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Publication numberUS20020007527 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/876,622
Publication dateJan 24, 2002
Filing dateJun 7, 2001
Priority dateDec 8, 1998
Also published asEP1137358A1, WO2000033715A1
Publication number09876622, 876622, US 2002/0007527 A1, US 2002/007527 A1, US 20020007527 A1, US 20020007527A1, US 2002007527 A1, US 2002007527A1, US-A1-20020007527, US-A1-2002007527, US2002/0007527A1, US2002/007527A1, US20020007527 A1, US20020007527A1, US2002007527 A1, US2002007527A1
InventorsGerald Hart
Original AssigneeHart Gerald Leslie
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleansing assembly comprising a grip and one or more cleansing elements
US 20020007527 A1
Abstract
Cleansing assembly comprising one or more cleansing elements and a grip with one or more attachment openings for attachment of a cleansing element, in which assembly the cleansing element consists of sheet material which, in the dry state, is substantially rigid and dimensionally stable, and comprises prefabricated, coupling components which, after the cleansing element has been attached to the grip, project into one or more attachment openings.
Images(12)
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Claims(10)
What is claimed is:
1. Cleansing assembly at least comprising one or more cleansing elements and a grip, which grip comprises one or more attachment openings for attachment of a cleansing element through frictional interaction of the cleansing element with the one or more attachment openings, the cleansing element comprising coupling components which, after the cleansing element has been attached to the grip, project into the one or more attachment openings, wherein the cleansing element consists of sheet material which, in the dry state, is substantially rigid and dimensionally stable, and the coupling components comprise one or more areas in the cleansing element which are at least partially delimited by incisions and/or lines of weakening, which areas can be bent out of the plane of the cleansing element when the cleansing element is attached to the grip.
2. Cleansing assembly according to claim 1, wherein the areas which are delimited by the incisions or lines of weakening are substantially U-shaped, V-shaped or T-shaped.
3. Cleansing assembly according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the areas comprises a section whose width is greater than the internal dimension of the attachment opening which it is intended to be coupled to.
4. Holder comprising a cleansing assembly according to claim 1, which holder comprises at least two compartments, a first compartment for cleansing elements and a second compartment for a grip.
5. Holder according to claim 4, wherein one or more press-on components, which are intended to interact with the one or more coupling components of a cleansing element, are located on the base of the second compartment of the holder.
6. Holder according to claim 4, wherein there are means for moving a cleansing element from the first compartment into the second compartment.
7. Holder according to claim 4, wherein the compartments are substantially tubular and are arranged vertically next to one another, and are also in communication with one another, via an opening, in the vicinity of the base, and the first compartment comprises ejector means for ejecting a cleansing element from the first compartment into the second compartment.
8. Cleansing element for a cleansing assembly, said cleansing assembly at least comprising a grip, which grip comprises one or more attachment openings for attachment of a cleansing element through frictional interaction of the cleansing element with the one or more attachment openings, the cleansing element comprising coupling components which after the cleansing element has been attached to the grip project into the one or more attachment openings, wherein the cleansing element consists of sheet material which, in the dry state is substantially rigid and dimensionally stable, and the coupling components comprise one or more areas in the cleansing element which are at least partially delimited by incisions and/or lines of weakening which areas can be bent out of the plane of the cleansing element when the cleansing element is attached to the grip.
9. Cleansing element according to claim 8, wherein the cleansing element comprises water-dispersible sheet material.
10. Cleansing element according to claim 8, wherein the cleansing element has a cleansing surface which is slightly convex.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a continuation application of PCT/IB99/01956 filed on Aug. 12, 1999.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates firstly to a cleansing assembly at least comprising one or more cleansing elements and a grip, which grip comprises one or more attachment openings for attachment of a cleansing element through frictional interaction of the cleansing element with the one or more attachment openings, the cleansing element compromising coupling components which, after the cleansing element has been attached to the grip, project into the one or more attachment openings.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A cleansing assembly of this nature is known in the prior art and is described, for example, in EP-A-0 568 150. The abovementioned European Patent Application discloses a cleansing device which comprises a grip to which a support plate with an opening is attached. A sheet of water-dispersible cleansing material can be attached to the support plate as a result of the support plate, with the sheet of cleansing material on it, being pressed against a press-on projection, with the result that a section of the cleansing material is pressed into the opening. After use, the pad of cleansing material can be removed by actuation of an ejector member which is present in the grip.

