US20080229530A1 - Grout cleaning apparatus - Google Patents

Grout cleaning apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080229530A1
US20080229530A1 US12/052,561 US5256108A US2008229530A1 US 20080229530 A1 US20080229530 A1 US 20080229530A1 US 5256108 A US5256108 A US 5256108A US 2008229530 A1 US2008229530 A1 US 2008229530A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
cleaning
wheels
apparatus
housing
shaft
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/052,561
Inventor
Eric Kordick
Original Assignee
Eric Kordick
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US91956007P priority Critical
Application filed by Eric Kordick filed Critical Eric Kordick
Priority to US12/052,561 priority patent/US20080229530A1/en
Publication of US20080229530A1 publication Critical patent/US20080229530A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/26Other cleaning devices with liquid supply arrangements
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/001Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water with integral reservoirs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/001Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water with integral reservoirs
    • A46B11/0065Brushes where the reservoir is specifically intended for being replaced when empty
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B13/00Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers
    • A46B13/008Disc-shaped brush bodies
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B13/00Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers
    • A46B13/02Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers power-driven carriers
    • A46B13/04Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers power-driven carriers with reservoir or other means for supplying substances
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B5/00Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware
    • A46B5/0004Additional brush head
    • A46B5/0012Brushes with two or more heads on the same end of a handle for simultaneous use, e.g. cooperating with each-other
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B7/00Bristle carriers arranged in the brush body
    • A46B7/04Bristle carriers arranged in the brush body interchangeably removable bristle carriers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B2200/00Brushes characterized by their functions, uses or applications
    • A46B2200/30Brushes for cleaning or polishing
    • A46B2200/3033Household brush, i.e. brushes for cleaning in the house or dishes

