US 3114919 A
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Dec. 24, 1963 R. R. KENREICH 3,114,919
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SHAKING A GARMENT AND APPLYING CLEANING LIQUID AND DRYING FLUID THERETO Fild Jan. 6, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 TIE-54 22E SCREEN HEAT ELEMENT WASH PANSE WAT E R 7 ''8.zj m HEATER W WT WATER V l W cow WATER MOTOR-m R'LO HEATER CONDENSER Dec. 24, 1963 R. R. KENREICH 3,114,919
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SHAKING A GARMENT AND APPLYING CLEANING LIQUID AND DRYING FLUID THERETO Filed Jan. 6, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3 lid-$19 METHOD AND APPARATUS FUR SHAKHNG A GARMENT AND APPLYING CLEANENG LIQUID AND DRYING FLUID THERETG Richard R. Kenreieh, St. Ioseph, Mich assignor to Whirlpool Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Ian. 6, H61, Ser. No. 81,169 6 Claims. (El. 8-147) This invention relates to garment cleaning method and apparatus particularly for washable garments such as of the wash and wear types.
Wash and wear and drip-dry clothing has become very popular as under ideal conditions it is only necessary to launder the garment with a detergent solution and permit it to dry. Then, general ironing or pressing is not required, as it is ordinarily necessary only to touch up wrinkled areas with an iron.
Because the garments must be laundered in a home laundry, unless they are washed by hand, the results are not always completely satisfactory, particularly after the garment has been laundered a number of times. The present invention is concerned with a garment cleaning apparatus for this type of garment that performs a better job than ordinary washing methods in that the laundered and dried garment requires little or no touch up pressing and the fabric is returned to a condition more nearly similar to its condition when new.
One of the features of this invention is to provide an improved garment cleaning apparatus for laundering garments such as those of the wash and wear type.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of one embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Of the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevation view of an apparatus embodying the invention showing the apparatus with garments in place for laundering.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary elevation partially broken away for clarity of illustration of the apparatus of FIG- URE 1 but taken at 90 from the view of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a plan view partially broken away of the apparatus.
FIGURE 4 is a chart illustrating a representative laundering cycle for the apparatus.
FIGURE 5 is a simplified wiring diagram of the apparatus.
In the apparatus as illustrated in the accompanying drawings there are provided means for supporting a garment in substantially a free hanging state at least approximately free of distorting stresses, means for shaking the garment generally vertically and means for applying a cleaning liquid to the garment during the shaking with the cleaning liquid including both the soil removing liquid and a rinsing liquid. In addition, the specific apparatus of the drawings includes means for providing a drying uid such as heated air to the garment during the shaking.
The illustrated apparatus comprises a cabinet having a hinged door 11 at the front and a top 12. Mounted on this top is a reversible electric motor 13 driving a transmission 14 by means of a belt 15. Extending downwardly from the transmission through the top 12 is a bar 16 on the lower end of which is provided a horizontal bracket 17. On one end of this bracket there is pro vided a form 18 having generally the contours of the upper shoulders of the wearer of the garment with this form being solid except for a plurality of perforations as illustrated at 19. The other end of the bracket 17 is provided with a hanger 20 for trousers, skirts and the like having spring pressed holders 21. In the illustrated embodiment the holders 21 are adapted to engage in the 3,114,919 Patented Dec. 24., 1963 "ice cuiis of a pair of trousers 22 to permit the trousers to hang freely as illustrated. Both form 13 and holders 21 are intended to support garments in a free hanging state from the top of the garment which in the case of trousers, for example, is actually inverted from the normal wearing position.
While not illustrated in detail, transmission 14 is a motion converting mechanism capable of converting rotary motion from motor 13 into a reciprocating motion for output bar 16. Transmission 14 is not shown in detail but is preferably of the cam and follower type in which bar 16 moves rapidly on either the up or down stroke and slower on its return stroke depending upon the cam design and the direction of rotation of the output shaft of motor 13.
In the present design rotation of motor 13 in one direction during the washing process causes a rapid down stroke and a relatively slower upstroke providing a cushioning effect to the cleaning solution in the garments to keep the solution in contact with the garments longer while reversal of motor 13 during the rinsing operation causes a rapid upstroke and a relatively slower downstroke providing a snap action to the garment which aids in the removal of the rinse water.
Also on the top 12 of the cabinet It) there is provided a pair of incoming water pipes 23 such as hot and cold water pipes leading to a mixing valve 24. From the valve 2.4 there is provided a branched pipe structure with one branch 25 leading to one side of the top of the cabinet and the other branch 26 leading to the opposite side. Each branch 25 and 26 communicates downwardly through the top 12 of the cabinet so that the water on each side of the cabinet flows over an inclined generally triangular plate 27. As illustrated each plate 27 is inclined downwardly and inwardly at an angle of approximately 45 and extends toward the top of the adjacent garment, either the trousers 22 or the coat jacket 28.
