Title:
Compact servicing equipment and carrier combination
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A compact cleaning equipment includes a dual cavity bucket and a tray nested within the bucket for carrying cleaning agents and supplies. The bucket is of sufficient size to hold the tools that are needed for a wide range of cleaning tasks and each is adapted for non-rotational and manual release mounting onto a telescoping handle that is storable on the side of the bucket when not in use. A net wringer is mountable over the bucket for rotational squeeze wringing of a mop.



Inventors:
Lingren, Debra (San Clemente, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/879950
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/260
International Classes:
A47L13/12; A47L13/14; A47L13/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060130250Washing brush with a detergent doserJune, 2006Gaiti
20070175017WIPER BLADE, JIG FOR HEAT TREATING WIPER FRAME OF WIPER BLADE AND METHOD FOR MACHINING WIPER FRAME USING THE SAMEAugust, 2007Kim
20090049631WASHING BRUSHFebruary, 2009Larsen
20040019989Apparatus and method for stripping floor surfacesFebruary, 2004Zahner
20050210621Vacuum excavation suction hose attachmentSeptember, 2005Buckner
20030226579Serrated doctor bladesDecember, 2003Carrier
20050102774Toothbrush drive shaft and method for production thereofMay, 2005Drossler
20090276975Vacuum Cleaner Handle LockNovember, 2009Vines
20090035048Finger toothbrushFebruary, 2009Safieh
20070283519Toothbrush with rotating headDecember, 2007Moss
20080066256Container cleaning machineMarch, 2008Riggs



Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP, PLLC (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A compact cleaning equipment and carrier combination apparatus comprising: a) an elongate bucket formed integrally as a side wall terminating with an upper lip, and a base; the bucket further providing a medial partition integral with the base and side wall so as to separate an interior space of the bucket into two sections; b) a tray having a surrounding peripheral flange, the flange extending outwardly from the tray, the peripheral flange resting on the upper lip of the sidewall, thereby securing the tray within an upper portion of the interior space of the bucket, the tray segregated by an interior wall, the interior wall resting on and supported by the medial partition of the bucket, and c) a mop wringer having a wringer mount and a wringer net, the wringer mount securable to the upper lip of the sidewall and to the medial partition, the wringer net suspended from the mount in a position over one of the two sections of the bucket.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the interior space of the bucket is of such size as to hold a sufficient quantity of water for wet mopping a floor surface.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the interior space of the bucket is divided unevenly by the medial partition.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the wringer mount has a central opening for receiving a mop, the wringer net is peripherally engaged with the wringer mount and hangs axially from the wringer mount in alignment with the central opening.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of retractable wheels mounted to the bucket, the wheels, when deployed, enabling the bucket to roll on a surface, the wheels, when retracted, enabling the bucket to contact a supporting surface with the base of the bucket.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of cleaning tools, each of the tools providing a neck; and an extensible handle, the handle engagable with the neck of each one of the plurality of cleaning tools with a non-rotatable and manually releasable interlock.

7. A compact cleaning equipment and carrier combination apparatus comprising: a) an elongate bucket formed integrally as a side wall terminating with an upper lip, and a base; the bucket further providing a medial partition integral with the base and side wall so as to separate an interior space of the bucket into two sections unequal in size; b) a tray having a surrounding peripheral flange extending outwardly therefrom, the peripheral flange resting on the upper lip of the sidewall, thereby securing the tray within an upper portion of the interior space of the bucket, the tray segregated by an interior wall, the interior wall resting on and supported by the medial partition of the bucket, and c) a mop wringer having a ring-shaped wringer mount and a medially positioned wringer net, the wringer mount securable to the upper lip of the sidewall and to the medial partition, the wringer net centered over one of the two sections when the mop ringer is secured to the sidewall and partition, and receivable within one of the two sections when stored in the bucket.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the interior space of the bucket is of such size as to hold a sufficient quantity of water for wet mopping a floor area of at least 400 square feet.

9. The apparatus of claim 7 further comprising a plurality of retractable wheels mounted to the bucket, the wheels, when deployed, enabling the bucket to roll on a surface.

10. The apparatus of claim 7 further comprising a plurality of cleaning tools, each of the tools providing a neck; and an extensible handle, the handle engagable with the neck of each one of the plurality of cleaning tools with a non-rotatable and manually releasable interlock of the neck and the handle.

