Title:
Floor cleaning system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A floor cleaning system including a mop with a mop head having a plurality of mopping strands with multiple wringing beads, an elongated adjustable handle with a hand grip and a mop stand assembly, and a bucket with a wringing cone, rollers and a heating element. Also included are bucket rollers, safety feet, heating element shield, drain plug, chemical solution dispenser, bucket hose connection and hose storage reel.



Inventors:
Wooten, Alvin (New Orleans, LA, US)
Application Number:
12/148990
Publication Date:
10/29/2009
Filing Date:
04/24/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
401/118, 15/118
International Classes:
A47L13/20; A47L13/58
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JUAN J. LIZARRAGA (NEW ORLEANS, LA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A floor cleaning system comprising a mop with a mop head having a plurality of mopping strands, an elongated adjustable handle with a hand grip and a mop stand assembly, and a bucket with rollers and a heating element.

2. The floor cleaning system of claim 1 wherein multiple wringing beads are fixed to the mopping strands and a wringing cone is fixed to the bucket.

3. The floor cleaning system of claim 1 wherein the bucket further comprises a drain plug, a hose connection and a chemical solution dispenser.

4. The floor cleaning system of claim 2 wherein the bucket further comprises a drain plug, a hose connection and a chemical solution dispenser.

5. The floor cleaning system of claim 3 wherein the elongated adjustable handle is fitted with a handgrip and the bucket is fitted with safety feet.

6. The floor cleaning system of claim 4 wherein the elongated adjustable handle is fitted with a handgrip and the bucket is fitted with safety feet.

7. A floor cleaning system comprising a mop and bucket, said mop comprising; an elongated handle having a first and second end being defined by a longitudinal axis, said elongated handle having upper and lower handle segments and at least one hand grip fixed in line with said longitudinal axis, said upper and handle segments having an annular recess allowing the upper and lower handle segments to move along and about said longitudinal axis, said elongated handle further including a means for selectively adjusting the length of said elongated handle at desirable distances along the longitudinal axis, a mop head fixed to said second end, said mop head having a plurality of mopping strands extending therefrom, the mopping strands having wringing beads fixed at distances apart along said mopping strands, and a mop stand leg assembly comprising a mop stand swivel ring fixed to said elongated handle at a distance apart from said second end and a plurality of mop stand legs pivotally attached to said mop stand swivel ring, said mop stand legs being manually engageable to a afford pivotal movement between an upright position when the mop stand leg assembly is in a stored position and a downward facing position when the mop stand leg assembly is in a structural position, said mop stand legs being of such length to afford said mopping strands to be suspended at a distance above a floor surface when said mop stand leg assembly is in said structural position, said mop stand leg assembly further include a means for securing said mop stand legs in said stored position and in said structural position, and said bucket having; a downward facing mop wringing cone fixed to said bucket, the wringing cone having a plurality of wringing slots, a plurality of wringing bead apertures, and a wringing cone bottom hole, with the wringing slots spiraling generally downward from said wringing bead apertures toward said wringing cone bottom hole, said bucket further comprising the following attachment elements: rollers, safety feet, heating element, heating element filter shield, a bucket drain plug, a solution dispenser having an attachment slot, a bucket hose connection, a hose and a hose storage reel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a system for cleaning, disinfecting and coating floors and similar surfaces using a mop and related accessories including a bucket with a heating element, a mop wringer, and a dispenser for fluids such as detergent, wax stripper, disinfectant and waxes.

The use of a mop to clean floors is an age-old method still practiced extensively because it is effective. A typical mop has an elongated handle with a mop head attached to one end. The mop head is formed of strands of moisture adsorbent material, which can be natural or man-made. A mop is generally used with a bucket of water to both wet and rinse the mop head after use. The normal method of using a mop is to wet the mop head in the bucket of water, wring out the mop head by hand and then push the mop head over the floor surface to remove dirt or pick up excess moisture. Once the mop head has been pushed over a certain area of floor, the mop head is placed in the bucket of water to rinse out the dirt and soil removed from the floor. The mop head is then wrung out to remove excess moisture and the process is repeated until the water in the bucket becomes too dirty and must be changed. However, there are certain disadvantages inherent in a simple mop and bucket. Among these are difficulties in wringing and cleaning the mop by hand to remove liquid and dirt so that the mop is as clean as possible when used on the floor. Another problem is what to do with the mop while the water in the bucket is being changed. It is not advisable to simply lay the mop on the floor. Dumping a large bucket of water can also be a problem simply because of the weight.

