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Publication numberUS20050251943 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/122,228
Publication dateNov 17, 2005
Filing dateMay 5, 2005
Priority dateMay 5, 2004
Also published asWO2005108016A1
Publication number11122228, 122228, US 2005/0251943 A1, US 2005/251943 A1, US 20050251943 A1, US 20050251943A1, US 2005251943 A1, US 2005251943A1, US-A1-20050251943, US-A1-2005251943, US2005/0251943A1, US2005/251943A1, US20050251943 A1, US20050251943A1, US2005251943 A1, US2005251943A1
InventorsAlfred Van Landingham
Original AssigneeRubbermaid Commercial Products Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mop having ergonomic handle and joint
US 20050251943 A1
Abstract
A mop pad support includes a frame configured to retain a mop pad, a handle for controlling the frame, and a connecting mechanism that connects the handle to the frame. The frame has a longitudinal direction and a latitudinal direction. The frame is longer in the longitudinal direction than in the latitudinal direction. The handle has a shaft portion that extends in a substantially longitudinal direction and a grip portion that extends at an angle relative to the longitudinal direction. The grip portion is located farther from the frame than the shaft portion and has ends proximal and distal the shaft portion. The proximal end of the shaft portion is disposed lower than the distal end, such that the grip portion extends upward. The connecting mechanism is configured to permit the handle to rotate about a first axis that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction of the frame and to rotate about a second axis that is substantially parallel to the latitudinal direction of the frame.
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Claims(5)
1. A mop pad support comprising:
a frame configured to retain a mop pad, the frame having a longitudinal direction and a latitudinal direction, wherein the frame is longer in the longitudinal direction than in the latitudinal direction;
a handle for controlling the frame, the handle having a shaft portion that extends in a substantially longitudinal direction and a grip portion that extends at an angle relative to the longitudinal direction, the grip portion being located farther from the frame than the shaft portion and having ends proximal and distal the shaft portion, the proximal end being disposed lower than the distal end, such that the grip portion extends upward; and
a connecting mechanism that connects the handle to the frame, wherein the connecting mechanism is configured to permit the handle to rotate about a first axis that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction of the frame and to rotate about a second axis that is substantially perpendicular to the first axis.
2. The mop pad support of claim 1, wherein the angle of the grip portion relative to the longitudinal direction of the shaft portion is at least 30 degrees.
3. The mop pad support of claim 1, wherein the grip portion extends from an end of the shaft portion.
4. The mop pad support of claim 1, wherein rotation of the grip portion about an axis that is substantially coincident with the longitudinal direction of the handle causes a corresponding rotation of the frame.
5. The mop pad support of claim 1, further comprising a squeegee projecting from a forward edge of the frame, wherein the connecting mechanism is configured to inhibit rotation of the handle about the first axis.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Nos. 60/567,794 (filed May 5, 2004), 60/637,440 (filed Dec. 21, 2004), and 60/646,986 (filed Jan. 27, 2005), which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

Flat mops typically include a handle attached to a frame, which is configured to hold a flat mop pad. The handle is used to control the frame and mop pad. Like conventional string mops, the handle of the flat mop can be used to control the movement of the frame and mop pad in forward/backward and side-to-side motions. Flat mops, however, impose an additional requirement that generally does not exist with conventional string mops. Specifically, flat mops often require that the handle be capable of controlling the rotational movement of the frame and mop pad. This rotational movement of the frame and mop pad occurs when a user moves the mop in a figure eight motion while walking backwards—a mopping technique that can be used with flat mops.

Often the handle of a flat mop is merely a straight member. With such a handle it can be difficult to control rotational movement of the frame and mop pad. Moreover, the ergonomics of such a handle can be inconvenient for some users.

In effort to reduce the problems associated with a straight-handled flat mop, PCT Application WO 98/12023 suggests providing a downward angled ergonomic grip at the end of a straight handle. This approach is less than desirable. This downward angled grip is not efficient when mopping floors using the figure eight technique. The downward angled grip positions the user's wrist at an awkward angle and forces the user to shorten the length of the handle, which reduces the effective width of coverage of the figure eight motion.

