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Method and apparatus for detailing vehicles

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Publication number
US20030102010A1
US20030102010A1 US10256581 US25658102A US2003102010A1 US 20030102010 A1 US20030102010 A1 US 20030102010A1 US 10256581 US10256581 US 10256581 US 25658102 A US25658102 A US 25658102A US 2003102010 A1 US2003102010 A1 US 2003102010A1
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tool
end
cloth
cleaning
tools
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Abandoned
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US10256581
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Burke Mays
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Mays Burke Lawrence
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60SSERVICING, CLEANING, REPAIRING, SUPPORTING, LIFTING, OR MANOEUVRING OF VEHICLES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60S3/00Vehicle cleaning apparatus not integral with vehicles
    • B60S3/04Vehicle cleaning apparatus not integral with vehicles for exteriors of land vehicles
    • B60S3/045Other hand-held cleaning arrangements, e.g. with sponges, brushes, scrapers or the like

Abstract

A system for detailing vehicles, including an elongate flexible tool (26, 28, 30) having first and second ends. A cloth or absorbent material (32) can be attached to the tool first end, and the second end of the tool can be grasped and manipulated to clean remote areas on the vehicle. The tool is preferably between about 10 and 20 inches long, and can be in one of several configurations, including a pointed flat paddle design, pointed rod, and/or a slotted rod. The latter in particular can be driven by a drill motor to speed up the detailing procedure. A kit according to the invention can also include a mesh bag (33) to store and wash the various cleaning cloths; and one or more broad area cleaning devices, e.g., a lamb's wool duster (25) and/or a mini-mop (22).

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates generally to methods and tools for thoroughly cleaning, or “detailing,” vehicles.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    As noted above, the present invention relates to detailing vehicles. And while the present invention could be used in the context of many different types of vehicles, it will be described herein primarily in connection with motorcycles.
  • [0003]
    As a class, motorcycle owners are very particular about the appearance of their “bikes.” This is especially true in the case of more expensive bikes; e.g., custom bikes that have expensive paint jobs and extra chrome. But even for fairly typical bikes, their owners often like to keep them spotless. This penchant for cleanliness seems to be even more prevalent than in the case of automobiles.
  • [0004]
    Keeping a bike clean is very challenging. The internal works and structure of bikes are more exposed than cars. The engine, drive system, brakes, etc. are all packed into a relatively small area, and tend to create or attract dirt and debris. Along with the wheels, forks, fenders, tanks and frame, exposed nooks and crannies collect dirt, grease, dust, insect carcasses, and road grime and tar. Removing these elements from and then polishing these nooks and crannies, along with the more easily accessed areas, is a must if the owner wishes to maintain a bike in “show” condition.
  • [0005]
    Faced with the problems outlined above, some bike owners simply wash their bikes with soap and water, in a manner similar to how most cards are washed. But discerning bike owners want to more thoroughly clean their bikes, even the more difficult-to-reach areas such as the hub area of spoked wheels, the tope of cylinder covers and underneath the gas tanks, frame tubing under the bike, and a myriad of hard to reach and tightly packed components. These bike owners want to “detail” their bikes by thoroughly cleaning them even in the above-noted nooks and crannies, so that they maintain their like-new appearance and reveal their custom paint finishes and chrome accessories.
  • [0006]
    Typically, a bike owner will degrease and pressure wash his or her bike using various soap solutions. This process notwithstanding, there is always a thin film of residue left on all surfaces of the bike. In order to achieve a “show bike” appearance, all these surfaces must be rubbed by hand. Always problematic for those owners who want everything on the bike to appear polished are the hard to reach components and very small nooks and crannies that remain dirty and oily in spite of being blasted by a high-pressure stream of water. The most common implements used for detailing these otherwise inaccessible areas are toothbrushes, sponge paintbrushes and short sticks or screwdrivers covered by a cloth. The stick/screwdriver method is the most effective. It involves inserting the tool (short stick, screwdriver, plastic knife, etc.) into the cloth, holding the cloth in place by stretching it over the far end of the tool, holding the near end of the tool, and “poking” the tool into the nooks and crannies to try to wipe off the dirty parts. The cloth is often dipped into a soap solution, solvent, or wax compound to increase cleaning effectiveness.
