US 3892004 A
Venetian-blind slat-cleaning apparatus comprises a hand held housing from which a pair of cleaning elements project. The elements are contiguously mounted for cleaning opposite sides of a single slat and they are free of mechanical interconnections externally of the housing to enable blinds to be cleaned in situ by engagement of a slat as a result of movement of the apparatus laterally with respect to the slat. The drive for the cleaning elements may be rotary or reciprocal linear vibratory and the cleaning elements may be associated with releasable splash guards.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Downes 1 DOMESTIC CLEANING APPARATUS  Inventor: Thomas Downes, 43 Banchory PL,
Tullibody, Alloa Clackmannanshire,
England  Filed: Oct. 6, 1972  Appl. N0.: 295,463
[521 US. Cl 15/102; 15/24  Int. Cl. A46B 13/04  Field of Search 15/102, 210 A, 22 R, 24, 15/97 R, 29, 23, 97; 401/190, 196, 199, 201, 205, 207
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,569,167 H1926 Anderson, Sr 15/23 2,172,195 9/1939 Elson 15/24 UX 2,246,036 6/1941 Farrell 15/210 2,708,281 5/1955 Gaydos 15/102 2,816,304 12/1957 Peterson 15/23 2,998,822 5/1964 Birch 401/190 3,387,312 6/1968 Westphal 15/97 R 3,447,177 6/1969 Williams et a1. 15/23 [4 1 July 1,1975
3,489,936 l/1970 Boyles 15/22 3,599,267 8/1971 Faires 15/24 3,621,505 11/1971 Vocker et a1 15/23 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 260,319 5/1963 Australia 15/23 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney, Agent, or FirmYoung & Thompson  ABSTRACT 4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures TWTW F JULI SHEET PATENTS! JUL 1 SHEET DOMESTIC CLEANING APPARATUS This invention relates to portable apparatus for cleaning venetian blinds or other objects of a similar nature, namely having a structure primarily composed of mutually spaced elongated slats.
According to the present invention there is provided portable apparatus for cleaning venetian blinds or the like, comprising a housing adapted to be hand-held, a slat-cleaning element projecting from the housing and power-actuated means mounted within the housing and coupled to drive said element.
Also, according to the present invention there is provided portable apparatus for cleaning venetian blinds or the like, comprising a housing adapted to be handheld, a slat-cleaning element mounted on a rotatable hollow shaft projecting from the housing, an electrically-operated motor mounted in said housing and coupled to rotate said shaft, a reservoir formed in the housing for storing cleaning liquid and having an outlet port, conduit means coupling said outlet port with the hollow interior of said shaft, and means forming perforations in the wall of said shaft in the region thereof mounting said slat-cleaning element to permit said cleaning element to receive cleaning liquid.
Still further according to the present invention there is provided portable apparatus for cleaning venetian blinds or the like, comprising a housing made of an electrically non-conductive material, a drive shaft mounted in and projecting from said housing, poweractuated means mounted within said housing and coupled to drive said drive shaft, a slat-cleaning element releasably mounted on the end of the drive shaft projecting from the housing, a cleaning'liquid-containing canister releasably mounted on the housing, the canister internally pressurised and having a valved liquid outlet port, conduit means mounted in the housing and located at one end to deliver liquid to the cleaning element and at the other end to releasably engage said outlet port, and control means mounted on the housing and operable selectively to open and close said valved liquid outlet port.
The cleaning element may be composed of such ma terials as are well-known in the cleaning art, of which sponge either natural or synthetic is preferred due to its having a relatively high moisture absorption rate. Alternatively, a sponge element may incorporate nylon bristles or other members capable of disloging dirt from the slats being cleaned or may simply be cloth covered.
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a diagrammatic schematic perspective view partly in phantom of one form of apparatus according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 illustrates a detail of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 illustrates a modified portion of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 illustrates another part of the embodiment of FIG. 3.
In FIG. 1 of the drawings the apparatus comprises a housing made of a non-conductive plastics material, the housing having a gun-like appearance defining a barrel portion 10A and a butt portion 108 and is therefore adapted for hand-held operation. Mounted on and projecting from the barrel portion 10A is a pair of slatcleaning elements in the form of substantially cylindrical sponge elements II, A secured to hollow shafts 12, 12A which are rotatably driven by a poweractuated means 13 which is in the form of an electric motor. A manually controlled ON/OFF switch 19 controls the motor 13 whose output shaft 14 is coupled to the shafts 12, 12A through gearing 15 as shown in detail in FIG. 2, and whose input is via cable 9 from either a mains supply or a reduced voltage supply. Conveniently the motor 13 to do. operated and a small transformer-rectifier is incorporated. Alternatively semi-conductor components may be used to control the operation of the motor 13 which in this case may be either a.c. or do. operated.
