Washing Attachment and System

Disclosed is a washing attachment and washing system wherein the washing attachment includes a main body having a wall that at least partially circumscribes and defines a main conduit. A plurality of teeth extends from the wall of the main body. Each of at least some of the teeth defines therein an extending conduit being in communication with the main conduit. A plurality of openings along such teeth provides communication between the extending conduit and an external area. A plurality of bristle extensions also extend from the wall of the main body and align along the base of the teeth. In use, fluid passes from a connected hose, through the main conduit, through the extending conduits, and through the openings in the teeth to the external area to wash an object.

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Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention generally relates to a hose-attachable apparatus and system for washing an object, and more particularly to a washing attachment and system for washing a brush-like object.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Maintaining the cleanliness of objects, such as paintbrushes, after use often requires that the object be rinsed with a fluid such as water or a more particularized cleaning fluid, such as paint thinner. Washing a used paintbrush to remove debris, e.g., paint, discourages the debris from more permanently attaching itself to the bristles of the brush. Not washing away paint from a brush after use can lead to the paint drying to the bristles, which makes it more difficult to thereafter remove the paint from the brush. Further, improper washing can lead to clumping of the bristles of the brush, which thereafter makes the toe of the brush less even and consistent. Accordingly, thorough washing of objects such as paintbrushes after use is usually desired.

Thoroughly washing away debris from an object such as a used paintbrush can require the use of a large amount of washing fluid. It is often preferable to rinse the paintbrush with only fluid free of any debris, such as by running the brush under running, clean water. However, this leads to the use of a significant amount of water. Alternatively, to reduce the amount of water used, users will on occasion repeatedly dunk the debris-covered bristles of the brush in a batch of cleaning fluid. While this conserves the amount of fluid used to wash the brush, the efficiency of this cleaning method generally decreases during the process, as the debris transfers from the bristles of the brush and mixes with the cleaning fluid such that subsequent submersions of the bristles in the mixture expose the brush to less-clean fluid than the fluid originally in the cleaning batch. The inefficiency of such a system can require increased time to thoroughly remove the debris from the brush. Further, the bristles of a delicate paintbrush, such as an artist's brush, can be damaged if a washer presses the heel of the brush against the bottom of a washing basin or otherwise too roughly man-handles the bristles during cleaning, which some washers are prone to do in their attempts to separate bristles to allow access of washing fluid to debris otherwise trapped between bristles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present washing attachment and system provides a washing device and system that efficiently, quickly, and thoroughly accommodates washing of an object such as a paintbrush, by allowing for interaction of washing fluid, combing teeth, and brushing bristles against the object while allowing for adjustments to the washing attachment and system to accommodate the washing of objects of varying sizes and levels of durability or delicacy.

The washing attachment includes a main body that has a wall that defines within the main body a main conduit. A number of teeth are supported by the wall of the main body and extend from the wall. Each tooth is supported by the wall at its base, such that the tip of each tooth points away from the main body. In some embodiments the teeth of the washing attachment are arranged in a first row with each of the teeth being spaced evenly from its neighboring tooth or teeth.

Within each of at least some of the teeth are extending conduits. In some embodiments, each of the teeth of the washing attachment includes an extending conduit. In other embodiments, only some of the teeth of the washing attachment include extending conduits. An extending conduit passes through its respective tooth from the base of the tooth toward the tip. The extending conduits within the teeth are configured to be in communication with the main conduit. At least according to some embodiments, the extending conduit within a tooth does not pass all the way to the tip of the respective tooth.

Each of the teeth containing an extending conduit further includes a number of teeth openings. According to some embodiments, the teeth openings are back-angled notches arranged in a series along one side, such as the front side, of each respective tooth. In other embodiments, the teeth openings are slits cut along the length of the corresponding tooth. In some embodiments, each tooth includes an equal number of teeth openings that are equally spaced along each respective tooth. In other embodiments, the number of teeth openings included on a respective tooth varies from one tooth to another.

The washing attachment further includes a number of bristle extensions, which are supported by and extend away from the wall of the main body of the washing attachment. The bristle extensions are lined along the bases of the teeth. According to some embodiments, including those in which the teeth are arranged in a single row, the bristle extensions are arranged in at least one second row in front of the row of teeth, such that the teeth openings are directed toward the bristle extensions.