  • [0007]
    While the “cloth and stick” method outlined above sometimes works fairly well in areas that are readily accessible and not particularly dirty, it does not work very well in more challenging and/or remote areas. A short stick or screwdriver is rigid and will not bend around fixed structures. This allows the user to clean only in “line of sight” areas. And, the “cloth and stick” method is fairly tedious, sometimes taking literally hours to detail a bike. And, the typical “stick” is either (i) a blade-type screwdriver, which can scratch the bike's finish if it protrudes through the cloth; or (ii) a frozen confectionery (e.g., Popsicle) stick or plastic flatware knife, either of which is often too short to reach all of the nooks and crannies and can break under a bending load. Also, whether a screwdriver, confectionery stick or plastic knife is used, the cloth tends to slip off the far end of the “stick,” thus slowing the process even further, and possibly scratching the finish on the bike.
  • [0008]
    Also, Popsicle sticks can break easily and come in only one shape, width, length, and thickness. Applicant believes that a greater variety of “sticks” is needed to adequately do the job. Similarly, plastic knives also break easily; have a limited shape, width, length, and thickness; and, depending on the material, could leave marks and scratches on the vehicle being detailed.
  • [0009]
    In addition to detailing tools that fall into the category of a “cloth and stick,” Applicant has found that there is sometimes a need for a compact tool that can clean larger surfaces and/or a fairly rugged tool for cleaning grimy, complex shapes, e.g., bike chains and sprockets.
  • [0010]
    Finally, Applicant believes that detailing tools such as those described above would preferably be provided in kit form. Given the fact that a typical detailing task requires the use of several different tools having distinctly different characteristics, a collection of tools in a convenient kit would allow the user to address a wider variety of detailing situations. Applicant has also discovered that such a kit is optimally sold in a container that can not only package the kit on the showroom floor and/or for shipment, but can also serve as a handy storage container post-sale.
  • [0011]
    The present invention addresses the shortcomings of the “cloth-and-stick” method outlined above, and in preferred embodiments also addresses the need for additional special purpose detailing tools in a convenient kit form.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    The present invention includes an apparatus for detailing a remote area on a vehicle, including an elongate tool having first and second ends; and an elongate strip of material having first and second ends, wherein the first end of the material is removably attached to the first end of the tool, and the second end of the material is engaged with the second end of the elongate tool, whereby the elongate tool can be held at its second end and manipulated to place the material in cleaning contact with the vehicle remote area.
  • [0013]
    In preferred embodiments the “tool” is at least 10 inches long, and more preferably it is about 16 inches long, and could even be upwards of about 20 inches long. As far as the material(s) preferably used to construct the tool, the tool could be made of plastic, preferably an injection molded Delrin having a bending strength of at least about 10,000-psi.
  • [0014]
    The “material” that is carried by the tool can include a strip of terry cloth. The first end of the tool forms a point and the first end of the material is impaled on the point and the second end of the material is pinched against the second end.
  • [0015]
    The “tool” can be a pointed round rod or a pointed flat paddle, for example. The flat paddle can be notched.
  • [0016]
    In a preferred embodiment, the “tool” first end has a slot to receive the “material.”
  • [0017]
    The tool can be manually held and manipulated to achieve cleaning of the vehicle remote area; or the second end of the tool can be manipulated and powered by means of a drill motor.
  • [0018]
    The present invention also includes a kit for detailing various remote areas on a vehicle, including a plurality of elongate tools, each having a first end and a second end; a plurality of elongate strips of material, each having a first end and a second end, wherein remote areas on the vehicle can be cleaned by the various tools by attaching the strips of material thereto and manipulating the resulting assembly to place the material in cleaning contact with the remote areas; and an elongate clear plastic tube for displaying, shipping and storing the tools and material.