The butt portion 108 of the housing 10 forms a reservoir for a cleaning liquid and this liquid is conveyed by means ofa simple pump 16 and a conduit 17 connected to a reservoir outlet port 17A to theopen ends of each of the hollow shafts 12, 12A, the fluid reaching the cleaning elements 11, 11A by means of perforations 18 (FIG. I) in the walls of the shafts 12, [2A. It will be noted that each of the connections between the conduit [7 and the hollow shafts 12, 12A includes a rubbing seal 20 mounted on a flange 2] of the housing 10, whereby loss of liquid is prevented. A trigger mecha' nism 22 is provided as a control means to actuate the pump 16 and the reservoir is provided with a plug 23 for filling purposes.
In operation when the switch 19 is turned to the ON position the two cleaning elements 11, [1A are caused to rotate and a slat to be cleaned is inserted between the elements so that both sides thereof are cleaned simultaneously. For ensuring maximum efficiency in this respect the elements 11, 11A are shaped in a complementary manner to the usual contour of a venetian blind slat, but it will be appreciated that this feature is optional and may be modified or omitted at will.
With the slat in position the apparatus is simply moved along the length of the slat, cleaning liquid being applied as required as would be known to the operator, The cleaning liquid is released simply by actuation of the trigger mechanism 22. It will be noted that by virtue of the simplicity of the apparatus thus far described the slat need not be removed from the remainder of the venetian blind; in other words the slats may be cleaned in situ by virtue of the handheld operation of the apparatus.
In order to dry the cleaned slat the two elements II, I IA may be replaced by fresh elements and the process repeated without the use of cleaning liquid. To achieve the replacement of the elements of the shafts 12, 12A may themselves be releasable or may have releasable element-carrying portions.
Numerous modifications may be made to the abovedescribed embodiment, for example the reservoir may be a completely detachable component, being connected to the remainder of the housing by means of screw threads or by a bayonnet connection. Conveniently, as is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 3, the reservoir may be a sealed canister containing cleaning fluid under pressure, the canister being for one-time use, and having a valved pressure-sealed port for receiving a conduit which is coupled to the slat-cleaning element. In this case the pump 16 of FIG. 1 is omitted but the trigger mechanism 22 is adapted to operate the valved conduit.
As is illustrated in FIG. 4, the housing 10 may incorporate releasable splash guards 40, 41 mounted on opposite sides of the two cleaning elements 11, 11A in order to minimise the quantity of cleaning liquid which is thrown outwardly from the elements ll, HA due to centrifugal action during use. The guards 40, 41 may. if desired, be included in the apparatus described with reference to FIG. 1. t
The motor 13 may be arranged to impart linear reciprocal vibratory motion to the elements ll, 11A, preferably longitudinally of their length, in which case the elements 11, HA would not require to be symmetrical about their longitudinal axes.
Where a pair of cleaning elements 11, 11A are provided they may be arranged to move in opposite direc tions. whether linearly or rotationally, or they may be moved in the same directions. Furthermore, more than one pair of cleaning elements may be provided and preferably a plurality of pairs of such elements are provided for cleaning a plurality of slats simultaneously.
By way of illustration the embodiment described with reference to FIG. 1 of the drawings may have .a motor which has an output shaft rotatable at 3,000 rpm. and the gearing 15 may be 3:1 reduction gearing so that the two cleaning elements are rotated at about 1,000 rpm. in the same direction. Furthermore, the elements are conveniently about 2 inches in length and mounted on shafts, which have their axes spaced by an amount within the range 1 2 inches. An ammonia-based liquid cleaner has been found to be suitable.
What is claimed is:
1. Portable apparatus for cleaning venetian blinds or the like, comprising a housing adapted to be hand-held. a pair of coritiguously-mounted slat-cleaning elements mounted on rotatable hollow shafts projecting from the housing, said shafts being free at their ends remote from said housing, an electrically-operated motor mounted in said housing and coupled to rotate said shafts, a reservoir formed in the housing for storing cleaning liquid and having an outlet port, conduit means coupling said outlet port with the hollow interior of said shafts, and means forming perforations in the walls of said shafts in the region thereof mounting said slat-cleaning elements. to permit said cleaning elements to receive cleaning liquid, there being a plurality of said perforations spaced apart lengthwise along each said hollow shaft, the portions of said elements which are external to the housing being free of mechanical interconnections to permit the apparatus to engage a slat to be cleaned by movement of the apparatus laterally with respect to the slat so that opposite sides of a slat are engaged simultaneously by said elements.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, including a pump mechanism mounted in said housing and coupled to pump liquid in said reservoir to said cleaning elements. and manually-operable control means for said pump.
3. Apparatus according to claim I, wherein the housing includes-releasable splash guards mounted on opposite sides of said cleaning elements.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said reservoir comprises a cleaning liquid-containing canister releasably mounted on the housing, the canister being internally pressurized and having saidvalved liquid outlet port thereon, and control means mounted on the housing and operable selectively to open and close said valved liquid outlet port.