In some embodiments, the wall of the main body is configured to be cylindrically shaped with the main conduit passing through the center of the main body. In such embodiments, the main body further includes a cap that covers the upper or distal end of the main conduit. The lower end of the main conduit remains essentially open so as to allow fluid to be passed into the main conduit from the open end.

The washing attachment further includes a hose attachment adapter that is supported by the wall of the main body and is connected to the wall near to the open end of the main conduit. The hose attachment adapter is configured to accommodate connection of the washing attachment to a hose. In some embodiments, the washing attachment further includes a flow control valve that is configured to selectively allow adjustment of fluid pressure of fluid passed through the main conduit and out through the teeth openings via the extending conduits. In some embodiments, the flow control valve is integrated with the hose attachment adapter.

The washing attachment is further configured to be used within a washing system such as a system including a hose connectable to the washing attachment via the hose attachment adapter, where such hose is connected to a reservoir of fluid to be used to wash an object. As such, in use, cleaning fluid passes out of the reservoir, via a reservoir outlet, through the hose, into the main conduit of the main body via the open end of the main conduit, out of the main conduit into the connecting extending conduits in the teeth, and finally out of the extending conduit via the teeth openings to an external area in which the object to be washed should be present. Where such object is a paintbrush, therefore the paintbrush can be held over a waste receptacle of the washing system and the fluid passing through the washing attachment applied toward the bristles of the paintbrush to encourage debris on the paintbrush to wash down into the waste receptacle. With the teeth of the washing attachment inserted between the brush bristles of the paintbrush so that the tips of the bristle extensions contact the brush bristles, a user can comb the teeth of the washing attachment through the brush bristles and move the bristle extensions along the surface of the paintbrush bristles as the cleaning fluid flows through the teeth openings. As such, the movement of the teeth through and against the debris on the brush bristles, the contact of the water from the teeth openings against the debris upon the brush bristles, and the contact of the bristle extensions against the debris on the brush bristles encourages the debris to wash off of the brush bristles and into the waste receptacle. Therefore, the washing of the brush is accomplished relatively quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly with minimized use of cleaning fluid.

In other embodiments of the washing system, such as those configured for washing a paintbrush using paint thinner, the washing system further includes a filtration system configured to separate the debris from the cleaning fluid and to recycle the separated cleaning fluid to continuing washing the paintbrush. That is, cleaning fluid free of any debris passes from a hose, into the washing attachment, and out of the teeth openings towards the brush bristles to be washed and thereafter collected with the washed-away debris within a waste receptacle. As such, the waste receptacle receives a mixture of debris and cleaning fluid. The mixture of debris and cleaning fluid passes from the waste receptacle into a filtration system in which a filter, such as a solids filter, and, in some embodiments, a secondary filter, are configured to separate the debris from the cleaning fluid and to return the purer cleaning fluid, relatively free or completely free of debris, back into the hose and toward the washing attachment for continued use in cleaning the paintbrush. Again, the washing attachment within the washing system accommodates a relatively quick, efficient, and thorough washing of an object with minimized use of cleaning fluid.

In some embodiments, the washing attachment further includes a selectively-removable sleeve having defined therein at least one cavity configured to receive at least one of the teeth of the washing attachment. As such, the sleeve is configured to selectively cover one or more of the teeth and the corresponding teeth openings of the covered tooth or teeth so that, during use of the washing attachment, cleaning fluid is discouraged from exiting the teeth openings that are covered. Accordingly, when the width of an object to be washed is less than the width of the total span of the plurality of teeth of the washing attachment, one or more sleeves can be slipped over those teeth that extend beyond the width of the object so as to limit the effective width of the washing attachment to a width that corresponds with the width of the object to be washed.

In some embodiments, a sleeve defines a number of cavities each corresponding to the relative size of the teeth of the washing attachment such that each tooth is snugly received within a corresponding cavity when the sleeve is removably placed over one or more teeth. In other embodiments, a sleeve defines only one cavity such that more than one tooth is received within the cavity when the sleeve is placed over a number of teeth.