  • [0019]
    In a preferred embodiment, the kit further includes one or more elongate large area cleaning tools; wherein one of the large area cleaning tools can be a swab or mini-mop, and one of the large area cleaning tools can include a lamb's wool duster.
  • [0020]
    Additional aspects of the present invention will be described with reference to the appended Drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a detailing kit according to the present invention and a preferred packaging system thereof;
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of one of the tools of the kit shown in FIG. 1, i.e., a swab or “mini-mop,” in use on the fuel tank of a bike;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 3 is a pictorial view of another one of the tools from the detailing kit of FIG. 1, i.e., a relatively stiff brush, in use on a bike chain and sprocket;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of another one of the tools of the kit shown in FIG. 1, i.e., a pointed rod/cloth combination, in use on the slofted openings around the front fork structure of a bike;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 5 is a pictorial view of one of the tools of the kit shown in FIG. 1, i.e., a slotted rod/cloth combination, powered by a drill motor and in use on a portion of the under-frame of a bike;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 6 is a pictorial view of another one of the tools of the kit of FIG. 1, i.e., a flat paddle/cloth combination, in use on the cylinder cooling fins of a bike;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 7 is a pictorial view of another use for the flat paddle/cloth combination shown in FIG. 6, i.e., on the spokes of a wheel;
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 8A is an enlarged side view of the flat paddle tool of FIG. 1;
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 8B is an enlarged end view of the flat paddle tool of FIG. 1;
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 9A is an enlarged side view of the slotted rod tool of the kit of FIG. 1, with a cloth installed;
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 9B is an enlarged end view of the slotted rod tool of FIG. 1, minus the cloth;
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 10A is an enlarged side view of the pointed rod tool of the kit of FIG. 1; and
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 10B is an enlarged end view of the pointed rod tool of the kit shown in FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0034]
    The present invention will be described with reference to the attached Drawing, wherein like reference numerals refer to like assemblies and parts throughout the several views.
  • [0035]
    A preferred embodiment of the present invention includes several vehicle (e.g., motorcycle) detailing tools that are preferably commercialized in the form of a kit 20. While a detailing kit according to the present invention could include various subsets or supersets of the collection of tools pictured in FIG. 1, in one embodiment kit 20 includes a swab 22; brush 24; duster 25; pointed rod 26; slotted rod 28; paddle 30; cleaning cloths 32; and mesh bag 33. As depicted in FIG. 1, several of the tools that make up preferred kit 20 are long and slender, and thus can be packaged in a shipping/storage tube 34 which can be closed off by a cap 36.
  • [0036]
    Each of the preferred detailing tools will be described below in terms of its structure and application. While the tools will, for the most part, be described individually, it should be noted that in a preferred kit according to the present invention the tools are in fact complementary or synergistic. That is, the tools work together to provide a kit which will handle all or virtually all of the cleaning tasks involved in detailing a vehicle, and in particular a motorcycle. With that, each of the detailing tools depicted in FIG. 1 will be described further below.
  • Swab 22 and Duster 25
  • [0037]
    Swab 22 is in the nature of a miniature mop having a round, elongated handle 38 and a washing end 40 made up of a large plurality of bound, soft absorbent fibers. Swab 22 is preferably about 12 inches in length, the wooden handle is about ¾ inch in diameter, and the fibers that make up the washing end are preferably a soft cotton or cotton/polyester blend. The fibers are affixed to the handle with a heavy duty cotton thread. While a tool in the nature of swab 22 could be constructed or acquired from numerous sources, one source for a preferred swab 22 is the Ekco Company, sold as model number 58076. Other such swabs or “mini-mops” employing wire to affix the mop head to the handle were rejected as the wire could potentially scratch or mar paint and chrome surfaces.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 2 shows swab 22 in use on a fuel tank 42 of a motorcycle 44. Swab 22 can be used to clean virtually any broad, relatively accessible area on the vehicle. Further, various cleaning solutions or solvents can be used with swab 22, depending on the type or severity of the dirt or grime to be removed. It should be noted that use of swab 22 in this manner may in fact be the first step involved in an overall “detailing” of the motorcycle, given that swab 22 works on relatively larger and more accessible areas. Once these larger areas have been cleaned, then the owner of the vehicle can turn to the smaller and less accessible nooks and crannies.