11. A compact cleaning equipment and carrier combination apparatus comprising: a) an elongate bucket formed integrally as a side wall and a base; the bucket further providing a medial partition integral with the base and side wall so as to separate an interior space of the bucket into two sections each configured for holding water therein; b) a tray removably secured within an upper portion of the interior space of the bucket, the tray segregated by an interior wall resting on and supported by the medial partition of the bucket; c) a telescoping handle engaged with and secured to a handle mount on the bucket; and sized and configured for storage securement within the bucket, at least two tools selected from: a string mop head, a synthetic sham floor cleaner head, a flat terrycloth cleaner head, a flat micro fiber floor cleaner head, a fan high ledge duster head, a tile and tub cleaner head, a squeegee head, a broom head, a brush head, a dust mop head, a sweeper head, a sponge mop head and a feather duster head; wherein each of the at least two tools are adapted in an identical manner for non-rotational and manual release engagement with the handle.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the interior space of the bucket is of such size as to hold a quantity of water.

13. The apparatus of claim 11 further comprising a plurality of retractable wheels mounted to the bucket, the wheels, when deployed, enabling the bucket to roll on a surface; the wheels, when retracted, enabling the base of the bucket to rest on a supporting surface.

14. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein each of the tools and the handle are adapted with a mating spline configuration establishing a non-rotational relationship between tool and handle.

15. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein each of the tools and the handle are adapted with a mating snap-in clip configuration establishing a manual release relationship between tool and handle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to cleaning equipment and supplies and more particularly to a carrier for organizing and moving cleaning supplies and equipment to and from a job site, the carrier itself useable as a wash tub with mop wringer.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Perelli, U.S. 2003/0217428, discloses a cleaning device that includes a bucket, rolling members mounted on the bucket to moveably support the bucket, and a wringer device. The wringer device is removably positioned on the bucket. It includes a wringer for removing liquid from a mop, a wringer actuator for actuating the wringer, and a push handle extending above the wringer.

Rousey, U.S. 2005/0076465, discloses a floor cleaning filtering system that includes a mop bucket defining a cleaning solution basin. A pump is exteriorly mounted on the bucket and is in fluid communication with the cleaning solution basin. A filter system is exteriorly mounted on the bucket, in fluid communication with the cleaning solution basin, and operationally connected to the pump. The pump draws fluid from the cleaning solution basin through the filter system for return to the basin after the cleaning solution has been filtered. The bucket may include a single basin or a dual basin.

Haley et al., U.S. D411,674, and Bensussan et al., U.S. D533,977, each discloses an ornamental design for a dual bucket.

Young, U.S. D426,361, discloses an ornamental design for a cleaning bucket.

Marston, U.S. Pat. No. 4,135,269, discloses a mop sterilizer and dryer that utilizes a wheel-supported cart having a pair of drainable compartments therein. One of the drainable compartments has an open-mouth portion carrying a pair of squeeze rolls adapted to squeeze the fabric cord-like elements of a mop there between. Water captured within such compartment is strained and carried by the cart. The other compartment is totally lined with a reflective material adapted to reflect ultraviolet rays generated by ultraviolet lamp sources disposed within the other compartment. At least one opening is provided in the other compartment in which the cord or strand elements of a mop is disposed during a drying and sterilizing operation, having its handle secured in an upright position by a bracket having a notch at the uppermost free end thereof.

Sorrels, U.S. Pat. No. 4,161,799, discloses a mop cleaning device for use in mopping floors that includes a container having a special partition which divides the interior of the container into first and second side-by-side compartments which are in communication with each other in a manner such that water wrung from a wet mop into the first compartment displaces an equal amount of relatively solids-free liquid from the first compartment into the second compartment for re-use.

Young, U.S. Pat. No. 4,716,619, discloses a mopping unit that comprises a bucket, a wringer with two squeeze rollers mounted at the top of the bucket, and an operating mechanism to produce relative closing movement of the rollers. The operating mechanism comprises a foot pedal mounted at a lower level on the bucket and a toggle operating linkage operative on depression of the pedal to produce the relative closing movement of the rollers. At the end of the closing movement of the rollers the toggle linkage goes over-center to lock the rollers at a predetermined spacing in an operative mop-wringing position.