In some embodiments, the washing attachment includes a removable sleeve configured to receive therein all of the teeth of the washing attachment, which sleeve accommodates protection of the tips of the teeth and prohibits unwanted interaction of the teeth with other objects or people when the washing attachment is not in use. Such a sleeve, during use of the washing attachment, can be completely removed from the washing attachment so as to expose all of the teeth openings to the object to be washed. Alternately, such a sleeve can be selectively removed and replaced so that only a portion of the sleeve covers fewer than all of the teeth of the attachment, with the remaining portion of the sleeve extending away from the washing attachment. In such embodiments, therefore, a single sleeve accommodates adjustment of the effective width of the plurality of teeth of the washing attachment.

Even after an object has been washed, the teeth and bristle extensions of the washing attachment accommodate further interaction with the object. For example, after all paint has been removed from a paintbrush, the teeth and bristle extensions of the washing attachment can be further combed through the bristles of the paintbrush so as to encourage drying of the bristles and even distribution of the bristles as they dry, thereby discouraging clumping.

The combing action of the teeth and the bristle extensions during washing and the relatively even flow of fluid from the series of teeth openings also encourage an even washing of the bristles of a paintbrush and even distribution of the cleaning fluid exiting the teeth openings without necessitating manhandling of the bristles. As such, the washing attachment and system are suited for use in washing even a delicate object such as a fine-haired artist's brush.

Because, in use, debris on an object being washed is acted against by each of (1) the teeth of the washing attachment, (2) the cleaning fluid exiting the teeth openings, and (3) the bristle extensions along the base of the teeth, embodiments of the washing attachment and system provide for efficient, quick, and thorough washing of an object such as a paintbrush. The availability of a removable sleeve accommodates use of the washing attachment and system with a variety of sizes of objects to be washed, such as varying sizes of paintbrushes. At least in some embodiments, the ability to vary the pressure of the fluid exiting through the teeth openings further provides flexibility to the attachment and system so that low fluid pressure can be selected for cleaning a delicate brush while high water pressure can be used for washing a brush with heavy-duty bristles.

The purpose of the Summary is to enable the public, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology to determine quickly, from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Summary is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Still other features and advantages of the claimed device and system will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description describing preferred embodiments of the device and system, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out the device and system. As will be realized, the device and system are capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative, and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the front and right sides of a washing attachment according to a first embodiment.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the right side of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the left side of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the top of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the bottom of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of the front side of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 7 is an elevation view of the rear side of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a partial, perspective view of the uppermost areas of the front and right sides of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of the front side of one of the plurality of teeth of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 10 is an elevation view of the right side of one of the plurality of teeth of a washing attachment according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 11 is an elevation view of the front side of one of the plurality of teeth of a washing attachment according to a second embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional, bottom view of the washing attachment according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 taken along line A-A.

FIG. 13 is a partial, perspective view of the top and uppermost rear sides of a washing attachment, according to the first embodiment, with its plurality of teeth inserted amongst the brush bristles of a brush to be washed.

FIG. 14 is a partial, perspective view of the top and uppermost front sides of a washing attachment, according to the first embodiment, with its plurality of teeth inserted amongst the brush bristles of a brush to be washed.

FIG. 15 is a partial, perspective view of a washing attachment, according to the first embodiment, with its plurality of teeth inserted amongst the brush bristles of a paintbrush to be washed and positioned above a waste receptacle.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the front and right sides of a washing attachment with a sleeve covering some of the teeth of the washing attachment, according to a third embodiment.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the front of a sleeve of a washing attachment according to the third embodiment.

FIG. 18 is an elevation, cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 17 taken along line B-B.

FIG. 19 is an elevation, cross-sectional view of a sleeve of a washing attachment according to a fourth embodiment, taken along a line like that of line B-B in FIG. 17.

FIG. 20 is a diagram of a washing system including a washing attachment according to a fifth embodiment.

FIG. 21 is a diagram of a washing system including a washing attachment according to a sixth embodiment.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the front and right sides of a washing attachment with a sleeve covering all teeth of the washing attachment, according to a seventh embodiment.

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the front and right sides of a washing attachment with a sleeve covering only some of the teeth of the washing attachment, according to the seventh embodiment.

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of the front and right sides of a washing attachment according to an eighth embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While the washing attachment and system are susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

As shown FIGS. 1 through 24, the washing attachment and system provide a means for each efficiently, quickly, and thoroughly washing an object such as a paintbrush with minimized use of washing fluid. It further provides means for adjusting the effective fluid pressure and fluid-expelling area so as to accommodate washing of objects of varying sizes and degrees of durability.