While the mop and bucket system as described above only discusses the use of water in the bucket, it is well known that warm or hot water will clean better than simple cold water. However, even if hot water is available, a typical bucket will not maintain the water temperature, and what starts as hot water will quickly become cold, thereby diminishing the cleaning effectiveness. Likewise, it is common to add chemical solutions to assist in cleaning or whatever the desired effect might be. For example, wax stripper might be needed to clean wax build up, or a disinfectant might be needed in a health care facility. Such chemical solutions would usually be provided in individual containers and manually mixed in the bucket. A problem exists in handling these containers and storing them while mopping.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a complete floor cleaning system and apparatus comprising a mop and bucket and further comprising a mop stand, a mop head with multiple strands with wringing beads, a wringing cone with bead slots, a bucket heating element; a chemical dispenser, a bucket drain and a hose connection for filling the bucket.

The mop of the present invention will have an adjustable telescoping elongated handle fitted with a folding leg stand comprising multiple legs, which, when folded out, will support the mop in a vertical position with the multiple strands of the mop head above the floor. The multiple strands of the mop head with wringing beads, will allow the mop to be wrung in a wringer cone with bead slots without the need for hand wringing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inventive floor cleaning system.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the mop in a vertical position on mop stand legs.

FIG. 3 is a cross section of the bucket.

FIG. 4 is a cross section of the wringing cone with the multiple strands of the mop placed in the wringing cone.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the wringing cone.

FIG. 6 is a cross section of the telescoping adjustment mechanism in the elongated mop handle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inventive floor cleaning system showing a mop 1 and a bucket 9. The mop 1 of the present invention includes an elongated handle 2 having a first end 2c and a second end 2d, and is defined by a longitudinal axis 26. The elongated handle 2 can be manufactured using tubular or solid plastic, metal, composite, or wood materials. The elongated handle 2 of the preferred embodiment is additionally provided with an upper segment 2a and a lower segment 2b having a diameter slightly greater than that of upper segment 2a, in which the lower segment 2b is allowed to move longitudinally over the upper segment 2a. The preferred embodiment includes a telescoping adjustment mechanism 27 to selectively engage both the upper and lower sections 2a and 2b to selectively secure the desirable length. Also shown is a handgrip 32 in place on the upper section 2a engaged over the first end 2c. It is preferable that the handgrip 32 has finger indentations to assist in using the telescoping adjustment mechanism 27.

The telescoping adjustment mechanism is shown in cross section in FIG. 6. The lower segment 2b is provided with a plurality of aligned holes 28 and a spring-biased push button mechanism 29 is disposed in the upper segment 2a. The spring-biased push button mechanism 29 includes a button 30, biased by a spring 31. Depressing the button 30 disengages the adjustment mechanism 27, thereby allowing the upper segment 2a to move longitudinally within the lower segment 2b in a telescoping motion. The button 30 will remain depressed by the wall of the lower segment 2b until the expansive force of the compressed spring 31 forces the button 30 to protrude through the next of the sequentially aligned holes 28. This alignment with a new hole 28 returns the adjustment mechanism 27 to the engaged position thereby establishing a new length for the elongated handle 2. This process can be repeated until the elongated handle 2 is secured in the desired length.

The mop 1 further includes a mop head 3 fixed to the second end 2d. The mop head 3 includes a plurality of flexible moisture absorbent strands 4 with a multitude of wringing beads 5 fixed to the strands 4 at a distance apart to facilitate in the wringing operation as described below. The strands 4 can be formed of any durable moisture absorbent material, natural or synthetic. The wringing beads can be of any durable moisture resistant material such as plastic and formed in a spherical shape.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the mop 1 is additionally provided with a mop stand assembly 6 having a plurality of mop stand legs 7 and an annular mop stand swivel ring 8 fixed at a distance longitudinally apart from the second end 2d of the elongated handle 2. In this embodiment, the mop stand legs 7 are pivotally fixed to the mop stand swivel ring 8 so as to allow the mop stand legs 7 to rotate pivotally from an upright or stored position down to a standing tripod position. As seen in FIG. 2, the mop stand legs 7 are of such a length that, when folded out in the standing position, the mop will be supported in a vertical position with the mopping strands 4 above a floor surface 20. Each of the mop stand legs 7 has a leg lock 7a fixed at an intermediate distance along the length of the mop stand leg 7 and a mop stand leg brace 7c. As FIG. 2 shows, the mop stand leg brace 7c is pivotally fixed to the mop stand leg 7 on one end and has a leg hook 7b on the opposite end.

When in the standing position as seen in FIG. 2, the mop stand assembly 6 has three mop stand legs 7 forming a tripod structure. The mop stand legs 7 are locked in the standing position using a hook and lock locking mechanism in which the leg hook 7b on each mop stand leg brace 7c interlocks with the leg lock 7a fixed to an adjacent mop stand leg 7. FIG. 1 shows the mop stand legs 7 in the upright or stored position in which the mop stand legs 7 are locked in position using a hook and lock mechanism in which the leg hooks 7b fixed to an interlock 7d on the lower segment 2b with the leg locks 7a fixed to each of the mop stand legs 7.

