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Publication numberUS20040108242 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/315,881
Publication dateJun 10, 2004
Filing dateDec 10, 2002
Priority dateDec 10, 2002
Publication number10315881, 315881, US 2004/0108242 A1, US 2004/108242 A1, US 20040108242 A1, US 20040108242A1, US 2004108242 A1, US 2004108242A1, US-A1-20040108242, US-A1-2004108242, US2004/0108242A1, US2004/108242A1, US20040108242 A1, US20040108242A1, US2004108242 A1, US2004108242A1
InventorsGary Seehoff
Original AssigneeSeehoff Gary S.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleaning organizer system
US 20040108242 A1
Abstract
An organizer is presented including at least one cleaning device having a base portion and a handle portion. A container is connected to the cleaning device. A base unit having an exterior surface and an interior surface holds the cleaning device and the container. The cleaning device fits together with the base unit such that the exterior surface of the base unit is flush with the exterior of the base portion of the cleaning device.
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Claims(28)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus comprising:
at least one cleaning device having a base portion and a handle portion;
a container is removably coupled to the at least one cleaning device, and
a base unit having an exterior surface, the base unit to hold the at least one cleaning device and the container,
wherein the at least one cleaning device removably couples with the base unit such that the exterior surface of the base unit is flush with an exterior of the base portion of the at least one cleaning device.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein an interior portion of the handle portion of the at least one cleaning device fits flush to an exterior surface of the container when the at least one cleaning device and the container are coupled with the base unit.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the handle portion of the at least one cleaning device includes means for gripping the handle portion.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the means for gripping the handle portion comprises one of a plurality of ridges formed in the handle portion, a non-slip smooth overlay coupled to the handle portion, and a non-slip ridge overlay.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, the base unit including a plurality of air vents.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a non-slip footing coupled to a bottom portion of the base unit.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, the base portion of the at least one cleaning device is removably coupled to a cleaning element.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the cleaning element has means for attaching to the base portion of the at least one cleaning device.
9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the cleaning element includes a plurality of layered portions.
10. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the container includes at least one handle portion, wherein the at least one handle portion of the container is contoured to flushly fit the handle portion of the at least one cleaning device.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second cleaning device, wherein the at least one cleaning device and the second cleaning device are interchangeable.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second cleaning device, wherein the at least one cleaning device and the second cleaning device are coupled to different cleaning elements.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, the base unit further comprising a plurality of feet, a container shelf, a cross stabilizer and a plurality of cleaning device securing couplers.
14. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the at least one cleaning device is flushly organized and housed in the base unit concealing the cleaning element from view.
15. A cleaning organizer system, comprising:
a plurality of cleaning tools, each of the plurality of cleaning tools having a base portion and a handle portion;
a container removably coupled to the plurality of cleaning tools; and an organizing base, the plurality of cleaning tools and the container removably coupled with the organizing base,
wherein the plurality of cleaning tools, the organizing base and the container fit such that the exterior surface of the organizer base is flush with an exterior portion of the base portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools.
16. The cleaning organizer system of claim 15, wherein an interior portion of the handle portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools fits flush to an exterior surface of the container when the plurality of cleaning tools and the container are coupled with the organizing base.
17. The cleaning organizer system of claim 15, wherein the handle portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools has means for gripping the handle portion.
18. The cleaning organizer system of claim 15, the organizing base including a plurality of air vents and a non-slip footing coupled to a bottom portion of the organizing base.
19. The cleaning organizer system of claim 15, the base portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools has means for attaching to a cleaning element attachment device.
20. The cleaning organizer system of claim 19, the cleaning element is coupled to means for attaching to the base portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools.
21. The cleaning organizer system of claim 20, wherein the cleaning element attachment device is coupled with a cleaning element having a plurality of layered portions.
22. The cleaning organizer system of claim 20, wherein the cleaning element attachment device is coupled with a cleaning element having a plurality of bristles.
23. The cleaning organizer system of claim 15, wherein the container includes a first handle portion and a second handle portion, wherein the first handle portion of the container and the second handle portion of the container are contoured to flushly fit the handle portion of each of the plurality of cleaning tools.
24. A cleaning organizer kit, comprising:
at least two cleaning tools;
a container; and
a base removably coupled to the at least two cleaning tools and the container, wherein the at least two cleaning tools, the base and the container are contoured to fit flush with one another, and the at least two cleaning tools are unrecognizable when coupled with the container and the base.
25. The cleaning organizer kit of claim 24, wherein the container includes a first handle portion and a second handle portion, wherein the first handle portion of the container and the second handle portion of the container are contoured to flushly fit a handle portion of each of the at least two cleaning tools.
26. The cleaning organizer kit of claim 25, wherein an interior portion of the base portion of each of the at least two cleaning tools fits flush to an exterior surface of the base when the at least two cleaning tools and the container are coupled with the base.
27. The cleaning organizer kit of claim 24, wherein one of the at least two cleaning tools is coupled to a first cleaning element and another one of the at least two cleaning tools is coupled to a second cleaning element.
28. The cleaning organizer kit of claim 24, the base unit further comprising a stabilizer, a plurality of feet, a non-slip footing coupled to a bottom portion of the base unit, and a container shelf.
Description
BACKGROUND