  • [0039]
    Preferred kit 20 also includes lambs wool duster 25, which, like swab 22, is intended for cleaning broad, relatively accessible areas on the vehicle. The use of duster 25 in the context of a vehicle detailing tool is novel. The prior art consists of the use of simple rags to remove dust and loose debris. Rubbing waxed surfaces with a cloth rag tends to grind in accumulated particles resulting in a scratched or streaked appearance. A lambs wool duster lightly removes dust without streaking. This particular tool, in contrast to others in the kit, is not a dual-purpose tool. It is used for dust removal only and not for waxing or buffing surfaces.
  • Brush 24
  • [0040]
    Brush 24, as depicted in FIG. 1, includes an elongate wooden handle 46 and a brush end 48 made up of a large plurality of relatively stiff bristles. Brush 24 is preferably about 12 inches long overall, and the bristles are preferably about ¾ inch long.
  • [0041]
    [0041]FIG. 3 shows brush 24 in use on a chain 50 and sprocket 52 of the motorcycle 44. A variety of cleaning solutions/solvents could be used to remove oil, dirt and grime from these motorcycle components. A brush of the type depicted in the Drawing is useful for this purpose since the relatively stiff bristles can get into the very small spaces, notches and protrusions of these components, and adequately remove old and caked-on oil and grease, etc. As in the case of swab 22 described above, in all likelihood use of brush 24 would occur fairly early on in the detailing process. On the. other hand, it's possible that use of brush 24 would not be required at all in some cases, depending on the condition of the bike.
  • [0042]
    It cannot be overemphasized that a given detailing kit according to the invention need not include each and every tool depicted in FIG. 1, and in fact may instead include various subsets of these tools or even additional tools. When the detailing kit is commercialized it may be that some kits have some of the tools and other kits have other of the tools, depending on which type of vehicle is being detailed, or whether the customer buys a deluxe kit, standard kit, etc. In fact, Applicant believes that brush 24, intended more for heavy duty cleaning rather than “detailing,” may not be included in preferred detailing kits according to the invention.
  • Pointed Rod 26
  • [0043]
    Kit 20 also preferably includes a long, slender pointed rod 26. Rod 26, shown in enlarged format in FIG. 10, has a pointed end 54 and a blunt end 56. Rod 26 is preferably about 16 inches long, though lengths upwards of 20 inches are contemplated as well, and about 0.375 inch in diameter. In this embodiment pointed rod 26 is fabricated from a Dupont plastic material named “Delrin,” which can be purchased in 0.375 inch rod form. Thus, the rod stock is simply cut to length and sharpened to fashion a point on one end. The point preferably is sharp enough to retain one of the cleaning cloths 32 in position, but not so sharp that it will poke through the cloth. Thus, the cloth 32 is “impaled” on the pointed end of tool 26. A plastic material like Delrin is preferred since it is quite strong (having a tensile strength of about 10,000-psi), and will tend to flex as needed, without breaking. Also, a plastic material will not tend to scratch or gouge the finish on a vehicle if the bare rod comes into contact with the vehicle.
  • [0044]
    [0044]FIG. 4 illustrates the “cloth and stick” method as implemented by pointed rod 26 in combination with one of the cleaning cloths 32. As shown in FIG. 4, one of the cleaning cloths 32 is draped over the pointed end 54 and pulled taught so as to impale the cleaning cloth 32. The user holds the cloth 32 in place as he or she grasps the blunt end 56 of rod 26. Thus the rod/cloth combination is in a sense an extension of the user's hand, and permits detailing of difficult to reach portions of the bike. In FIG. 4, the rod/cloth combination is being used to clean in the vicinity of the struts 58 of bike 44. Rod 26 is intentionally made quite long (16 inches in its most preferred form) so as to permit the user to in fact reach even the most remote, difficult to reach nooks and crannies.