In the following description and in the figures, like elements are identified with like reference numerals. The use of “e.g.,” “etc.,” and “or” indicates non-exclusive alternatives without limitation unless otherwise noted. The use of “including” means “including, but not limited to,” unless otherwise noted.

With particular attention to FIGS. 1 through 7, according to a first embodiment, the washing attachment 10 includes a main body 12 having a wall 14 that at least partially circumscribes and defines therein a main conduit 20. A cap 16 covers a distal or upper end of the main conduit 20. The opposite, proximate or lower end of the main conduit 20 is an open end 18. According to the first embodiment, the wall 14 is cylindrically shaped and the main conduit 20 passes essentially through the center of the main body 12.

A plurality of teeth 22 is supported by the main body 12 with each of the teeth 22 extending from the wall 14. According to the depicted embodiment, the teeth 22 extend essentially perpendicularly away from the wall 14 of the main body 12. In some embodiments, such as that shown in FIG. 1, each tooth 22 is supported at its respective base 27 by the wall 14 of the main body 12 by connection to a base member 32 that extends along the length of the wall 14. Each tooth 22 extends away from the wall 14 from its base 27 toward a tip 28, which according to the depicted embodiment is a tapering and sharp point.

Each of at least some of the teeth 22 have defined therein an extending conduit 26 that passes from each base 27 toward the tip 28 of the tooth 22 through which it passes. With particular regard to FIG. 12, each extending conduit 26 is in communication with the main conduit 20. Further, at least one teeth opening 24 is defined in each of at least some of the teeth 22, which teeth openings 24 provide communication between the extending conduits 26 and an external area.

With particular attention to FIGS. 9 and 10, according to the first depicted embodiment, the teeth openings 24 comprise back-angled notches within the front side of each of the teeth 22. Also according to this embodiment, each of the teeth 22 includes a series of multiple teeth openings 24 along the length of the tooth 22, such as between four to six notches along a single tooth 22. With particular attention to FIG. 8, according to the depicted embodiment, the teeth openings 24 are gathered proximate to the bases 27 of the plurality of teeth 22. In some embodiments, each of the teeth 22 has an equal number of equally-spaced teeth openings 24. In other embodiments, the number and spacing of the teeth openings 24 varies from one tooth 22 to the next. In still other embodiments, some teeth 22 do not include any teeth openings 24.

According to the first depicted embodiment, the washing attachment 10 includes twenty-one teeth 22, each including an extending conduit 26 passing therethrough. Each of these teeth 22 terminates in a tapering, sharp tip such that the tips thereof are configured to accommodate insertion of the plurality of teeth 22 between the brush bristles 2 of a brush 1 to be washed. Also according to the depicted embodiment, each of the teeth 22 is nearly equal in height, where such height is defined by the distance between the base 27 of each of the tooth 22, where the tooth 22 is connected to the base member 32, and the tip 28 of each tooth. Further, according to the first depicted embodiment, the teeth 22 are essentially evenly spaced along the base member 32 with approximately one-eighth inches between one tooth 22 and its neighbor.

With particular attention to FIG. 11, according to a second depicted embodiment, the teeth openings 24 comprise at least one longitudinal slit along the front side of each of the teeth 22. In other embodiments, the teeth openings 24 comprise differently shaped openings, each providing communication between the extending conduit 26 within the tooth 22 and an external area.

With particular attention to FIGS. 1 through 8, the washing attachment 10 further includes a plurality of bristle extensions 30 supported by and extending from the wall 14 of the main body 12. According to the depicted embodiment, the plurality of bristle extensions 30 comprise a plurality of bundles of short wires gathered at a base attached to the base member 32 and extending essentially perpendicularly away from the wall 14, leading the end of the wires unattached at the uppermost end. The bristle extensions 30 are aligned along the bases 27 of the teeth 22.

According to the depicted embodiment, the teeth 22 are arranged in a first row extending along the width of the base member 32 and thus along the length of the main body 12 of the washing attachment 10. As arranged, the teeth openings 24 of the teeth 22 are also all aligned along the right side of the washing attachment 10. Also as depicted, the bristle extensions 30 are arranged in at least one second row along the teeth 22 in front of the teeth openings 24. Therefore, the teeth openings 24 are directed toward the bristle extensions 30. According to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 8, the bristle extensions 30 are arranged in two rows in front of the teeth 22 and extend to a height that is shorter than the height of the teeth opening 24 furthest away from the wall 14 along the teeth 22. As such, the bristle extensions 30 do not overlap all of the teeth opening 24 along the teeth 22.