Abstract

An improved grout cleaning apparatus has in line cleaning wheels positioned within a housing, at the terminus of a shaft. A grip is coupled at an upper end of the shaft, and may be grasped by a user to move the apparatus for cleaning purposes. In one embodiment, a drive motor supplies power to the in line cleaning wheels, which may be made to turn in opposing directions so as to provide improved cleaning efficiency. A cleaning fluid dispenser may also provided on the shaft, to permit the dispensing of fluid proximate the cleaning wheels during operation.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This non-provisional application claims priority to provisional application No. 60/919,560, filed Mar. 23, 2007.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to the cleaning of tile grout and, more particularly, to an improved grout cleaning apparatus.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Tile grout is known to be a repository of dirt. It has a tendency to absorb surface dirt, and to become discolored in the process of doing so. That discoloration can be unsightly, and can harm the appearance of an otherwise attractive tile floor.
  • Cleaning tile grout can be labor-intensive and physically challenging. Many grout cleaning methods require a user to kneel on the floor, and to manually scrub the grout surface, with a toothbrush-type device or sponge, to obtain a cleaning benefit. These approaches may be inefficient, may damage the grout, and/or may be physically uncomfortable for certain persons, and may create an unwanted exposure to contact with or inhalation of a corrosive cleaning solution. As a consequence, people will often forego cleaning of their tile grout, and will instead accept a steady degradation in the appearance of their tile grout.
  • The present invention is directed to an improved grout cleaning apparatus and method which provides a number of benefits and advantages as compared to the prior art.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, an improved grout cleaning apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus comprises, in combination: a shaft having a first end and a second end; a grip coupled at the first end of the shaft; a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft; and two inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing.
  • In accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention, an improved grout cleaning apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus comprises, in combination: a shaft having a first end and a second end; grip coupled at the first end of the shaft; a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft; inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing; wherein each of the inline cleaning wheels has a brush positioned therearound; and a drive motor adapted to drive the two inline cleaning wheels; wherein the drive motor is adapted to drive one of the cleaning wheels in a clockwise direction and an other of the cleaning wheels in a counterclockwise direction.
  • In accordance with a still further embodiment of the present invention, an improved grout cleaning apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus comprises, in combination: a shaft having a first end and a second end; a grip coupled at the first end of the shaft; a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft; two inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing; wherein each of the inline cleaning wheels has a brush positioned therearound; a drive motor adapted to drive the two inline cleaning wheels; wherein the drive motor is adapted to drive one of the cleaning wheels in a clockwise direction and an other of the cleaning wheels in a counterclockwise direction; a cleaning fluid dispenser positioned on the shaft, having a dispenser hose coupled thereto, wherein the dispensing hose terminates within the cleaning housing, and wherein dispensing of cleaning fluid from the cleaning fluid dispenser through the dispensing hose is activated by an activator located proximate the grip; a shock absorbing assembly located within the cleaning housing and operable on the cleaning wheels; a plurality of guide wheels positioned along a periphery of the cleaning housing; and a grout alignment guide located on the housing and visible to a user of the apparatus; wherein the grout alignment guide comprises a transparent section, located on the housing, and in alignment with the wheels.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an improved grout cleaning apparatus consistent with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a brush assembly portion of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a side, cut-away view of the brush assembly portion of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the brush assembly portion of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1, illustrating particularly the brush assembly housing.
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the interior of the brush assembly, as it appears inside the brush assembly housing.
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of the handle portion of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective, exploded view, illustrating a cleaning fluid dispenser component of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 8 is a front perspective view, illustrating coupling between shaft and housing portions of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view, illustrating coupling between shaft and housing portions of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 10 is a front, cut-away view, illustrating coupling between shaft and housing portions of the grout cleaning apparatus of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring first to FIG. 1, a grout cleaning apparatus 10 (“apparatus 10”) consistent with an embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. In this embodiment, the apparatus 10 generally comprises a grip 12 coupled to an upper portion of a shaft 14 and a cleaning housing 18 coupled to a lower portion of the shaft 14.
  • The shaft 14, which may optionally be adjustable in length, is intended to permit a user to operate the apparatus 10 while in a standing position. Coupling between the shaft 14 and housing 18, as shown in FIGS. 8-10, is preferably at a pivoting, multi-directional joint 11 wherein the shaft 14 is inserted into a ball 15, which ball 15 is retained within a ball housing 17 on the housing 18. The joint 11 is intended to permit a user to operate the apparatus 10 in difficult to reach locations, for example, near cabinet kick boards.
  • Turning more specifically to FIGS. 2-3 and 5, retained within the cleaning housing 18 are two inline cleaning wheels 20. The cleaning wheels 20 preferably each have a brush 22 positioned therearound, for improved cleaning efficiency. These may be made of any desired material suitable for the purpose herein described, including for example polyvinyl chloride or nylon polyamide. In one embodiment, either the brushes 22 or an assembly consisting of a cleaning wheel 20 and brush 22 may be replaceable.
  • The brush 22 preferably has a width that approximates that of a typical grout line, for example in the range of from about one-eighth of an inch to one-half of an inch or more, recognizing that it should be possible to relatively efficiently use a brush 22 on a grout line that is narrower than the width of the brush 22. The wheels 20 are positioned on axles 24 In one embodiment, shock absorbing springs 26 are interposed between axles 24 and an upper portion of the cleaning housing 18, to permit a user to maintain more even downward pressure during use of the apparatus 10.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, in one embodiment, a transparent grout line guide 37 is preferably provided along at least a front portion of the housing 18, alignment with the wheels 20. The purpose of the guide 37 is to allow a user to maintain sight of the grout line as the housing 18 passes over, and to maintain positioning of the brushes 22 within the grout line. Alternatively, it may be desired to provide a housing 18 which is entirely transparent, or perhaps to otherwise indicate location of the brushes 22, relative to the housing 18, by markings or the like that would be visible to a user.
  • Referring more specifically to FIG. 5, in one embodiment, the wheels 20 may be rotated in a powered manner by drive motor 28, in any one of myriad manners known to those of skill in the art. Where motorized power is provided, it may be desired to provide a power button 29 proximate the grip 12, to permit a user to more readily turn the apparatus 10 on and off as needed. The drive motor 28 is preferably battery-operated, and is preferably dual-shafted for purposes of driving each of the wheels 20.
  • In one embodiment, the drive motor 28 rotates the wheels 20 in opposing directions, so that one wheel rotates in a clockwise manner and the other rotates in a counterclockwise manner. Such a configuration may prevent the creation of unwanted pull or drag as it is maneuvered along a grout line, and may also provide increased cleaning efficiency. Alternatively, the wheels 20 may both be permitted to rotate in the same direction; i.e., either clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 7, in one embodiment, a fluid dispenser 16 is located on the shaft 14. The fluid dispenser 16 consists of a support bracket 17, which receives thereon a fluid container 19, which contains a suitable grout cleaning fluid. Fluid exiting the fluid container 19 passes through opening 31 in the fluid dispenser 16 and enters a hose 30, with the hose 30 terminating inside the cleaning housing 18. A fluid dispensing trigger 32 may be provided on or near grip 12, in communication with the fluid container 19, to permit the discharge of cleaning fluid in the fluid dispenser 16 through the hose 30 and onto a grout surface to be cleaned. Movement of the cleaning housing 18, and thus the wheels 20, over the dispensed fluid and grout line results in increased cleaning efficiency.
  • It should be noted that instead of providing a fluid dispenser 16 that includes a removable fluid container 19, it may be desired to provide a fluid dispenser that remains mounted to the shaft 14, and that may be refillable thereon.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, to provide for improved stability of the apparatus 10 while in use, in one embodiment, a plurality of guide wheels 34 are positioned around a periphery of a base of the cleaning housing 18. A user who maintains all of the guide wheels 34 in contact with the ground during operation of the apparatus 10 will be able to preserve the cleaning housing 18, and thus the wheels 20 therein, in an optimal alignment with respect to the surface of a grout line, and in general to operate the apparatus 10 in a manner that is more even and smooth.
  • In operation, a user grasps the grip 12, activates the drive motor 28 (perhaps by depressing power button 29), and maneuvers the apparatus 10 so that the brushes 22 are within a grout line that the user desires to clean. When in position, the user may discharge cleaning fluid via hose 30, perhaps by pulling trigger 32, onto the grout line.
  • While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (18)