In order to mix liquid detergent in the flowing water there is provided beneath each plate 27 a container 29 for liquid detergent. Extending downwardly from each plate 2? is a pipe 3t) having its lower end adjacent the bottom of the container 29 and its upper end opening to the upper surface of the plate 27. This arrangement causes liquid detergent in the container 2d to be sucked up the tube I'll) by the water flowing over the top of the plate 2'7 and to be mixed with this water to form the detergent solution.
In the front at the top of cabinet ill a panel 31 is provided to house a sequential timer 3?. which automatically regulates the machine cycle.
The cabinet 1% is provided with a lower compartment 34 that is bounded at the top by a water pervious screen 35. Immediately beneath this screen is a resistance rod heater 36 while beneath this heater is a catch pan 37 for the cleaning solution and rinse water with this pan emptying into a sump 35s. A pump 39 is provided in a drain line all for pumping Water from the sump to a drain. However, it should be understood that the pump may be eliminated so as to drain the sump by gravity.
One side of the catch pan 37 is provided with an opening 41 covered with a loose cover 4-2 so that air can flow upwardly through the opening and under the cover 42 with the cover preventing dripping solution and water from flowing out through the opening 41.
Prior to operating the evice the two side containers 29 are filled with any desired liquid detergent such as one of the many readily available synthetic detergents now available at every grocery store. The motor 13 is energized so as to drive transmission 14 which reciprocates vertically the bracket 17 with a rapid down stroke and a slow upstroke and thus the garments illustrated at 22; and 23. This reciprocation results in a vertical v.7 shaking of the garments. During this shaking water is cause to flow through the pipes 25 and 26 where it flows over the oppositely inclined plates 27 to suck the detergent from the containers 29 and mix it with the water to form a cleaning solution. This cleaning solution is directed by the inclined plates 27 onto the shaking garments adjacent the tops thereof Where the cleaning solution flows down through the garments to perform the cleaning operation. The above mentioned variance in stroke from a rapid down stroke to a slow upstroke allows the cleaning solution to be in contact with the garments longer than if an equal up and down stroke were used.
At the end of a predetermined time the detergent within the containers 29 is of course exhausted so that the water flowing over the plates 27 constitutes rinse water. At this time motor 13 is reversed causing a slow down stroke and a rapid up stroke which aids in the removal of the rinse water, the cleaning solution and any remaining dirt from the shaking garments. All of this solution and rinse water falls through the screen 35 into the pan 3'7 and is pumped to the drain by means of the pump 39.
At the end of the rinsing cycle the heater 36 is energized and this causes air in the compartment 34 to be heated and to rise through the screen 35 into the interior of the cabinet where the heated air contacts the garments which are still being shaken in order to dry them. The air that is heated enters the bottom compartment 34 through bottom openings (not shown) and the moisture laden heated air escapes through openings 43 in the top 12 of the cabinet.
A simplified wiring diagram for this apparatus is illustrated in FIGURE 5. Here power is supplied by means of lines 44 and 45 and the various switches are arranged in parallel to each other between these two lines. Thus the motor switch 46 is arranged between these two lines and htis switch includes a pair of fixed contacts 47 and 48 and a movable contact 49. The one contact 47 is in series with a resistor 50 so that when contacts 4849 are closed the motor runs at high speed, for example 400 r.p.m., while when contacts 47-49 are closed the motor is in series with the resistor and runs at low speed, for example 200 rpm. As shown in FIGURE the pump switch 51, switch 52 for the heater 36, hot water switch 53, cold water switch 54 and switch 60 for the valve 55 are all in parallel between the lines 44 and 45.
The water lines 23 are arranged so that one supplies hot water and the other cold water. The valves operated by control switches 53 and 54 for these lines are contained within the mixing valve 24.
When venting to the atmosphere, as described previously, is not desired or is ditficult, a condensing system may be used instead. The invention disclosed herein provides a solenoid operated valve 55 connected to the cold water line and a water line 56 connected to valve 55. Line 56 extends downwardly to a horizontal line 57 which is in close proximity to and extends substantially entirely across the rear panel 58 of cabinet 10. Line 57 has several apertures 59 positioned so as to direct streams of water on the rear panel 53 during the dry period so that the rear panel 58 will act as a condensing surface for moisture laden air within the cabinet.
The switches just described are operated in the usual manner to provide an operating cycle such as illustrated in FIGURE 4. In this cycle each numbered increment represents one full minute. The washing and rinsing requires a total of minutes while the drying covers a range of 105 minutes. At the end of the dry period the device is shut off.
In one embodiment of the invention the vertical stroke provided by the transmission 14 on the bracket 17 is about one inch, although in actual practice this is varied between three-quarters and one and one-quarter inch. The transmission 14 at high motor speed provides about 4&0 vertical strokes per minute (during the wash and rinse portion or" the cycle) while at low speed it provides about 200 strokes per minute (during the dry cycle). The use of a slower stroke during drying prevents formation of fabric rippling or folding due to the constant shaking frequency. These speeds, of course, can be varied as desired.