[0004] In this device, loose sheets of cleansing material have to be manually applied to a surface which comprises the press-on projection. Obviously, this is undesirable from a hygiene viewpoint. Furthermore, the sheet of cleansing material is considerably deformed when it is attached to the support plate, making it impossible to produce a well-defined, planar cleansing surface. Furthermore, it is impossible to use a rigid material as cleansing material, and consequently good attachment to the support plate, particularly at the edge of the support plate, is not guaranteed. There is a risk that the sheet will “hang down” after it has been attached to the support plate.

[0005] In the case of other cleansing elements which are known in the prior art, the same problems arise or, as is the case in U.S. Pat. No. 2,648,085, the cleansing element is excessively thick, making it difficult to attach to and release from the grip.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The object of the present invention is to provide a solution to the abovementioned problems, and to this end it is characterized in that the cleansing element consists of sheet material which, in the dry state, is substantially rigid and dimensionally stable, and that the coupling components comprise one or more areas in the cleansing element which are at least partially delimited by incisions and/or lines of weakening, which areas can be bent out of the plane of the cleansing element when the cleansing element is attached to the grip.

[0007] This defines areas in the cleansing element which can interact frictionally, as a result of being bent, with attachment openings in the grip, and are thus able to ensure that a cleansing element is attached to the grip.

[0008] The cleansing assembly is particularly suitable for use when cleaning lavatory bowls, although it is not limited to this application. It is also suitable for cleaning urinals, shower trays, washbasins, etc.

[0009] A cleansing element can be attached to the grip by placing the cleansing element against the grip and pressing the one or more coupling components of the cleansing element into the attachment openings in the grip.

[0010] Preferably, the cleansing assembly according to the invention comprises release means for releasing the cleansing element from the grip. Release means of this nature may, for example, be designed in the form of a push rod in the grip, optionally provided with suitably designed ejector components.

[0011] In a preferred embodiment, these areas which are delimited by incisions or lines of weakening are substantially U-shaped, V-shaped or T-shaped. These areas thus comprise one or more lips in the cleansing element which can easily be bent over.

[0012] Advantageously, at least one area comprises a section whose width is greater than the internal dimension of the attachment opening which it is intended to be coupled to. After the cleansing element has been fitted, that section of the area which is wider than the attachment opening with which it interacts projects out of the opening and over the material of the grip, thus completely eliminating the possibility of the cleansing element falling out of the grip. These embodiments will be explained in more detail below in the description of the figures.

[0013] In principle, one coupling means is sufficient for attaching a cleansing element to the grip. Preferably, however, there are two or more coupling means. This provides more secure attachment, in particular between the edge of the cleansing element and the edge of the grip in the vicinity of the attachment openings. Advantageously, the coupling means are present in the vicinity of the edge of the cleansing element.

[0014] The invention furthermore provides a holder comprising a cleansing assembly according to the invention, which holder comprises at least two compartments, a first compartment for cleansing elements and a second compartment for a grip. Since the cleansing elements are rigid and dimensionally stable, it is easy for a stack of cleansing elements to be introduced into the first compartment, and when used, one of these cleansing elements can be removed from this compartment in order to be attached to the grip.

[0015] As has already been stated above, a cleansing element with coupling components which comprise areas which are at least partially delimited by incisions and/or lines of weakening can be arranged on a grip as a result of the cleansing element being placed against the grip and the coupling components of the cleansing element being bent into the attachment openings in the grip. This bending may take place in a variety of ways, for example by hand or using a separate press-on component.

[0016] Preferably, one or more press-on components, which are intended to interact with the one or more coupling components of a cleansing element, are located on the base of the second compartment of the holder. In this way, it is possible to arrange a cleansing element on the grip as a result of the cleansing element being moved into the second compartment of the holder, after which it falls to the base. As a result of the grip with the cleansing element then being pressed against the one or more press-on projections, the areas in question will bend into the attachment openings in the grip, thus bringing about the attachment.