[0001] 1. Field

[0002] This invention relates to cleaning organizers, and more particularly to an ergonomic cleaning organizer system.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Many cleaning organizers require separate functional cleaning devices in order to be practical. These separate cleaning devices are typically unpleasing to the sight and remain in plain view. The typical cleaning devices are difficult to store and organize, and at the same time be accessible. It is a challenge to have these cleaning devices readily accessible and neatly organized while also being pleasant to the sight. In the cleaning organizer industry today, there are many organizers that make using them practical and convenient. Cleaning organizers assist users by having necessary cleaning tools and/or other supplies situated conveniently. Some cleaning organizers are sometimes arranged in kits where all cleaning products are contained within a carrying device. Many organizers have separate compartments or placeholders for tools and cleaning solutions. A problem with many cleaning organizers is that they are either too bulky or, based on the holder/carrying portion, are better left in a storage place, e.g., under the sink, in a closet, etc. due to not fitting in with the surrounding environment. One problem with these organizers is that they are indistinguishably recognizable for what they are. Another problem with cleaning organizers and their components is that they are made for ease of manufacturing. Therefore, these organizing systems are not made for ease of use. In other words, they are not ergonomic.

SUMMARY

[0005] A cleaning organizer system is presented having at least one cleaning device. The cleaning device has a base portion and a handle portion. The cleaning organizer system also includes a container that is removably coupled to the cleaning device. A base unit that has an exterior surface and an interior surface is included. The base unit holds the cleaning device and the container. The cleaning device fits together with the base unit such that the exterior surface of the base unit is flush with an exterior of the base portion of the cleaning device.

[0006] Another embodiment is presented including a cleaning organizer system having a plurality of cleaning tools. Each of the cleaning tools has a base portion and a handle portion. An organizing base that has an exterior surface and an interior surface is also included. The cleaning tools and the container are removably coupled with the organizing base.

[0007] Still another embodiment is presented including a cleaning organizer kit. The cleaning organizer kit includes at least two cleaning tools. A container and a base that is removably coupled to the cleaning tools and the container are also included. The cleaning tools, the base and the container are contoured to fit flush with one another. The cleaning tools are concealed when coupled with the container and the base.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not by way of limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like references indicate similar elements. It should be noted that references in the specification to “an embodiment,” “one embodiment,” “some embodiments,” or “other embodiments” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiments is included in at least some embodiments, but not necessarily all embodiments, of the invention. The various appearances “an embodiment,” “one embodiment,” or “some embodiments,” are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiments. If the specification states a component, feature, structure, or characteristic “may”, “might”, or “could” be included, that particular component, feature, structure, or characteristic is not required to be included. If the specification or claim refers to “a” or “an” element, that does not mean there is only one of the element. If the specification or claims refer to “an additional” element, that does not preclude there being more than one of the additional element.

[0009]FIG. 1 illustrates a front side view of an embodiment of a cleaning organizer.

[0010]FIG. 2A illustrates a frontal view of a base for a cleaning organizer.

[0011]FIG. 2B illustrates a bottom view of a base for a cleaning organizer.

[0012]FIG. 2C illustrates a top view of a base for a cleaning organizer.

[0013]FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of another embodiment of a cleaning organizer.

[0014]FIG. 4 illustrates a top angle view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0015]FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of a base of a cleaning organizer.

[0016]FIG. 6 illustrates a cleaning tool for a cleaning organizer embodiment.

[0017]FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of cleaning element for a cleaning tool of a cleaning organizer embodiment.

[0018]FIG. 8 illustrates a cut-out view of cleaning element for a cleaning tool of a cleaning organizer embodiment.

[0019]FIG. 9 illustrates a bristle insertion element of a cleaning element for a cleaning tool of a cleaning organizer embodiment.

[0020]FIG. 10 illustrates another cleaning element for a cleaning tool of a cleaning organizer embodiment.