Preferably, each of the teeth openings 24 is aimed in the same direction as that of the other teeth openings 24. Therefore, in use, fluid exiting the extending conduits 26 is aimed in one particular direction. According to the depicted embodiment, with the main body 12 of the washing attachment 10 defining a first axis, the teeth 22 defining a second axis that is essentially perpendicular to the first axis, the direction of the fluid exiting the teeth openings 24 will be in a direction that is perpendicular to both the first axis and the second axis. Thus, if the washing attachment 10 is held parallel to the ground, the teeth 22 extending outward from the main body 12 and also parallel to the ground, the fluid exiting the teeth openings 24 will be directed downward, toward the ground.

The washing attachment 10 further includes a hose attachment adapter 34 supported by the wall 14 of the main body 12. The hose attachment adapter 34 is configured to accommodate connection of the washing attachment 10 to a hose 52. According to the preferred embodiments, the washing attachment 10 further includes a flow control valve 36 configured to allow selective adjustment of fluid pressure of fluid passing through the teeth openings 24 when the washing attachment 10 is in use. According to the embodiments depicted, the flow control valve 36 is integrated within the hose attachment adapter 34. Utilizing the flow control valve 36, then, flow of fluid through the teeth openings 24 can be selectively ceased by manipulation of the flow control valve 36 without having to shut off the hose 52 connected to the washing attachment 10. Further, when a low flow of fluid is desired, the flow control valve 36 can be manipulated to limit the amount of fluid exiting through the teeth openings 24, and when a higher pressure of fluid is desired, the flow control valve 36 can be manipulated to increase the amount of fluid exiting through the teeth openings 24.

With particular attention to FIGS. 13 through 15, inserting the plurality of teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10 into the brush bristles 2 of a brush 1 to be cleaned, with the toe 4 of the brush 1 directed downward, the teeth openings 24 of the washing attachment 10 are likewise directed downward. Preferably, to use the washing attachment 10 to wash a brush 1, the tooth 22 are inserted amongst the brush bristles 2 near to the heel 5 of the brush bristles 2, thus near the ferrule 6 of the brush 1. Preferably, the teeth 22 are pushed through the brush bristles 2 until the tips of the bristle extensions 30 are brought into contact with the brush bristles 2. Then, with fluid available from a connected hose 52, the flow control valve 36 can be manipulated to allow flow of fluid through the washing attachment 10 and out through the teeth openings 24 towards the brush bristles 2 of the brush 1 in a direction toward the toe 4 of the brush 1. This flow of fluid will begin to encourage debris originally contained along the brush bristles 2 of the brush 1 to be washed off the brush bristles 2. As fluid flows, a user can move the washing attachment 10 along the belly 3 of the brush 1, combing the teeth 22 through the belly 3 of the brush 1 in lines from the heel 5 to the toe 4 and further wash debris away while combing through the brush bristles 2. By inserting the teeth 22 through the brush bristles 2 of the brush 1 to the extent that the tips of the bristle extensions 30 come in contact with the brush bristles 2, combing the teeth 22 through the brush bristles 2 further brings the bristle extensions 30 into forced contact with the surface of the brush bristles 2 such that the bristle extensions 30 act to encourage debris to move down the belly 3 of the brush 1. As such, the fluid exiting the teeth openings 24, the teeth 22 themselves, and the bristle extensions 30 come in contact with the debris to be washed away and encourage the debris to be washed away from the brush 1.

The washing attachment 10 is further configured for easy use to wash an object such as a paintbrush 1. That is, the washing attachment 10 is sized so as to be easily held in one hand along the main body 12 or at the hose attachment adapter 34 area while the handle 7 of a paintbrush 1 is held in the user's other hand. As such, the washing attachment 10 may be readily positioned with the teeth openings 24 directed downward, the brush bristles 2 likewise directed downward, and the bristle extensions 30 of the washing attachment 10 in contact with the first side of the brush 1 to be washed. After washing one side of the brush 1, the washing attachment 10 may be readily moved to be positioned with the teeth openings 24 directed downward, the brush bristles 2 likewise directed downward, and the bristle extensions 30 of the washing attachment 10 in contact with the second side of the brush 1 to be washed. Following washing of the majority of the debris from the first and second sides of the brush 1, the brush 1 can be easily turned upside down, and the teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10 reinserted into the belly 3 of the brush with the teeth openings 24 of the washing attachment 10 directed toward the ferrule 6 of the brush 1, thereby to wash away debris that may remain near the heel 5 of the brush 1.