FIG. 3 shows a cross section of the bucket 9 having a bucket wall 9a, a bucket wall interior surface 9b, a bucket wall exterior surface 9c, a bucket interior floor surface 9d, a bottom end 9e, a top end 9f, a bottom 9g, a perimeter 9h, and a rim 19. The bucket 9 is provided with a wringer cone 11 rigidly fixed to the bucket wall interior surface 9b near the top end 9f. The bucket 9 and wringer cone 11 are preferably constructed of plastic or polymer sheet material and it would be advantageous to produce them as one piece using injection-molding technology.

The wringer cone 11 is a downward facing or inverted circumferential cone having a wringer cone wall 11a with a plurality of wringing slots 12, a plurality of wringing bead apertures 21, and a wringer cone bottom hole 11b. The wringer cone 11 includes wringing slots 12, spaced at a distance apart and spiraling downward from the wringing bead apertures 21 toward the wringer cone bottom hole 11b as seen in FIG. 5. The wringing bead apertures 21 and wringing slots 12 work in conjunction with the wringing beads 5 to facilitate the innovative wringing operation of the present invention. The wringing bead apertures 21 are of a generally circular shape with a diameter greater than the diameter of the wringing beads 5, whereas the wringing slots 12 are of a width less than the diameter of the wringing beads 5, but wide enough to allow the strands 4 to pass through the slots 12.

The innovative wringing operation of the present invention is distinguishable from the prior art in the field of hands-free mop wringing. Almost all hands-free bucket-mounted mop wringing devices require some type of vertical force or compression to remove unwanted liquid, and most also require a twisting or rotational force; the present wringing operation, however, requires only a rotational force.

As depicted in FIG. 4, which shows a cross section of the wringer cone 11, the mop 1 is guided into the wringer cone 11, with the mop strands 4 hanging vertically down, to introduce the wringing beads 5 into the wringing slots 12. The wringing slots 12 function as pass through surfaces to guide the wringing beads 5 upward to the wringing bead apertures 21 as the mop 1 is rotated around its longitudinal axis 26. The wringing bead apertures 21 receive the wringing beads 5 and lock the wringing beads 5, and corresponding mop strands 4, in a fixed position. The continued rotational force or twisting, while the wringing beads 5 and mop strands 4 are in a fixed position, creates a centering effect which resultantly squeezes or wrings the liquid out of the mop strands 4. Once the desired amount of liquid has been removed from the mop strands 4, a rotational force in the opposite direction releases the wringing beads 5 from the wringing bead apertures 21 and the mop 1 may be removed from the wringer cone 11.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the bucket 9 is provided with a multitude of rollers 10 fixed to the bucket bottom 9g, equidistant around the bucket perimeter 9h. The preferred embodiment of the present invention also includes a multitude of bucket safety feet 24 fixed to the bucket bottom end 9e generally adjacent to said rollers 10, projecting out and down toward the floor surface 20.

As further shown in FIG. 3, the bucket is also provided with a heating element 13 attached to the bucket wall 9a, preferably toward the bucket bottom end 9e such that the heating element 13 is generally coplanar to the bucket floor surface 9d. The heating element 13 is intended to maintain the water in the bucket 9 at an elevated temperature more conducive to efficient cleaning. The heating element 13 is protected from potential damage by a heating element filter shield 15, which is mounted to the bucket wall 9a and the bucket bottom 9g. The heating element filter shield 15 will normally be constructed of a thin structural sheet material, with perforations so as to protect the heating element 13 from larger, heavy objects without restricting the flow of liquid around the heating element 13. An electrical cord with plug 14 from the heating element 13 passes through the bucket wall 9a and is stored in a retractable electrical cord retriever 14a, which is mounted to the bucket wall exterior surface 9c.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention also includes a bucket hose connection 16, fixed to the bucket wall 9a, for connecting a water hose 25 to a water source. The water hose 25 shall be a general flexible hose of appropriate length and storage is provided by a hose storage reel 23 attached to the bucket wall 9a. A drain plug 17 is also fixed to the bucket wall 9a toward the bucket bottom end 9e and a drain plug retainer 22 is fixed to the bucket wall 9a interior to the drain plug 17. Both the water hose 25 and the drain plug 17 allow the user to respectively fill and drain the bucket 9 without lifting.

The bucket 9 is further provided with a chemical solution dispenser 18 having multiple sealed compartments for storing chemical and cleaning solutions. The solution dispenser 18 as disclosed in the preferred embodiment is provided with a manually operated, pushbutton liquid dispensing valve mechanism that eliminates the potentially dangerous contact between the operator and the harsh chemical solutions. The preferred solution dispenser 18 has an attachment slot 18a for mounting the solution dispenser 18 on the bucket rim 19 as seen in FIG. 3.

While in the preceding specification, the present invention has been illustrated and described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments, it will be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the details thereof. It will however, be apparent to those skilled in the art that various substitutions, modifications, omissions, and changes can be made to the embodiment described above without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.