[0021]FIG. 11 illustrates cut-out view of still another cleaning organizer embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] The invention generally relates to a cleaning organizer system. Referring to the figures, exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described. The exemplary embodiments are provided to illustrate the invention and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention.

[0023]FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment including at least one cleaning device/tool 120 having a base portion 130 and a handle portion 125. A container 140 is removably coupled to cleaning device 120. Base unit 110 having an exterior surface and an interior surface is removably coupled to cleaning device 120 and container 140. Base unit 110 holds cleaning device 120 and container 140. Cleaning device 120 fits together with base unit 110 such that the exterior surface of base unit 110 is flush with an exterior of base portion 130 of cleaning device 120. Therefore, base portion 130 of cleaning device 120 and base unit 110 are substantially the same height from a surface that they are placed upon. It should be noted that more than one cleaning device 120 can be included in cleaning organizer 100, such as two (2), three (3), etc. In embodiments including more than one cleaning device 120 of the same size, all included cleaning devices 120 are interchangeable (i.e., they can all fit into each opening in base unit 110 that any cleaning device 120 fits into).

[0024] Cleaning organizer 100 can be made of materials such as plastics, polymers, wood, metals, ceramics, etc. The various components of cleaning organizer 100 can each be made of different materials. Cleaning device 120 is made to withstand at least average force from a user when cleaning device 120 is used for cleaning. Therefore, cleaning device 120 can withstand an applied force without breaking when used for a cleaning purpose.

[0025] Cleaning organizer 100 and its various components can be made by manufacturing techniques known to those skilled in the art, such as injection molding, over molding, pultrusion, extrusion, casting, welding, etc. It should also be noted that cleaning organizer 100 can be made by hand, use robotics or a combination of both. It should also be noted that cleaning organizer 100 can be made in various sizes. The size of cleaning organizer 100 can be adapted depending on desired use of cleaning device 120, e.g., dishwashing, automotive cleaning use, size of items to be cleaned, etc. Cleaning device 120 can also be sized to ergonomically fit users having a different hand or glove size, i.e. handle 125 can be varied in size.

[0026] In another embodiment, handle portion 125 of cleaning device 120 includes gripping portion 135. Gripping portion 135 can be made with a ridge or raised texture throughout its length in order to accommodate a better gripping surface for a user. In another embodiment, gripping portion 135 includes a gripping material, such as rubber, foam rubber, silicon rubber, etc., that is coupled to the exterior surface of handle 125. The gripping material can have a raised, rigid or smooth texture. The gripping material provides additional gripping ease to a user, even when the gripping material is wet or is used with a cleaning solvent, such as liquid detergent. In these embodiments, gripping portion 135 is indented or contoured to ergonomically fit to a user's hand.

[0027]FIG. 2A illustrates base unit 110 with cleaning device(s) 120 and container 140 removed. In this embodiment, two openings 210 are included in base unit 110 to accommodate two cleaning devices 120. Opening 205 is included to accommodate container 140. Separation portion 201 is included to hold container 140 and separate it above and away from cleaning device(s) 120. Openings 210 are shaped to provide a flush fit for cleaning devices 120. Lip 218 fits within a gap of a cleaning element that is coupled to a cleaning device 120. Side couplers 217 (illustrated in FIG. 2B) couple with a fitted edge of cleaning device 120. Therefore, lip 218 and couplers 217 function to secure cleaning device 120 within base unit 110. When cleaning devices 120 are placed in openings 210, the fit is such that cleaning devices 120 are concealed, i.e., not easily recognized to be cleaning devices. By making cleaning devices 120 concealed, cleaning organizer 100 can be placed on counter tops without the appearance of having cleaning tools present and without exposing the unpleasant looking cleaning devices present, such as scrub brushes, sponges, etc. Therefore, cleaning organizer 100 can fit in an aesthetic environment with ease and be functional and immediately accessible, whereas typical cleaning organizers would be placed out of sight until necessary to be used due to their unaesthetic appearance.

[0028]FIG. 2B illustrates a bottom view of base unit 110. As can be seen from FIG. 2B, base unit 110 includes stabilizer 211. Stabilizer 211 stabilizes base unit 110 horizontally from one side of opening 205 to the other. A plurality of feet 212 is included in base unit 110. One should note, that while four (4) feet 212 are illustrated, different embodiments may have more or less feet 212, such as three (3), five (5), seven (7), etc. In one embodiment feet 212 have a rubber element inserted within feet 212 such that a portion remains outside of feet 212. In this embodiment, feet 212 including the rubber element act to prevent motion of base 110 between feet 212 (and rubber elements) and a surface. In another embodiment, feet 212 are solid without a rubber element. Feet 212 can be made of any non-slip material suitable for a footing. In the above embodiments, feet 212 create a space between a solid surface and base unit 110. Therefore, air can flow under base unit 110. Therefore, cleaning device(s) 120 can be air-dried when wet through the air flowing underneath base unit 110. FIG. 2C illustrates a top view of base unit 110.