At any stage of the washing, cleaning detergent or soap may be applied to the teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10 or to the bristle extensions 30 of the washing attachment 10 to further aid in the washing of debris from the brush 1. In some embodiments, the cleaning fluid used by the washing attachment 10 includes a mixture of cleaning detergent or soap and another fluid, such as water or paint thinner.

Even without a hose 52 connected to the washing attachment 10, the washing attachment 10 may be used to comb through the brush bristles 2 of a brush 1 to encourage drying of the bristles 2 and to discourage undesirable clumping of the bristles 2 as a newly-washed brush 1 dries.

In some circumstances in which the washing attachment 10 is to be utilized, the object to be washed will not be of a width equal to the width of the plurality of teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10. Therefore, with particular regard to FIGS. 16 through 19 and 22 through 23, according to third, fourth, and seventh embodiments, the washing attachment 10 further includes a selectively-removable sleeve 42. The sleeve 42 defines therein at least one cavity 44 configured to receive therein at least one of the teeth 22. According to the third embodiment, shown in FIGS. 16 through 18, the sleeve 42 includes a row of cavities 44 wherein each cavity 44 is configured to snugly receive therein one of the teeth 22 and to cover the tooth 22 from the base 27 to the tip 28. As such, placement of teeth 22 within the cavities 44 of the sleeve 42 thereby discourages flow of fluid through the covered teeth openings 24 when the washing attachment 10 is in use. Thus, according to the depiction in FIG. 16, a sleeve 42 in place that covers seven of the teeth 22 of a washing attachment 10 that includes twenty-one teeth 22 leaves uncovered and available for use only the remaining fourteen of the teeth 22. Therefore, in this configuration, the washing attachment 10 with seven covered teeth 22 would be suitable for use with a dirty brush 1 having brush bristles 2 of a width that corresponds only to the width of the uncovered fourteen teeth 22.

The third embodiment depicted in FIG. 16 includes cavities 44 configured to receive only seven of the teeth 22, in other embodiments the sleeve 42 includes fewer cavities 44 and still other embodiments the sleeve 42 includes even more cavities 44. Therefore, the sleeve 42 can be configured to meet the needs of the width of the brush 1 to be washed using the washing attachment 10.

With particular attention to FIG. 19, a sleeve 42 according to a fourth embodiment is shown in a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 18 for the third embodiment. According to this fourth embodiment, the sleeve 42 includes only one cavity 44, where such cavity 44 is configured to snugly receive more than one of the teeth 22.

With particular attention to FIGS. 22 and 23, according to the seventh depicted embodiment, a sleeve 42 of a washing attachment 10 is configured to receive within its cavity 44 all of the teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10. As such, the sleeve 42 is configured to be selectively, removably positioned over one or more of the teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10. Therefore, when the washing attachment 10 is not in use, the sleeve 42 may be positioned as shown in FIG. 22, to cover all of the teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10. During storage of the attachment 10, then, the tips 28 of the teeth 22 are covered to protect the teeth 22 and to prevent the tips 28 of the teeth 22 from unintentionally contacting other objects or people, which might lead to damage or injury. During use of the attachment 10, the sleeve 42 may be selectively positioned to cover as many of the teeth 22, and therefore the corresponding teeth openings 24, as is desirable to leave uncovered only those teeth 22 corresponding to the size of the object to be washed. For example, as shown in FIG. 23, with a washing attachment 10 having twenty-one teeth 22, the sleeve 42 may be positioned to cover only eight of the teeth 22, thereby leaving available for washing of an object only the uncovered thirteen teeth 22. After washing of an object having a width corresponding to the width of the series of thirteen uncovered teeth 22, a user may selectively reposition the sleeve 42 to cover all twenty-one teeth 22. For another use in washing an object having a width corresponding to only nine teeth 22, the user may again remove the sleeve 42 from the twenty-one teeth 22 and reposition the sleeve 42 to cover only twelve teeth 22, leaving nine teeth 22 uncovered. Accordingly, the sleeve 42 of the washing attachment 10 according to the seventh embodiment accommodates use of the washing attachment 10 for washing objects of varying sizes and for safely storing and transporting the washing attachment 10 when not in use.