[0017] Although the cleansing elements may be attached manually one by one, it is preferable for the holder to comprise means for moving a cleansing element out of the first compartment into the second compartment. This further improves hygiene. Advantageously, the invention provides a holder in which the compartments are substantially tubular and are arranged vertically next to one another, while they are also in communication with one another, via an opening, in the vicinity of the base, and the first compartment comprises ejector means for ejecting a cleansing element out of the first compartment into the second compartment. This ensures that a compact design is combined with actuation which is as hygienic as possible.

[0018] The ejector means for ejecting a cleansing element from the first compartment into the second compartment may be designed in many ways. They may be means which can be actuated by hand or by foot, such as for example a slide or a revolving disc.

[0019] The grip preferably compromises additional attachment means which are able to interact with one or more coupling components of a cleansing element, which have been moved into the attachments openings of the grip. This allows the cleansing element to be even more reliably attached to the grip. This embodiment will be explained in more detail below in the description of the figures.

[0020] The grip preferably comprises a pivotable head which comprises the attachment openings. The presence of a pivotable head makes the grip easier to handle while it is being used to clean a lavatory bowl, for example. The pivotable head ensures a better cleaning action.

[0021] The invention furthermore provides a cleansing element for a cleansing assembly, said cleansing assembly at least comprising a grip, which grip comprises one or more attachment openings for attachment of a cleansing element through frictional interaction of the cleansing element with the one or more attachment openings, the cleansing element comprising coupling components which after the cleansing element has been attached to the grip project into the one or more attachment openings, characterized in that the cleansing element consists of sheet material which, in the dry state is substantially rigid and dimensionally stable, and that the coupling components comprise one or more areas in the cleansing element which are at least partially delimited by incisions and/or lines of weakening which areas can be bent out of the plane of the cleansing element when the cleansing element is attached to the grip.

[0022] The said cleansing element preferably consists of a water-dispersible sheet material. In this case, after use the cleansing element can be flushed or rinsed away in the lavatory, the shower tray, etc. Materials of this nature are known in the prior art and may be appropriately selected by the person skilled in the art. In particular, the water-dispersible material is a biodegradable material. Preferably, the material can be dissolved completely. Examples of such material are paper, papier-mâché, nonwoven material, or some other, for example cellulose-based, material.

[0023] Advantageously, the cleansing element locally comprises areas of increased stiffness. This makes the cleansing element easier to handle. Areas of increased stiffness may, for example, be created by applying a stronger material or a material which is more difficult to dissolve in water. Preferably, however, increased stiffness is provided by local compression of the material of the cleansing element.

[0024] Particularly preferably, there are areas of increased stiffness in the vicinity of the coupling means. This ensures that the coupling means operate more reliably.

[0025] Furthermore, a fold line for the coupling means may be provided by reducing the thickness of the cleansing element at the location of the intended bending direction, for example as a result of material being compressed or omitted. This makes the coupling means function even more reliably.

[0026] It is also possible for the surface of the cleansing element to be provided with a certain surface structure in order to increase its roughness. This is achieved, for example, by stamping in a structure or pattern, for example ribs, indentations, teeth or zigzag lines. This structure intensifies the cleaning action.

[0027] In order to further promote the cleaning action, the cleansing element advantageously comprises a cleansing surface of slightly convex shape. With a convex shape it is possible in particular for concave surfaces to be cleaned very successfully.

[0028] The cleansing elements may also comprise a cleansing agent, for example impregnated therein in granular, powder, tablet form, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029]FIGS. 1a-b show a diagrammatic side view and front view of a grip according to the invention, provided with a cleansing element;

[0030]FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a cleansing element according to the invention;

[0031]FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of a cleansing element according to the invention;

[0032]FIG. 4 diagrammatically depicts a cleansing assembly according to the invention, comprising a grip and cleansing elements, in a first operating position in a holder;

[0033]FIG. 5 shows the cleansing assembly shown in FIG. 4 in a second operating position;

[0034]FIGS. 6a-c diagrammatically depict the various steps involved in attaching a cleansing element in accordance with FIG. 2;

[0035]FIG. 6d shows a partial perspective view from the inside, of the underside of the head of the grip shown in FIGS. 6a-c;

[0036]FIGS. 7a-b diagrammatically depict the steps involved in attaching a cleansing element shown in FIG. 3;

[0037]FIG. 7c shows a partial perspective view from the inside, of the underside of the head of the grip from FIGS. 7a-b;

[0038]FIG. 8 diagrammatically depicts a grip with release means for a cleansing element in accordance with FIG. 2;