[0029]FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment including a plurality of air vents 310 in base unit 110. In this embodiment, a group of three “S” shaped air vents or openings is illustrated. It should be noted that other embodiments can include other groupings (groups of two or more air vents spaced apart) and/or more or less total number of air vents. Air vents 310 allow air to pass through base unit 110 to provide air drying to an interior portion of base portion 130. In another embodiment, air vents 310 are “plugged” with a material. In this embodiment, the material may be rubber, foam rubber, polymers, silicon, etc. In this embodiment, the material can be over-molded on base unit 110.

[0030] Since cleaning device 120 and container 140 are flushly fitted to base unit 110 when coupled together, without air vents 310 included in base unit 110, air flow would occur in and through base unit 110 between the space created by feet 212 between the bottom of base unit 110 and a surface.

[0031]FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment having two cleaning devices 120. As can be seen from this illustration, cleaning devices 120 fit flushly with base unit 110. In one embodiment, non-slip footing 405 is coupled to a bottom portion of base unit 110. One should note that non-slip footing 405 is made of waterproof non-slip materials, for example rubber, foam rubber, plastic polymers, silicon, etc. Non-slip footing 405 can be coupled to base unit 110 by coupling portions fitting into holes placed circumferentially around the bottom portion of base unit 110 so that non-slip footing 405 is removable for cleaning purposes. In another embodiment, non-slip footing 405 can be attached to base unit 110 by using adhesives, use of heat molding, etc. In one embodiment, base unit 110 sits directly on a surface through non-slip footing 405. In other embodiment, base unit 110 sits on a surface through feet 212.

[0032]FIG. 5 illustrates base unit 500 of an embodiment that has cleaning devices 120, shelf 201 and container 140 removed. In this embodiment, two groupings of air vents 310 are shown. Also in this embodiment, holes 505 are included in the bottom portion of base unit 110 to fit couplings from non-slip footing 405. In another embodiment, groupings of air vents 310 and holes 505 have over molded rubber placed inside each vent. In yet another embodiment, non-slip footing 405 is coupled directly underneath to holes 505. In this embodiment, holes 505 are used for additional airflow for drying cleaning device(s) 120. In this embodiment, non-slip footing 405 is attached to the lower portion of base unit 110 by adhesives, heat, over molding, or by a friction fitting (i.e., placed inside, over, etc., the lower portion of base unit 110).

[0033]FIG. 6 illustrates an isolated view of cleaning device 120. As can be seen from FIG. 6, cleaning device 120 includes handle portion 125, grip portion 135 and base portion 130. Cleaning device 120 is coupled with cleaning element coupling device 620, and a cleaning element 605 including a plurality of cleaning element layers (illustrated in this embodiment as 610 and 615). It should be noted that cleaning element 605 can include more or less layers as illustrated, such as one (1) three (3), four (4), etc. Cleaning device 120 is gripped or held by a user at handle 125 and grip portion 135. By using cleaning device 120, a user can clean an article by using back and forth/circular/ etc. motions applied from cleaning device 120 to the article. In one embodiment, first cleaning element layer 615 can be a material such as synthetic sponge, foam rubber, solid flexible rubber, etc. In this embodiment, first cleaning element layer 615 provides a support for second cleaning element layer 610, and also provides coupling to cleaning element coupling device 620. In one embodiment, second cleaning element layer 610 is made of a material to provide friction for cleaning an article, such as a non-metallic scrubbing or scouring material. In this embodiment, second cleaning element layer 610 can be made of rubber, rubber polymers, fibers, etc.

[0034]FIG. 7 illustrates cleaning element coupling device 620. In this embodiment, cleaning element coupling device 620 includes attachment clip 705. Attachment clip 705 couples to cleaning element 605 (illustrated in FIG. 6) and base portion 130 of cleaning device 120. Cleaning element coupling device 620 can be attached to cleaning element 605 with adhesives, heat application, molding, etc. Cleaning element coupling device 620 can also be formed as part of first cleaning element layer 615. Side-slide couplers 725 and front-slide coupler 710 fit around insertion couplers formed on base portion 130 of cleaning device 120. By sliding side-slide couplers and front-slide coupler 710 into a raised portion on the underside of base portion 130, cleaning element 620 locks into place allowing a user to vigorously use cleaning device 120 in any motion or direction, without cleaning element 620 disengaging. In one embodiment leading edge coupler 720 engages a counterpart coupler (not shown) in base portion 130 of cleaning device 120. In this embodiment, leading edge coupler 720 is slidably coupled with its counterpart coupler.