  • [0045]
    In addition to the application shown in FIG. 4, the rod/cleaning cloth combination is particularly useful for cleaning such areas as engine cooling fins; certain areas of the handle bars and surrounding assemblies; the clutch and brake assemblies; all of the fluid reservoirs; and the front wheel and between the spokes, especially near the hub.
  • Slotted Rod 28
  • [0046]
    Kit 20 also preferably includes a slotted rod 28. As shown in FIG. 9, slotted rod 28 preferably includes a slotted end 60 and an unslotted end 62. Like the pointed rod 26, slotted rod 28 is preferably made from a plastic material, preferably Delrin brand material, although other materials are contemplated. Also like pointed rod 26, slotted rod 28 is preferably 16 inches long (though lengths upwards of around 20 inches are contemplated) and 0.375 inch in diameter. Slotted end 60 forms a slot 64 which can be about 1.5 inch long (measured along the longitudinal axis of the tool) and about 0.062 inch in width. Slot 64 is preferably diametrical, passing through the center of the tool 28 as viewed on end (see FIG. 9B). The purpose of slot 64, as depicted in FIG. 9A, is to hold one of the cleaning cloths 32. While cloth 32 may very well be thicker than the width of slot 64, the two “tines” created by the slot will tend to spread apart as the cleaning cloth 32 is pushed into the slot 64. It has been determined that the molding process will result in the tines pinching or warping toward one another after ejection from the mold and during the cooling process. This is a desirable result as the tines will hold the cloth more firmly in place. The slot 64, while potentially of virtually any length or width, is dimensioned as set forth above so as to retain cloth 32 when the tool is manipulated by hand or driven by a drill motor, as further discussed below. At the same time, slot 64 should not be so wide as to make the “tines” excessively thin and spindly. This could cause the tines to snap off in the event that cloth 32 becomes wedged into a crevice in the vehicle, especially during the time that a drill motor is spinning the tool. On the other hand, making the slot 64 too thin would make it excessively difficult to slide cleaning cloth 32 between the tines.
  • [0047]
    Referring to FIGS. 9 and 5, cleaning cloth 32 is slipped into the slit between the tines with about one-half of cloth 32 extending out of each side of the tool, i.e., so that the cloth is symmetrically positioned within slot 64. The round tool is then rotated so as to wind the cloth around the far end of the tool. The tool can then be manipulated by hand, or by means of a drill motor 66, to reach and clean otherwise inaccessible areas. The unslotted end 62 of the tool is inserted into the drill motor 66. Preferably the drill motor 66 is variable speed, and for safety reasons only the slowest speeds are recommended. Once the drill motor 66 is activated the cloth 32 is positioned in the area to be power cleaned. The drill motor 66 is then manipulated so as to place the cloth in the area to be cleaned and the spinning cloth is pressed against the dirty area until it is thoroughly cleaned. As in the case of the pointed rod 26 discussed above, it may be desirable to use a cleaning solution, solvent or wax on the cleaning cloth 32. Aside from safety concerns, care must be taken so as to avoid spinning the cloth too fast when using drill motor 66. This will help avoid wedging the cleaning cloth 32 into a crevice and will also eliminate splattering of the solution/solvent (i.e., prevent the solution from being “whipped off” the ends of the spinning cloth 32).
  • [0048]
    [0048]FIG. 5 shows this particular tool 28 in use to clean the under-frame 68 of bike 44, and it can be readily seen why it is particularly beneficial to have such a long reach. Vehicles, even motorcycles, are often too heavy and unwieldy to move, flip over, etc., so it is incumbent on the user or owner to try to reach the various nooks and crannies using long tools such as those described herein. Of course, if the tools are excessively long they may tend to bend to an excessive degree and make it impossible to apply enough side force to the cleaning cloth to adequately clean the dirty vehicle surfaces.