SUMMARY

An aspect of the present invention relates to a mop pad support comprising a frame configured to retain a mop pad, a handle for controlling the frame, and a connecting mechanism that connects the handle to the frame. The frame has a longitudinal direction and a latitudinal direction. The frame is longer in the longitudinal direction than in the latitudinal direction. The handle has a shaft portion that extends in a substantially longitudinal direction portion is located farther from the frame than the shaft portion and has ends proximal and distal the shaft portion. The proximal end of the shaft portion is disposed lower than the distal end, such that the grip portion extends upward. The connecting mechanism is configured to permit the handle to rotate about a first axis that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction of the frame and to rotate about a second axis that is substantially parallel to the latitudinal direction of the frame.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate various embodiments of the invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operation of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a first embodiment of a mop pad support according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of a frame of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a frame of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a partial side view of a handle of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a partial front view of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a partial side view of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the mop pad support of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 10 to 16 are side views of additional embodiments of a handle for a mop pad support according to the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a top view of an embodiment of a frame of a mop pad support with a squeegee according to the present invention; and

FIG. 18 is a partial side view of the mop pad support of FIG. 17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Presently preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the drawings. An effort has been made to use the same or like reference numbers throughout the drawings to

A first embodiment of a mop pad support 10 according to the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-9. The mop pad support 10 includes a frame 20, a handle 30, and a connecting mechanism 40.

The frame 20 is configured to retain a mop pad 50. The frame 20 can be a conventional frame 20 used in mop pad supports. Preferably, it is formed of extruded aluminum 21 with plastic end stops 22 (see FIG. 3). As shown in the top view of FIG. 3, the frame 20 has a longitudinal direction 23 and a latitudinal direction 24 (portions of the connecting mechanism 40 and handle 30 have been removed for clarity). Preferably the frame 20 is longer in the longitudinal direction 23 than in the latitudinal direction 24. FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the frame 20 with the mop pad 50 removed. As shown in FIG. 4, the frame 20 can include, for example, VELCRO fastener strips 26 that connect to corresponding VELCRO fastener material (not shown) on the mop pad 50 to hold the mop pad 50 in position on the frame 20.

The handle 30 is configured to control the frame 20. The handle 30 has a shaft portion 31 and a grip portion 32. Though the handle 30 can be a telescoping adjustable member, as is conventional in the art, an integral member, or any other suitable configuration.

The shaft portion 31 preferably extends in a substantially longitudinal direction 33 (see FIG. 5). Though deviations from a straight line are permissible, it is desirable that the shaft portion 31 be substantially straight. Materials, such as plastic grips (not shown), can be disposed on the shaft portion 31 to provide a better grip for a user.

The grip portion 32 is configured to be gripped by the hand of a user. As shown in FIG. 5, the grip portion 32 preferably extends in a direction 34 that is at an angle α relative to the longitudinal direction of the shaft portion 31. The angle α preferably is at least 30 degrees. The grip portion 32 is located farther from the frame 20 than the shaft portion 31. Preferably, the grip portion 32 extends from the end 35 of the shaft portion 31. The grip portion 32 can include a plastic member 38 that provides a better grip for a user.

The grip portion 32 has an end 36 proximal the shaft portion 31 and an end 37 distal the shaft portion 31. As shown in FIG. 5, the proximal end 36 of the grip portion 32 is disposed lower than the distal end 37, such that the grip portion 32 extends upward.

The connecting mechanism 40 connects the handle 30 to the frame 20. The connecting mechanism 40 can be a conventional connecting mechanism used for flat mop supports. Preferably, the connecting mechanism 40 includes a conventional quick connect/disconnect mechanism that facilitates fast attachment and removal of the handle 30

The connecting mechanism 40 is configured to permit the handle 30 to rotate in a direction 41 (see FIG. 7) about a first axis 42 (see FIGS. 6 and 7) that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction 23 of the frame 20. The connecting mechanism 40 also is configured to permit the handle 30 to rotate in a direction 43 (see FIG. 6) about a second axis 44 (see FIGS. 6 and 7) that is substantially perpendicular to the first axis 42 (though the axes do not necessarily intersect).