[0039]FIG. 9 diagrammatically depicts a grip with release means for a cleansing element in accordance with FIG. 3;

[0040]FIG. 10 diagrammatically depicts a grip in which there is arranged a cleansing element with a set of T-shaped coupling areas; and

[0041]FIG. 11 shows a plan view of a cleansing element with three substantially H-shaped incisions.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0042]FIG. 1 shows a grip 1 according to the invention, which comprises a shank 2 and a head 3 which are connected to one another by means of a pivot 4. A cleansing element according to the invention is diagrammatically depicted by 5. The shape of the cleansing element and the shape of the head 3 are not subject to any particular limitations, but are preferably slightly egg-shaped, as can be seen in FIG. 1b. Advantageously, the external dimensions of the cleansing element 5 are slightly greater than those of the head 3. This promotes hygienic use of the grip 1.

[0043]FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a cleansing element 5 which comprises a U-shaped incision 6. The lip 7, i.e. the material inside the U-shaped incision, can be bent out, as shown in FIG. 2.

[0044]FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of a cleansing element 5 with an H-shaped incision 8. The U-shaped lips 9 which are formed in this case can also be bent outwards.

[0045] The lips 7 and 9 of the cleansing elements 5 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 are used to attach the said cleansing elements to the head 3 of a grip 1, the head 3 comprising suitable attachment openings 15 which will be discussed below.

[0046]FIGS. 4 and 5 show two successive operating steps of a holder 10 for a cleansing assembly according to the invention. The holder 10 for the cleansing assembly comprises two compartments 11 and 12. The first compartment 11 is used to hold stack of cleansing elements 5, and the second compartment 12 is used to store the grip 1 and to attach a new cleansing element 5 to the said grip 1.

[0047] In the vicinity of the base, the compartments 11 and 12 are in communication with one another by means of an opening 13. One of the cleansing elements 5′ can be pushed through the said opening 13 out of the compartment 11 into the compartment 12 by means which are not shown. These may, for example, be a slide device which can be actuated by foot. Other means are also suitable, such as hand-actuable means or the like.

[0048] A press-on projection 14 according to the invention is present on the base of the compartment 12. The way in which the press-on projection 14 operates will be explained in more detail below.

[0049]FIG. 6 shows, in three steps a, b and c, the way in which a cleansing element 5 in accordance with FIG. 2 is attached to the head 3 of a grip according to the invention, using a press-on projection 14.

[0050] The head 3 of the grip 1 comprises, on its underside, an attachment opening 15 which is to a large extent closed off by a hinged resilient lip 16. Furthermore, the head 3 comprises a stop 17 on the inside in the vicinity of the attachment opening 15. When a cleansing element 5 has been introduced into the compartment 12 via the opening 13 and the grip 1 is lowered onto it, the position shown in FIG. 6a will be reached. When the grip 1 is pressed further downwards into the compartment 12, the lip 7 will be forced out of the cleansing element 5 into the attachment opening 15 by means of the press-on component 14, with the resilient lip 16 being opened up. The lip 7 will gradually be pressed further upwards as the grip 1 is moved further into the compartment 12. Ultimately, the position shown in FIG. 6c is reached.

[0051] When the grip 1 is taken out of the compartment 12, the cleansing element 5 is unambiguously attached to the head 3, because the lip 7 is clamped between the stop 17 and the resilient lip 16. Resilient lip 16 is in this case an additional attachment means.

[0052]FIG. 6d shows a perspective view of part of the inside of the underside of the head 3 with the cleansing element 5 in accordance with FIG. 2 attached to it. This figure clearly shows the action of the stop 17 and the resilient lip 16 for securely clamping the lip 7.

[0053] Reference is now made to FIG. 7 with regard to the way in which a cleansing element 5 in accordance with FIG. 3 is attached. In this case too, a cleansing element 5 is introduced into the compartment 12 via the opening 13. As a result of the grip 1 being moved downwards into the compartment 12, the lips 9 can be moved into an attachment opening 15 in the underside of the head 3 through interaction with the press-on projection 14. In this case, the attachment opening 15 does not comprise a stop or resilient lip. In this embodiment, the material of the cleansing element 5 is important, since it has to be sufficiently rigid to be able to clamp the cleansing element 5 in the attachment opening 15 of the head 3 of the grip 1 as a result of the lips 9 being bent over. The cleansing element 5 is therefore attached as a result of frictional engagement between the lips 9 and the attachment opening 15.