  • [0049]
    It should be also noted that if cleaning cloth 32 gets wedged into a crevice in the vehicle, it is simply necessary to reverse the direction of rotation of tool 28 in order to dislodge the cloth. Thus it is particularly useful to use a variable speed, reversible drill motor to power the tool.
  • Paddle 30
  • [0050]
    Kit 20 also preferably includes a flat paddle 30 that can be advantageously used as a “rag-and-stick” type tool. Referring in particular to FIG. 8, paddle 30 includes a pointed end 70 and a notched end 72. Like the pointed rod 26 and slotted rod 28 discussed above, paddle 30 is preferably quite long and slender, and in this preferred embodiment the length can be anywhere from 12 inches to 16 inches, to upwards of 20 inches in some embodiments. Again, Delrin is the preferred material. The tool can be about 1 inch wide and about 0.125 inch thick. The point 70 preferably has an included angle 71 of about 60 degree. Similarly, the triangular notch formed by notched end 72 has an included angle 73 of about 60 degrees. Thus, in the fabrication of this particular tool, the point 70 of one such tool can be formed by cutting out the notch 72 in an adjacent tool from a long piece of bar stock.
  • [0051]
    In a manner similar to pointed rod 26, the pointed end 70 of paddle 30 can be used in a traditional “rag and stick” mode, in conjunction with a cleaning cloth 32 to clean various nooks and crannies on a vehicle. For example, as depicted in FIG. 6, the pointed end 70 can be used to clean between cooling fins 74 of a cylinder on a motorcycle. Again, as discussed in connection with pointed rod 26, cleaning cloth 32 is draped over the pointed end 70 of paddle 30, with the pointed end impaling cleaning cloth 32 to hold it in place. Then the user simply grasps the near end of the tool (at or near the notched end 72) and at the same time holds the cleaning cloth 32 in place. Then the tool/cloth combination can be moved up and down and back and forth to clean the various areas on the vehicle. Of course, as noted above, the user may want to apply a cleaning solution, solvent or wax to the tool/rag assembly to increase its cleaning effectiveness.
  • [0052]
    Unlike the other tools discussed above, however, both ends of paddle 30 can be actively used in the cleaning process. Referring in particular to FIG. 7, a cleaning cloth 32 can be draped over the notched end 72 of paddle 30, and the tool/cloth combination can be used to clean wheel spokes 76 or other small rod-like parts of a vehicle.
  • Cleaning Cloths 32 and Mesh Bag 33
  • [0053]
    Kit 20 also preferably includes a plurality of cleaning cloths 32. Cloths 32 may vary in terms of their abrasiveness, absorbency, etc., to give the user various choices, depending on the particular cleaning operation he or she may confront. As shown in FIG. 1, the cleaning cloths 32 may be rolled up and bound with a rubber band or the like, for shipping and storage purposes. While cloths 32 can be any type of material that will not tend to scratch the vehicle's finish, Applicant has found that terry cloth material is preferred for most applications. Preferably, the various cleaning cloths 32, depending on which tool is used and which application is being employed, are about 4 by 4 inches, 4 by 12 inches, or 4 by 24 inches to make them compatible with the various cleaning tools described above.
  • [0054]
    As shown in FIG. 1, kit 20 also includes a mesh bag 33 for storing and washing cloths 32. Mesh bag can be made of a variety of sturdy mesh materials, such as nylon, and is preferably made from tough, reinforced material stitched with heavy-duty thread which will stand up to frequent washing. A cinch rope at the top of the bag ensures the cloths will remain in the bag during washing. The preferred dimensions of bag 33 are 10″ by 10″.