1. An improved grout cleaning apparatus comprising, in combination:
a shaft having a first end and a second end;
a grip coupled at the first end of the shaft;
a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft; and
two inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the inline cleaning wheels each has a brush positioned therearound.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a cleaning fluid dispenser positioned on the shaft, having a dispenser hose coupled thereto, wherein the dispensing hose terminates within the cleaning housing, and wherein dispensing of cleaning fluid from the cleaning fluid dispenser through the dispensing hose is activated by an activator located proximate the grip.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the activator is a trigger.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a shock absorbing assembly located within the cleaning housing and operable on the cleaning wheels.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a drive motor adapted to drive the two inline cleaning wheels.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the drive motor is adapted to drive one of the cleaning wheels in a clockwise direction and an other of the cleaning wheels in a counterclockwise direction.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of guide wheels positioned along a periphery of the cleaning housing.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a grout alignment guide located on the housing and visible to a user of the apparatus.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the grout alignment guide comprises a transparent section, located on the housing, and in alignment with the wheels.
11. An improved grout cleaning apparatus comprising, in combination:
a shaft having a first end and a second end;
a grip coupled at the first end of the shaft;
a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft;
two inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing;
wherein each of the inline cleaning wheels has a brush positioned therearound; and
a drive motor adapted to drive the two inline cleaning wheels;
wherein the drive motor is adapted to drive one of the cleaning wheels in a clockwise direction and an other of the cleaning wheels in a counterclockwise direction.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a cleaning fluid dispenser positioned on the shaft, having a dispenser hose coupled thereto, wherein the dispensing hose terminates within the cleaning housing, and wherein dispensing of cleaning fluid from the cleaning fluid dispenser through the dispensing hose is activated by an activator located proximate the grip.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the activator is a trigger.
14. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a shock absorbing assembly located within the cleaning housing and operable on the cleaning wheels.
15. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a plurality of guide wheels positioned along a periphery of the cleaning housing.
16. The apparatus of claim 11 further comprising a grout alignment guide located on the housing and visible to a user of the apparatus.
17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the grout alignment guide comprises a transparent section, located on the housing, and in alignment with the wheels.
18. An improved grout cleaning apparatus comprising, in combination:
a shaft having a first end and a second end;
a grip coupled at the first end of the shaft;
a cleaning housing coupled at the second end of the shaft;
two inline cleaning wheels positioned within the cleaning housing;
wherein each of the inline cleaning wheels has a brush positioned therearound;
a drive motor adapted to drive the two inline cleaning wheels;
wherein the drive motor is adapted to drive one of the cleaning wheels in a clockwise direction and an other of the cleaning wheels in a counterclockwise direction;
a cleaning fluid dispenser positioned on the shaft, having a dispenser hose coupled thereto, wherein the dispensing hose terminates within the cleaning housing, and wherein dispensing of cleaning fluid from the cleaning fluid dispenser through the dispensing hose is activated by an activator located proximate the grip;
a shock absorbing assembly located within the cleaning housing and operable on the cleaning wheels;
a plurality of guide wheels positioned along a periphery of the cleaning housing; and
a grout alignment guide located on the housing and visible to a user of the apparatus;
wherein the grout alignment guide comprises a transparent section, located on the housing, and in alignment with the wheels.
US12/052,561 2007-03-23 2008-03-20 Grout cleaning apparatus Abandoned US20080229530A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US91956007P true 2007-03-23 2007-03-23
US12/052,561 US20080229530A1 (en) 2007-03-23 2008-03-20 Grout cleaning apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/052,561 US20080229530A1 (en) 2007-03-23 2008-03-20 Grout cleaning apparatus

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US20080229530A1 true US20080229530A1 (en) 2008-09-25

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
ES2376110A1 (en) * 2009-06-18 2012-03-09 Guillermo Ortega Giménez Industrial and domestic cleaner.
CN103654633A (en) * 2012-09-17 2014-03-26 碧洁家庭护理有限公司 Surface cleaning apparatus, grout replaceable cleaning cartridge and related method
US20150096137A1 (en) * 2013-10-09 2015-04-09 Adam Lyle Kayler Grout cleaning device
US9044131B1 (en) 2011-10-18 2015-06-02 Michele Pence Multipurpose grout cleaning apparatus
DE102017121154A1 (en) * 2017-09-13 2019-03-14 Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG Weed grooving machine
USD863705S1 (en) * 2016-12-08 2019-10-15 Guangzhou Yihua Electronic Equipment Co., Ltd. Cleaning device for soldering tips