[0035]FIG. 8 illustrates a cut-away view of base portion 130, cleaning element coupling device 620 and cleaning element 605 in a coupled state. Cleaning element coupling device 620 is removably coupled to the interior of base portion 130. Cleaning element coupling device 620 includes engaging portion 815 and disengaging portion 805 (besides side-slide couplers 725 and front-slide coupler 720 illustrated in FIG. 7). Engaging portion 815 engages a portion of the interior of base portion 130 of cleaning device 120 by a spring-like force caused by the flexing of a portion of cleaning element coupling device 620. Disengaging portion 805 is forced upwards of the engagement portion into the interior of base portion 130 by a user, and then released. When disengaging, portion 805 is released, releasing engaging portion 815, which couples with the engaging portion of base portion 130. The force against each engagement portion retains cleaning element 605, which is coupled to cleaning element coupling device 620, in place when used. When it is desired to change cleaning elements, disengaging portion 805 is once again pressed downward. This motion releases cleaning element coupling device from base portion 130. Both the engaging portions (720, 725) of cleaning element coupling device 620 and base portion 130 are complementary in shape. That is, each engagement portion fits one another when coupled together in order to lock together to prevent disengagement.

[0036]FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment including cleaning element layer 900. Cleaning element 900 includes a plurality of bristle insertion holes 901. It should be noted that holes 901 can be varied in diameter in order to fit different amounts/types of bristles. Therefore, the number of holes 901 can vary depending on the diameter.

[0037]FIG. 10 illustrates cleaning element 900 including a plurality of bristles 1002 coupled to holes 901. In this embodiment, cleaning element 900 including a plurality of bristles 1002 forms a scrubbing brush. Bristles 1002 can be made of plastic fibers, polymer fibers, natural fibers (animal hair), etc. The length of bristles 1002 can be varied to accommodate different stiffness of bristles 1002. Therefore, the shorter bristles 1002, the stiffer the scrubbing brush becomes.

[0038]FIG. 11 illustrates a cut-through view of a cleaning organizer embodiment. In this embodiment, cleaning device 1106 is different from cleaning device 1105. Cleaning device 1106 is illustrated with cleaning element 605 including a sponge and a scrubbing surface. Cleaning device 1105 is illustrated with cleaning element 900 including a plurality of bristles 1002. Non-slip footing 1105 is raised above a surface by feet 1101.

[0039] In one embodiment (not shown), container 140 includes complimentary shaped contours in order to flushly fit with handle 125 of cleaning device 120. In this embodiment, handle 125 fits within the contour of container 140. In this embodiment, the contoured or indented shape of container 140 ergonomically fits a user's hands. In this embodiment, the squeezable area of container 140 (substantially, the center area) is of a shape that provides a user a better gripping area than would be if not contoured or indented. In another embodiment, handle 125 is contoured to fit around container 140 to fit flush with container 140. In the above embodiments, handle 125 and container 140 are concealed when coupled together and inserted within base unit 110. That is, container 140 and cleaning device(s) 120 are unrecognizable when coupled together.

[0040] Container 140 is made of material (such as plastics, polymers, rubbers, etc.) that is suitable for containing a liquid solvent, e.g., liquid dish detergent, liquid soap, etc. Container 140 is made to retain its shape after container 140 is compressed (i.e., squeezed) by a user and then released. Container 140 includes a top or cap portion that is coupled to the main body portion by known means, such as threaded coupling, etc. It should be noted that other pouring means can be attached to container 140, such as a pump system, locking spout, etc. (not shown). Container 140 can have a cap portion that is not recognizable. Therefore, when container 140 is coupled with cleaning device(s) 120 and base unit 110, container 140 is unrecognizable as a container, and cleaning device(s) 120 are unrecognizable as cleaning tools/devices.

[0041] While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications may occur to those ordinarily skilled in the art.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7044299 *Dec 22, 2003May 16, 2006Marna Inc.Cleaning apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/581, 206/362
International ClassificationA46B17/02, A47B81/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47B81/02, A46B15/0091, A46B17/02
European ClassificationA46B15/00G, A47B81/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 2, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: CENTERFIELD CAPITAL PARTNERS II, L.P., INDIANA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:EVRIHOLDER PRODUCTS, LLC;REEL/FRAME:021617/0814
Effective date: 20080815
Owner name: HARRIS, N.A., INDIANA