  • Shipping/Storage Tube 34
  • [0055]
    As noted above, kit 20 is preferably packaged in an elongate tube 34 for shipping and storage purposes. Tube 34 is preferably made of a transparent plastic material so as to allow a potential buyer to see exactly what the kit consists of prior to making the purchase, and to enable instructions and other written materials to be visible through the tube wall. Applicant has found that a tube having a length of about 20 inches and an inside diameter of about 3½ inches is quite suitable for holding all of the various tools described above. A plastic cap 36 is inserted into the open end of tube 34 in order to fully enclose all of the various tools of kit 20. While tube 34 could be fabricated in any number of ways or acquired from various sources, Applicant has determined such a tube can be acquired from Custom Paper Tubes, Inc.
  • [0056]
    Thus, the present invention includes a variety of complementary detailing tools that can be used by a discriminating owner of a vehicle to detail that vehicle. The entire kit can be displayed, shipped, and stored in an elongate tube such as tube 34 described above.
  • [0057]
    The key to each of the tools described above is a combination of sufficient length, strength, flexibility, and non-scratch material. Moreover, the flat tools (e.g., paddle 30) have to be wide enough to do useful “wiping” work. These characteristics are in sharp contrast to the prior art, which consisted of Popsicle sticks, plastic flatware (knives), etc.
  • [0058]
    Moreover, the flat and round “elongated” tools have multiple uses. They can all be used as dusters and as wax applicators/wax removers. They can also be used to extend a cloth through an opening on one side of the bike to the other side in order to clean the passageway. Note that a cloth can be impaled on the end of the flat tools, and since they are made of non-scratch material they will not harm the vehicle's finish even if the pointed end protrudes completely through the material.
  • [0059]
    Even the mini-mop has the characteristic of being elongated and non-scratch. Applicant has chosen a mini-mop that includes a soft twine binding ring instead of one with a metal binding ring to continue the non-scratch theme of the other tools.
  • [0060]
    Of course, other embodiments of the present invention can include different combinations and sub-combinations, subsets and supersets, of the various tools described above. It is not necessary that each and every detailing kit according to the present invention include the precise tools in the precise configuration shown and described above.
  • [0061]
    Preferred embodiments of the invention are described above. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many embodiments are possible within the scope of the invention. Variations and modifications of the various parts and assemblies can certainly be made and still fall within the scope of the invention. Thus, the invention is limited only to the apparatus and method recited in the following claims and equivalents thereto.

Claims (23)

I claim:
1. An apparatus for detailing a remote area on a vehicle, comprising:
a) An elongate tool having first and second ends; and
b) An elongate strip of material having first and second ends, wherein the first end of the material is removably attached to the first end of the tool, and the second end of the material is engaged with the second end of the elongate tool, whereby the elongate tool can be held at its second end and manipulated to place the material in cleaning contact with the vehicle remote area.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tool is at least 10 inches long.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tool is at least 16 inches long.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tool is at least 20 inches long.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tool is made of plastic.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the tool is injection molded.
7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the tool is made of Delrin.
8. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the tool has a bending strength of at least about 10,000-psi.
9. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the material comprises strip of terry cloth.
10. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the first end of the tool forms a point and the first end of the material is impaled on the point and the second end of the material is pinched against the second end.
11. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the tool is a pointed round rod.
12. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the tool is pointed flat paddle.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the second end of the flat paddle is notched.
14. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the tool first end has a slot to receive the material.
15. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the second end of the tool is manually held and manipulated to achieve cleaning of the vehicle remote area.
16. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the second end of the tool is manipulated and powered by means of a drill motor.
17. A kit for detailing various remote areas on a vehicle, comprising:
a) A plurality of elongate tools, each having a first end and second end:
b) A plurality of elongate strips of material, each having a first end and a second end, wherein remote areas on the vehicle can be cleaned by the various tools by attaching the strips of material thereto and manipulating the resulting assembly to place the material in cleaning contact with the remote areas; and
c) An elongate clear plastic tube for displaying, shipping and storing the tools and material.