Evrard, U.S. Pat. No. 4,798,307, discloses a bucket having separate reservoirs for segregating clean wash liquid, such as water, from dirty or contaminated wash liquid. In addition, the bucket contains a discharge transfer compartment for wringing a mop and providing for the immediate transfer of its discharge to a discharge storage reservoir by way of holes in the floor connecting the discharge transfer compartment and said reservoir. The floors of the discharge transfer compartment and the clean liquid reservoir are shaped with adequate slope or curvature so that particulate material discharged in either is caused to move to the lowest point for removal. Further, the clean liquid reservoir contains a shelf with holes sized to permit the passage of any residual particulate material transferred by a wrung mop entering the clean water to the curved bottom of said reservoir under said shelf so that it cannot be disturbed by the reentry of the mop in the portion of the reservoir above the shelf and thereby reenter solution and re-contaminate the mop. The clean liquid reservoir contains a drain port for emptying residual wash or bucket cleaning liquid after use into the discharge storage reservoir at the bottom of the bucket below said clean liquid reservoir. The discharge storage reservoir can be emptied of all residual liquid remaining in the bucket after use or bucket cleaning into a floor drain by means of a similar drain port without the necessity of the bucket being lifted. The bucket is mounted on four (4) casters to enhance mobility.

Smith, Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 4,908,904, discloses a portable cleaning container for use with a conventional mop and wringer for cleaning floors and other surfaces. The container includes a bucket with a drain opening formed through the bucket floor and closable by an elastomeric stopper supported on the end of a threaded drive rod extending through a threaded bore formed through a drive rod mount attached to the inside of the bucket within a stopper drive recess formed in the wall of the bucket and extending vertically from the floor of the bucket above the drain opening. A filter recess is formed in portions of the upper surface of the bucket floor to receive an interior filter having a planar portion that extends across the filter recess and a semi-tubular portion that extends about lower portions of the stopper drive recess to enclose the entrance of the drain opening to the bucket interior. Troughs in the planar portion of the interior filter and corrugations in the floor of the bucket adjacent the filter recess trap detritus when the bucket is drained. A pivoting external filter is mounted on the underside of the bucket floor for movement between a position under laying the drain opening and a position to one side of the bucket.

Pagani, U.S. Pat. No. 5,548,865, discloses a device for collecting dirty washing liquid and for containing liquid for wetting a floor-cloth or the like, for washing floors or the like by hand, including a main container, which supports a wringer and forms a compartment for collecting the liquid produced by wringing the floor-cloth used for washing. The device also comprises a secondary container, which is connected to the main container and is suitable to contain a liquid for wetting the floor-cloth.

Murphy, Jr., U.S. Pat. No. 5,881,891, discloses a cleaning organizer for use with a conventional institutional waste container that includes a symmetrical body for mounting on the upper end of the institutional waste container and extending exteriorly downwardly therefrom. A plurality of cleaning implements and articles are attached to the exterior surface of the body for ready access by a user. The cleaning implements and articles include a paper towel roll dispenser, a utility bucket, a compartmented chemical container, a utility pouch, dispensers for dispensing large and small plastic liners, and hooks for hanging towels and cloths. The cleaning organizer is arranged and constructed to leave the open upper end of the institutional waste container unobstructed while organizing the various cleaning implements and articles needed for performing the various cleaning tasks.

Biggs, U.S. Pat. No. 6,279,195, discloses an ergonomically friendly mop bucket with wringer and method of wringing mops and conserving mop fluids that includes a foot operated wringer, a filter, wheel brakes and assistive drain and dumping arrangements.

Robinson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,283,170, discloses an ergonomic, liquid-transport container that includes a container body, a projecting lip extending from the front of the container body, a support member connected to the top of the container body, a lifting lever arm pivotally connected to the sides of the container body adjacent the back of the container body, a pair of non-caster wheels connected to the container body adjacent the back, a pair of caster wheels connected to the container body adjacent the front, and a storage compartment extending from the back. The container advantageously may be used in combination with a cleaning-tool wringer and a cleaning tool.

