of times of the rinsing operations in the late stage of the overall rinsing operations is that various factors, such as energy efficiency, sterilization of laundry, and removal of residual detergent, are considered.

As a result of the determination of the rinsing mode selected by the user (S306), when it is determined that the general rinsing mode, in which the heating of the rinsing water is not performed, is selected, the rinsing operations are repeated the designated number of times (S311).

After the rinsing operations are repeated the designated number of times according to the set rinsing mode, the washing machine is drained (S312), and the laundry is dehydrated (S313).

Here, the temperature of the rinsing water is maximally raised to 95° C.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present invention provides a method for controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, in which the temperature of rinsing water is raised using a heating unit a number of times selected from the total number of times of rinsing operations, thereby increasing an overall rinsing capacity in the rinsing operations.

Further, the method of the present invention increases an overall washing capacity of the washing machine to increase consumer satisfaction, and allows laundry to be sanitized.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.