18. The kit of claim 17, wherein the kit further comprises one or more elongate large area cleaning tools.
19. The kit of claim 18, wherein one of the large area cleaning tools comprises a swab.
20. The kit of claim 18, wherein one of the large area cleaning tools comprises a lamb's wool duster.
21. The kit of claim 17, further comprising a mesh bag for storing and washing the elongate strips of material.
22. An apparatus for detailing a remote area on a vehicle, comprising:
a) A flexible elongate tool having first and second ends; and
b) A piece of absorbent material connected to the first end of the tool, wherein the tool is (i) between about 10 and 20 inches long, and (ii) constructed of a non-scratch material having a bending strength of at least about 10,000 psi, whereby the elongate element can be held at its second end and manipulated to place the absorbent material in cleaning contact with the vehicle remote area.
23. A method for detailing a remote area on a vehicle, comprising:
a) Selecting an elongate flexible tool having first and second ends, wherein the tool is (i) between about 10 and 20 inches long, and (ii) constructed of a non-scratch material having a bending strength of at least about 10,000 psi;
b) Selecting a piece of absorbent material and attaching the absorbent material to the tool first end; and
c) Grasping the tool second end and manipulating the tool to place the absorbent material in cleaning contact with the vehicle remote area.
US10256581 2000-05-16 2002-09-27 Method and apparatus for detailing vehicles Abandoned US20030102010A1 (en)

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050204512A1 (en) * 2004-03-19 2005-09-22 Vosbikian Peter S Implements with handles and working ends and methods of use thereof
US20060200929A1 (en) * 2005-01-28 2006-09-14 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad and cleaning fluid reservoir
US20060231120A1 (en) * 2005-04-15 2006-10-19 Knopow Jeremy F Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad
US20070180640A1 (en) * 2005-01-28 2007-08-09 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible Cleaning Tool With Replaceable Non-woven Pad and Cleaning Fluid Reservoir
US7416080B1 (en) 2004-01-13 2008-08-26 Kryolan Gmbh Apparatus for bacteria reduction
US20110010877A1 (en) * 2009-07-15 2011-01-20 Chi-Tung Tao Automatic bicycle freewheel wiper
US20140215738A1 (en) * 2013-02-07 2014-08-07 Capus Donnell Hagans HD Miracle Arm

Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7416080B1 (en) 2004-01-13 2008-08-26 Kryolan Gmbh Apparatus for bacteria reduction
US20060230562A1 (en) * 2004-03-19 2006-10-19 Vosbikian Peter S Implements With Handles and Working Ends and Method of Use Thereof
US7549194B2 (en) * 2004-03-19 2009-06-23 Quickie Manufacturing Corporation Implements with handles and working ends and methods of use thereof
US20060225251A1 (en) * 2004-03-19 2006-10-12 Vosbikian Peter S Implements With Handles and Working Ends and Method of Use Thereof
US20050204512A1 (en) * 2004-03-19 2005-09-22 Vosbikian Peter S Implements with handles and working ends and methods of use thereof
US20070180640A1 (en) * 2005-01-28 2007-08-09 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible Cleaning Tool With Replaceable Non-woven Pad and Cleaning Fluid Reservoir
US20060200929A1 (en) * 2005-01-28 2006-09-14 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad and cleaning fluid reservoir
US7784141B2 (en) 2005-01-28 2010-08-31 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad and cleaning fluid reservoir
US7356869B2 (en) 2005-04-15 2008-04-15 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad
US20060231120A1 (en) * 2005-04-15 2006-10-19 Knopow Jeremy F Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad
US8046865B2 (en) 2005-04-15 2011-11-01 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Cleaning tool with cleaning pad having a non-woven fiber bundle on both sides
US20110010877A1 (en) * 2009-07-15 2011-01-20 Chi-Tung Tao Automatic bicycle freewheel wiper
US20140215738A1 (en) * 2013-02-07 2014-08-07 Capus Donnell Hagans HD Miracle Arm
US9440622B2 (en) * 2013-02-07 2016-09-13 Capus Donnell Hagans HD miracle arm

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