Kresse et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,174,600, discloses a wiping device, a squeezing out device and a container device that enable a textile wiping element located on a wiping panel of the wiping device to be squeezed out simply and reliably. The wiping panel is provided with edge fixing sections which can be held from behind by a counter bearing device of the squeezing out device in order to prevent the wiping panel from being moved out of the squeezing out device unintentionally when the textile element is squeezed out on a bearing surface, or which have an insertion ramp which facilitates the optionally jamming insertion between the bearing surface and a counter bearing surface that is set apart from said bearing surface.

Palmer, U.S. Pat. No. 7,174,601, discloses a mopping system and methods for its use. A mop assembly includes a mop head that is adapted to be spun around a generally vertical rotational axis thereof when the mop head is fixed within a mop head spinning means of a bucket assembly. When the mop head is spun at a relatively high rate of rotational speed, water retained in the mop is forcefully dispelled from the mop by centrifugal force. The water leaves the mop and is retained within a spin chamber of the bucket assembly. A drain plunger is included to allow the collected water to be drained from the bucket assembly. An ozone generator may be included for introducing ozone gas into the collected fouled water in the spin chamber. A clean water tank with a pump and spraying means, mounted within the spin chamber just below the mop head when the mop head is engaged with the mop head spinning means, is preferably included to allow introduction of clean water to the moping surface of the mop head. The mop assembly may include a lever means for selectively detaching the mop head from the handle. A control circuit controls the spraying of clean water onto the mop head, the ozone generator, and the activation and speed of the mop head spinning means, such that various wash-dry cycles are available.

Rasmussen, WO 01/44035, discloses a mounted module and tool holder for a material handling trolley for cleaning purposes, particularly the kind used for cleaning hotels and similar establishments.

Somerset, EP 1736091, discloses an apparatus which may be incorporated in a mobile cleaning trolley for use in wetting a mop or similar cleaning too.

The related art described above discloses a wide range of cleanup servicing devices including buckets, dual buckets, mop wringers and methods of using the devices. However, the prior art fails to disclose a combination caddy and dual mop bucket having a novel wringer device that is easily stored within the bucket, a tray nested in the dual bucket for compact storage and convenient carrying of service equipment and supplies. The prior art also fails to teach a bucket that is able to carry plural cleaning tools including tool heads, i.e., mop and broom heads, for instance, and an extensible handle adapted to be engaged with all of the heads in a non-rotation and manual release. The present invention distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

As shown in the above prior art abstracts many solutions are offered to improve the efficiency and efficacy in the technology of cleaning. One problem seems to persist however. Professional service people (cleaners) are mobile by nature. They pack up there equipment, move to a work site, conduct service operations such as cleaning surfaces, floors, windows, and so on, and then pack up their equipment once more and move to the next work site. Although efforts have been made mainly to improve cleaning equipment, very little has been done to improve the packing and unpacking operations and the porting of equipment to and from the work site. The present invention addresses this need in a novel manner.

The present invention improves these areas of concern by providing a solution that includes a much more compact arrangement of the equipment typically used in cleaning service operations. The key piece of equipment needed in such operations is a wash bucket and the bucket used in the present invention is a dual bucket having two cavities, one for soapy water for mopping, for instance, and one for receiving dirty water which is wrung out of a cleaning implement such as a floor mop. The bucket is large enough to hold the cleaning implement tool heads, i.e., mop head, squeegee head, and so on, and the common handle used with each head in turn is collapsible and mounted on the side of the bucket. Since handles are typically long, unwieldy and cumbersome to move from one place to the next, this solution alone affords significant advantages over the prior art. Next, the bucket has retractable wheels on it. This allows the bucket to be stable when placed in a vehicle, while mobile when used in cleaning operations. A service tray is formed and contoured to fit by nesting into the bucket and provides a highly convenient way for organizing and storing cleaning solutions, polish, cloths and other items used in cleaning operations. This service tray is supported by the rim of the bucket and also, importantly, by the partition so that the tray may be manufactured of a thin wall light construction while being effectively supported when carried in the bucket. Therefore, when carrying the bucket by its handle, one is able to also carry all of the tool heads, handle, and supplies necessary for the job with one hand. Finally, a novel mop wringer is provided which, at once, is able to efficiently wring out a typical string mop while also being able to be compactly stored within the bucket. The result is a solution to the speedy packing and unpacking of cleaning supplies, there being sufficient room within the bucket for all tools and supplies for a typical cleaning job; and to moving such equipment from vehicle to work space, there being only one trip necessary since all that is needed is within the bucket.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to provide an apparatus that serves as a combination carry-all for servicing supplies and equipment and jointly as a functional mopping unit.