The configuration of connecting mechanism 40 permits the grip portion 32 to rotate about an axis that is substantially coincident with the longitudinal direction 33 of the handle 30 to cause a corresponding rotation of the frame 20. As shown in FIG. 8, rotation of the grip portion 32 in the direction of the arrow A (about the axis substantially coincident with the longitudinal direction 33) and rotation of the shaft portion 31 in the direction of arrow B (about the axis 44) causes a corresponding rotation of the frame 20 in the direction of arrows C. Conversely, as shown in FIG. 9, rotation of the grip portion 32 in the direction of the arrow A′ (about the axis substantially coincident with the longitudinal direction 33) and rotation of the shaft portion 31 in the direction of arrow B′ (about the axis 44) causes a corresponding rotation of the frame 20 in the direction of arrows C′.

The mop pad support of the present invention is an improvement over flat mops having a straight handle because it provides an ergonomic grip portion 32 that facilitates control over the rotation of the frame 20 and mop pad 50. The mop pad support 10 of the present invention also is an improvement over a downward angled grip at the end of a straight handle, because the upwardly angled grip portion of the present invention can be configured to allow the user to grip the handle in a comfortable position that provides superior control and/or turning of the frame on the floor. This makes execution of the figure eight mopping technique more efficient because the user's grip on the handle can be lighter, allowing him or her to mop longer without fatigue.

The mop pad support 10 of the present invention can be configured in a variety of ways in addition to those already described. For example, the handle 30 of the present invention can be configured in a variety of embodiments, some of which are shown in FIGS. 10-16.

As another example, as shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, the frame can be modified to include a squeegee blade 60 made of, for example, rubber. The squeegee blade 60 preferably extends from a forward edge of the modified frame 120. In this configuration, the connecting mechanism 40 preferably includes projections 70 that fit into detents 72 to inhibit rotation by of rotation, the squeegee blade 60 is kept in position and ready to be used. This squeegee blade 60 can be used, for example, to squeegee wet spills and to sweep dry dirt and debris. The user can execute the figure eight technique described above in regard to mopping.

The mop pad support 10 of the present invention can be used with many types of mop pads 50. Preferably, it is used with a mop pad disclosed in a patent application that is to be concurrently filed by Judy Cline entitled “Color Coded Mop Pads and Method of Color Coding Same” (Ser. No. ______; Attorney Docket Number 086554-1178), the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

The mop pad support 10 also can be used with many types of buckets. A preferred mop bucket is disclosed in a patent application that is to be concurrently filed by the present inventor and Craig Rogers entitled “Bucket With Foot Pedal Wringer Mechanism and Scrub Board” (Ser. No. ______; Attorney Docket Number 086554-1173), the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference. Another preferred bucket, which is used for disinfecting, is disclosed in a patent application that is to be concurrently filed by the present inventor entitled “Disinfecting Bucket” (Ser. No. ______; Attorney Docket Number 086554-1172), the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

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

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7464440 *Aug 26, 2005Dec 16, 2008Deborah DeckerErgonomic appliance handle
US7650665Jul 18, 2006Jan 26, 2010Kimberly-Clark Worlwide, Inc.Mop assembly with fastener channels
US8677548 *Jan 14, 2011Mar 25, 2014The University Of Western OntarioCurling head for curling broom
US20110167578 *Jan 14, 2011Jul 14, 2011Jenkyn ThomasCurling head for curling broom
US20110247157 *May 14, 2010Oct 13, 2011Concept MicrofibreBent stick for a floor cleaning mop, and a mop including the stick
US20110271488 *Nov 7, 2009Nov 10, 2011Robert Todd SwindermanExtendable Universal Holding Device
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/228, 15/244.2, 15/144.2
International ClassificationB25G1/00, A47L13/12, A47L13/20, B25G1/10
Cooperative ClassificationB25G1/002, A47L13/12
European ClassificationA47L13/12, B25G1/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 27, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: RUBBERMAID COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS LLC, VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VAN LANDINGHAM, ALFRED RENEAU, JR.;REEL/FRAME:016578/0163
Effective date: 20050711