[0054] A diagrammatic plan view is shown in FIG. 7c of the underside of the head 3, with the lips 9 attached inside the attachment opening 15. In this case too, the grip 1 is ready for use once it has been removed from the compartment 12.

[0055] of course, it is equally possible to use different shapes of incisions, with correspondingly adapted attachment openings. For example, two or more U-shaped or H-shaped incisions which are spaced apart from one another in the cleansing element can be used in combination with a corresponding number of attachment openings in the head 3. Consideration may also be given to cross-shaped or star-shaped incisions and the like.

[0056] The following FIGS. 8 and 9 show two ways in which a cleansing element can be released from the attachment means after it has been attached.

[0057]FIGS. 8a and b show the way in which the cleansing element in accordance with the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 is released, and FIGS. 9a and b show the way in which the cleansing element in accordance with the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 is released.

[0058] In FIG. 8, the resilient lip 16 is provided with a pull rod 19. When this pull rod 19 is moved in the direction of the arrow, the cleansing element 5 can be released. By contrast, the embodiment shown in FIG. 9 comprises a push rod 20 which can push the cleansing element 5 out of the opening 15. To this end, this push rod is provided with a spherical component 21 in the vicinity of the head 3.

[0059]FIG. 10 shows a plan view of a head 3 of a grip 1 with a cleansing element 5 with two T-shaped coupling components 22 attached to it. The width of the coupling components is therefore locally greater than the dimension of the attachment openings 15, so that they can engage behind the material of the head 3. In this way, the cleansing element is securely attached to the grip and the possibility of the cleansing element falling out of the grip is completely prevented.

[0060] Finally, FIG. 11 shows a cleansing element 5 with three substantially H-shaped incisions 8 which are spaced apart from one another. When a cleansing element 5 of this nature is attached to a head 3 of a grip 1, three sets of U-shaped lips 9 as shown in FIG. 3 are formed. This ensures improved attachment of the cleansing element 5 to the head 3 over the entire bottom surface of the head 3.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6546587 *Sep 10, 2001Apr 15, 2003Lyle J. Christiansen“Yucky” wipe-up-the-mess wand
US7032270Sep 5, 2003Apr 25, 2006Novalabs, LlcToilet cleaning apparatus and caddy
US7059008Nov 6, 2003Jun 13, 2006S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Cleaning brush with replaceable/disposable brush head
US7065825Jun 23, 2003Jun 27, 2006The Clorox CompanyCleaning tool with gripping assembly for a disposable scrubbing head
US7275276Feb 23, 2005Oct 2, 2007The Clorox CompanyCleaning head
US7287295 *Oct 7, 2003Oct 30, 2007Hagleitner Hygiene International GmbhHandle having disposable cleaning head
US7386910Sep 30, 2003Jun 17, 2008The Clorox CompanyCleaning tool assembly with a disposable cleaning implement
US7446082Apr 20, 2007Nov 4, 2008The Clorox CompanyHandle and a removable cleaning pad impregnated with anionic or ionic surfactant, acidic cleaning compounds; tinted head changes color after use; may be manual or a motorized tool; attaching disposable substrate having a plastic rigid fitment to the cleaning implement; wetting, scrubbling
US7470652Apr 20, 2007Dec 30, 2008Andrew KilkennyHandle and a removable cleaning pad impregnated with anionic or ionic surfactant, acidic cleaning composition; rigid plastic fitment for attachment to the gripping mechanism; tinted head changes color after use; manual or a motorized tool; for cleaning floor, carpet, toilet, bathroom, and shower
US7603739Apr 20, 2007Oct 20, 2009The Clorox CompanyCleaning tool assembly with a disposable cleaning implement
US8286295Sep 4, 2009Oct 16, 2012The Clorox CompanyCleaning tool assembly with a disposable cleaning implement
WO2004075707A2 *Feb 25, 2004Sep 10, 2004Gartland DanielCleaning device
WO2005072116A2 *Jan 12, 2005Aug 11, 2005Clorox CompapanyMultilayer cleaning pad
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/104.94, 15/210.1
International ClassificationA47K11/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47K11/10
European ClassificationA47K11/10