A further objective is to provide such an apparatus that has a novel net mop wringer of such construction as to be compactly stored within the bucket and also mounted on the bucket for wringing a mop during servicing operations.

A further objective is to provide such an apparatus that has retractable wheels so that it may be placed in a vehicle with the wheels retracted so as to not roll due to vehicle motion, and to be moved over a floor on the wheels when extended for servicing the floor.

A further objective is to provide such an apparatus that has a single extensible mop handle that can be joined with each of plural service tools and which has a novel anti-turn engagement feature.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

Illustrated in the accompanying drawing(s) is at least one of the best mode embodiments of the present invention In such drawing(s):

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a dual bucket of the presently described apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view, as in FIG. 1, and additionally showing a net wringer mounted on the bucket;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section view thereof taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section view as in FIG. 3, showing a convenience tray mounted within the bucket and further showing typical supplies and equipment carried within the bucket and the convenience tray;

FIG. 5 is a partial end view of the bucket as shown by line 5-5 in FIG. 1, showing details of a retractable wheel and mounting of a mop handle;

FIG. 6 is a partial side elevational view of the bucket shown by line 6-6 in FIG. 5 of an extensible mop handle as mounted in a spring clamp;

FIG. 7 is a partial side elevational view of the bucket shown by line 7-7 in FIG. 5 of one of the wheels and showing alternative positions of the wheel;

FIG. 8A is a side view of the handle shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 shown partially extended;

FIG. 8B is an end view thereof;

FIG. 9A is a plan view of a typical tool of the apparatus showing brush bristles at the left and a neck on the right; and

FIG. 9B is a partial side view thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications to what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

The presently described invention is a compact cleaning equipment and carrier combination apparatus. As shown in FIG. 1, it includes an elongate bucket 10 formed integrally as a side wall 12 terminating with an upper lip 14, and a base 16. The bucket 10 further provides a medial partition 18 which is integral with the base 16 and side wall 12 and separates an interior space 20 of the bucket 10 into two, preferably not equal sections: 22 and 24. The bucket 10 is preferably made of plastic or a lightweight metal such as aluminum for convenient carrying.

A handle 15 is attached to the bucket 10 in a traditional manner, i.e., rotatable, and is comprised of a wire connecting piece 17 with a central hand grip 19 (FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 4, a tray 30, also shown in section, has a surrounding peripheral flange 32 extending outwardly to rest on the upper lip 14 of the sidewall 12, thereby securing the tray 30 within an upper portion 26 of the interior space 20 of the bucket 10. The tray 30 is segregated by an interior wall 34 which rests on and is supported by the medial partition 18 of the bucket 10. The tray is preferably made of molded plastic and may also have its own carrying handle (not shown).

A mop wringer 40 is shown in plan view in FIG. 2 and in elevation in FIG. 3. It has a wringer mount 42 and a wringer net 44. In use, the wringer mount 42 is secured to the upper lip 14 of the sidewall 12 and to the medial partition 18 by mount legs 45 which may be engaged using tongue-in-groove joints or other methods that are able to assure a strong connection but which may be easily engaged and disengaged so that the wringer 40 may be stored as shown in FIG. 4. The wringer net 44 is attached to the wringer mount 42 by any desired means to make a permanent connection, and is suspended from the mount in a position over one 22 of the two sections of the bucket 10 as clearly shown in FIG. 3. Preferably, the wringer mount 40 is ring shaped providing a central opening 46 for receiving a mop. The wringer net 44 is peripherally secured with the wringer mount 42, and hangs axially in alignment with the opening 46 as best seen in FIG. 2. In use, a wet mop, preferably of the string mop type, is inserted into the net 44 through central opening 46 and rotated. This causes the net 44 to tighten about the mop and to therefore wring out water in the mop. In use, preferably section 22 of the interior of the bucket 10 is used with the wringer mount 40 to receive dirty water from mopping operations, while section 24 is used for soapy water.

The bucket 10 and tray 30 may be fabricated in various sizes as will suit the needs of different persons and cleaning objectives, however, in the preferred embodiment the interior space 20 of the bucket 10 is of such size as to hold a sufficient quantity of water for wet mopping a floor area of at least 400 square feet.