During the laundering cycle the various elements illustrated in a simplified manner at FIGURE 5 were operated to provide a washing cycle of 4 minutes with the water being at about 120 F. As shown in FIGURE 4 each washing increment of one minute was divided up into one-half minute of application of detergent solution and one-half minute where the solution was cut oil with the shaking being continued. At the end of the four minutes there was an additional six minutes of rinsing during which no detergent was supplied to the water because the containers 29 were then empty. Here again the garments were rinsed for a half minute only through each one minute interval. During the washing and rinsing the motor was operated at the high speed for the full ten minutes to provide the 460 strokes per minute. At the end of the ten minutes the motor was run at the low speed for the remainder of the time or through the drying cycle which was at a speed of about 200 strokes per minute. During this drying interval the heater was energized and operated for the full minutes of the drying time at 1350-1400 watts at volts.
It is of course obvious that the above described conditions are only exemplary and other conditions can be provided if desired.
The vertical shaking of the garment serves to loosen the fibers and to aid in forcing the liquids through the garments. The cycling of both the washing solution and the rinse water on and otl serves to llush these liquids through the garments to aid in removing the soil. This supplying of agitating energy to the garments directly and not through the medium of the water bath as occurs in an ordinary washing machine is a more efficient means of imparting energy to the fibers so that less total energy is required for the process. Furthermore the shaking helps remove wrinkles as it removes stresses from the fibers and tends to return them to their original unwrinkled condition.
Because the garments are supported in a substantially free hanging state and are supported as nearly as possible free of distorting stresses the washing solution and rinse water pass readily through the garments taking the soil with them and the fibers are permitted to realign and remove wrinkles during this free shaking.
Having described my invention as related to the embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings, it is my intention that the invention be not limited by any of the details of description, unless otherwise specified, but rather be construed broadly within its spirit and scope as set out in the accompanying claims.
1. The method of cleaning a garment and the like, comprising: suspending said garment from adjacent the top in a substantially free hanging state and substantially free of distorting stresses; shaking said garment generally vertically from said top; and applying, first, a cleaning liquid to said garment, then a rinsing liquid and next a drying fluid to said garment during said shaking, said liquids being applied adjacent said top and said shaking being at a lesser rate during said drying fluid application than during said cleaning fluid application.
2. Garment cleaning apparatus, comprising: a cabinet; supporting means in said cabinet for supporting a garment in substantially a free hanging state from adjacent the top of said garment and at least approximately free of distorting stresses; means for selectively shaking said supporting means generally vertically at a first reciprocating speed and at a second lower reciprocating speed; means for applying a cleaning liquid to said garment while said supporting means is reciprocating at said first reciprocating speed; and means for subsequently applying heated air to said garment while said supporting means is reciprocating at said second lower reciprocating speed.
3. Garment cleaning apparatus, comprising: a cabinet having a rear panel; supporting means in said cabinet for supporting a garment in substantially a free hanging state and substantially free of distorting stresses; means for selectively shaking said supporting means generally verticaliy at a first reciprocating speed and at a second reciprocating speed lower than said first reciprocating speed; means for applying a cleaning liquid to said garment while said supporting means is reciprocating at said first reciprocating speed; means for subsequently applying heated air to said garment while said supporting means is reciprocating at said second lower reciprocating speed; and condensing means to condense moisture laden air within said cabinet during the application of said heated air to said garment.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said condensing means utilizes an apertured conduit to spray water in said cabinet.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said condensing means utilizes an apertured conduit to spray water on said rear panel of said cabinet to provide a condensing surface for said moisture laden air.
6. Garment cleaning apparatus, comprising: a cabinet; a perforated hollow shoulder form in said cabinet for supporting a garment in a substantially free hanging state and substantially free of distorting stresses; means for selectively vertically reciprocating said shoulder form at a first reciprocating speed and at a second reciprocating speed lower than said first reciprocating speed; means for applying a cleaning liquid to said garment and subsequently a rinsing liquid to said garment while shaking said garment at said first reciprocating speed, said liquids being applied at substantially the top of said garment; means for subsequently applying heated air to said garment while shaking said garment at said second reciprocating speed; and a condensing means employing a water cooled surface for condensing moisure laden air within said cabinet.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 964,106 Hough July 12, 1910 1,396,364 Fisher Nov. 8, 1921 2,556,490 Chamberlin June 12, 1951 2,676,088 Bilde Apr. 20, 1954 2,712,747 Edwards July 12, 1955 2,732,701 Smith et a1. Ian. 31, 1956 2,845,786 Chrisman Aug. 5, 1958 2,974,542 Sisson et al. Mar. 14, 1961 2,978,893 Harris Apr. 11, 1961 2,986,916 Bochan June 6, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 569,481 Canada Jan. 27, 1959 843,940 France Apr. 11, 1939 849,920 France Aug. 28, 1939