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US1481504A (en) * 1922-10-13 1924-01-22 Chisholm Frank Kerr Tennis-court and other line marker
US1500692A (en) * 1921-05-11 1924-07-08 Mortimer H Swafford Scrubbing machine
US1561250A (en) * 1924-04-22 1925-11-10 Kunze Fredreck Ceiling-cleaning apparatus
US2842788A (en) * 1956-01-27 1958-07-15 Racine Ind Plant Inc Carpet scrubbing machine
US3114922A (en) * 1961-07-13 1963-12-24 Wayne Chemical Company Floor cleansing device
US3748675A (en) * 1972-02-11 1973-07-31 D Schultz Sno-throw and pavement cleaner combination
US3750223A (en) * 1971-01-19 1973-08-07 Leifheit International Cleaning apparatus
US4155142A (en) * 1975-10-03 1979-05-22 Demetriadis Chrys C Tile grout scraper tool
US4958400A (en) * 1989-06-30 1990-09-25 Masahiko Sugita Line cleaning apparatus
US5412829A (en) * 1994-06-27 1995-05-09 Hefner; Esther L. Tile grout scrubber
US6059475A (en) * 1997-10-20 2000-05-09 Jafarmadar; Hossein H. Apparatus for cleaning tile grout joints
US6463616B1 (en) * 1998-04-14 2002-10-15 Rotowash Reinigungsmaschinen Ges.M.B.H Floor cleaning machine
US20030115696A1 (en) * 2001-08-24 2003-06-26 Young David W. Apparatus for cleaning lines on a playing surface and associated methods

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1500692A (en) * 1921-05-11 1924-07-08 Mortimer H Swafford Scrubbing machine
US1481504A (en) * 1922-10-13 1924-01-22 Chisholm Frank Kerr Tennis-court and other line marker
US1561250A (en) * 1924-04-22 1925-11-10 Kunze Fredreck Ceiling-cleaning apparatus
US2842788A (en) * 1956-01-27 1958-07-15 Racine Ind Plant Inc Carpet scrubbing machine
US3114922A (en) * 1961-07-13 1963-12-24 Wayne Chemical Company Floor cleansing device
US3750223A (en) * 1971-01-19 1973-08-07 Leifheit International Cleaning apparatus
US3748675A (en) * 1972-02-11 1973-07-31 D Schultz Sno-throw and pavement cleaner combination
US4155142A (en) * 1975-10-03 1979-05-22 Demetriadis Chrys C Tile grout scraper tool
US4958400A (en) * 1989-06-30 1990-09-25 Masahiko Sugita Line cleaning apparatus
US5412829A (en) * 1994-06-27 1995-05-09 Hefner; Esther L. Tile grout scrubber
US6059475A (en) * 1997-10-20 2000-05-09 Jafarmadar; Hossein H. Apparatus for cleaning tile grout joints
US6463616B1 (en) * 1998-04-14 2002-10-15 Rotowash Reinigungsmaschinen Ges.M.B.H Floor cleaning machine
US20030115696A1 (en) * 2001-08-24 2003-06-26 Young David W. Apparatus for cleaning lines on a playing surface and associated methods

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
ES2376110A1 (en) * 2009-06-18 2012-03-09 Guillermo Ortega Giménez Industrial and domestic cleaner.
EP2263509A3 (en) * 2009-06-18 2013-03-27 Guillermo Ortega Gimenez Industrial and domestic cleaning machine
US9044131B1 (en) 2011-10-18 2015-06-02 Michele Pence Multipurpose grout cleaning apparatus
CN103654633A (en) * 2012-09-17 2014-03-26 碧洁家庭护理有限公司 Surface cleaning apparatus, grout replaceable cleaning cartridge and related method
EP2708174A3 (en) * 2012-09-17 2015-11-25 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Steam mop with grout cleaning tool and method
US9420932B2 (en) 2012-09-17 2016-08-23 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Steam mop with grout cleaning tool and method
EP3369355A1 (en) * 2012-09-17 2018-09-05 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Grout cleaning tool
US10159394B2 (en) 2012-09-17 2018-12-25 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Grout cleaning tool
US20150096137A1 (en) * 2013-10-09 2015-04-09 Adam Lyle Kayler Grout cleaning device
USD863705S1 (en) * 2016-12-08 2019-10-15 Guangzhou Yihua Electronic Equipment Co., Ltd. Cleaning device for soldering tips
DE102017121154A1 (en) * 2017-09-13 2019-03-14 Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG Weed grooving machine
EP3456197A1 (en) * 2017-09-13 2019-03-20 Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG Weed grooving machine

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