Preferably, a plurality of retractable wheels 50 are mounted on the exterior of the bucket 10 enabling it to roll on a surface 5 (FIG. 3). Now referring to FIG. 7, preferably, each one of the retractable wheels 50 is mounted on a caster bearing 52, which, in turn, is mounted to a swivel plate 54. Plate 54 is pivotally mounted at pivot pin 56 so that it is able to rotate between positions “A” (deployed) and “B” (retracted) via position “C”. Swivel plate 54 carries a spring loaded button 55 that is urged by a spring to move into one of the apertures 51 or 53 depending on the position of swivel plate 54. The two apertures 51 and 53 are in bracket 59 which is mounted by two screws, as shown, to the side wall of bucket 10. When button 55 is positioned in aperture 51, the wheel 50 is captured in the down or deployed position. When button 55 is positioned in aperture 53, the wheel 50 is captured in the up or retracted position.

Preferably, a telescoping mop handle 60 is engaged with and secured to a handle mount 62, preferably a spring clamp secured to the bucket 10 as shown in FIG. 5. Preferably, the telescoping mop handle 60 is an extensible broom such as the well known Hide-Away® mop handle as shown in its partially extended attitude in FIG. 8A. This handle 60 is comprised of a plurality of separate coaxially aligned tube segments 60A, 60B, 60C which are able to be collapsed one within the other for compact storage as shown in FIG. 1. When needed for use with a mop head, broom head, a squeegee or other tools; part of the present apparatus, the segments 60A, 60B, 60C may be extended to whatever total length is needed and a selected tool mounted to the handle 60 (FIG. 8A, 8B). Each of the tools, e.g., mop head, broom head, squeegee and so on, has a mounting neck 68 within which is a female splined hole 67 as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B. The handle 60 provides a splined terminal end 64 as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. Therefore with the splined end 64 inserted into the splined hole 67 the tool (referred to in general by the numeral 65) is incapable of rotating on the handle 60. To lock the tool 65 onto the handle, a spring clip 69 is permanently engaged with the splined end 64, and an internal aperture 69′ is placed within the splined hole 67. Engagement of the spring clip 69 with the aperture 69′ insures that the tool 65 cannot be removed from the handle 60 without pressing on the spring clip 69. It is noted that the tool heads described herein are so notoriously well known in the field of this art as to not require further description in either text or drawing figures. What is not known, and has not been applied in the prior art, and which is considered an important novelty in this invention is the combination of a container that has its own specific use (wash tub, basin, or bucket) plus plural tools that are sized and configured for being carried together within the bucket and a handle that is able to be secured to the bucket and alternately mounted, in a standard manner, onto any one of the tools in use.

Secured within the bucket 10 and the tray 30 are a variety of items that are commonly used for cleaning surfaces, floors, windows, walls, and so on. In FIG. 4, we see that the tray 30 may support a variety of bottles and boxes of supplies 36 such as cleaners, polishing agents and so on, as well as wiping cloths 37, paper towels 38 and tissues 39. However, the cleaning materials and supplies used by different individuals will of course differ, and therefore, the items specified here are merely examples.

Stored within the bucket 10 below the tray 30 are at least several items selected from: a string mop head, a synthetic sham floor cleaner head, a flat terrycloth cleaner head, a flat micro fiber floor cleaner head, a fan high ledge duster head, a tile and tub cleaner head, a squeegee, a broom head, a brush head, a dust mop head, a sweeper head, a sponge mop head, and a feather duster head. As a group these cleaning heads are referenced by the numeral 65 as shown in FIG. 4. The novelty of this aspect of the apparatus is that the plural heads 65 are stored compactly within the bucket 10 for carrying them about, while each of the heads 65 is adapted for secure engagement interchangeably on the telescoping handle 60 as described above. It is considered to be quite novel to provide the same non-rotational, secure (snap-in) type of mounting for every tool used with the handle 60. Therefore, each of the heads 65 may be easily placed into use as needed. Clearly, many different non-rotating and snap-in engagements may be used to join the tool heads with the handle and not just the embodiments described.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.





 
Previous Patent: HAIR BRUSH WITH CURVED STYLING SURFACE

Next Patent: Brush