Though, the depicted sleeve 42 includes only a single cavity 44 spanning nearly the entire length of the sleeve 42, in other embodiments, the sleeve 42 includes a number of cavities 44 corresponding to the number of teeth 22 of the washing attachment 10. Further, according to the third, fourth, and seventh depicted embodiment, the sleeve 42 is comprised of the translucent plastic material. In other embodiments, the sleeve 42 is comprised of an opaque material such as an opaque plastic or metal.

According to the first and second depicted embodiments, the teeth 22 and the bristle extensions 30 of the washing attachment 10 are comprised of a rust-resistant metal, such as steel, aluminum, or stainless steel.

With particular attention to FIG. 24, depicted is an eighth embodiment of the washing 10 attachment in which the main body 12 and teeth 22 are narrower than the main body 12 and teeth 22 of the first embodiment. The teeth 22 of this embodiment preferably have widths on the order of the width of a common hypodermic needle. The tips of the teeth 22 of this embodiment are blunted, and the teeth 22 are arranged closer to one another in the array of teeth 22 than the teeth 22 of the first embodiment. Accordingly, this eighth embodiment is conducive for use in cleaning an object with finer bristles, hairs, or the like, such as a fine, thin, artist's paintbrush.

In some embodiments the main body 12 of the washing attachment 10 is comprised of a hollowed-out piece of wood, plastic, or metal. In other embodiments, the main body 12 of the washing attachment 10 is comprised of an extruded plastic.

According to some embodiments, such as the first and second embodiments, the hose attachment adapter 34 is adapted to receive a house outlet 54 end of a hose 52 within the lower end of the washing attachment 10. According to other embodiments, such as the eighth embodiment, however, the hose attachment adapter 34 includes external threads configured to accommodate attachment of a hose 52 to the washing attachment 10 such that the hose attachment adapter 34 portion of the main body 12 is configured to be received within the house outlet 54 end of a connecting hose 52.

It is expected that, in many circumstances in which the washing attachment 10 will be used, such as that depicted in FIG. 15, the object to be washed will be a paintbrush and the debris to be washed away will be paint 8. Accordingly, with particular attention to FIG. 20, diagramed is a washing system 50 in which the washing attachment 10 is connected via the hose attachment adapter 34 to the hose outlet 54 of a hose 52. The hose 52 is connected to a reservoir 56 via a reservoir outlet 58. In some circumstances the reservoir 56 is a water main conduit and the hose 52 is a garden hose such that the reservoir outlet 58 is a water spout configured for attachment to a garden hose. In other circumstances, the reservoir 56 is a container having therein a reserve of cleaning fluid, such as water, paint thinner, soap, a mixture of soap and water, or a cleaning gas. The washing system 50 further includes a waste receptacle 60, preferably situated below the washing attachment 10 so as to allow paint 8 or other debris being washed from a brush 1 to be gathered below in the waste receptacle 60. In some such circumstances the waste receptacle 60 comprises a bucket or garbage bag. According to FIG. 20, the waste receptacle 60 further includes a drain 61 to accommodate removal of gathered fluid from the waste receptacle 60. As such, the waste receptacle 60 of FIG. 20 may be a household sink.

With particular attention to FIG. 21, diagramed is a washing system 50 that includes a filtration system 64 having therein a solids filter 68, a pump 70, and a secondary filter 72. Further, according to the diagrammed system of FIG. 21, the waste receptacle 60 is operatively connected to the filtration system 64 by a conduit passing from a waste receptacle outlet 62 to the filtration system input 66. As such, fluid passing from the hose 52, into the washing attachment 10, and out through the teeth openings 24 of the washing attachment 10 to wash the debris from the object to be washed is collected within the waste receptacle 60. The collected material within the waste receptacle 60 will constitute a mixture of both fluid and debris. This mixture of fluid and debris exits the waste receptacle 60 via the waste receptacle outlet 62 and enters the filtration system 64 via the filtration system input 66. Within the filtration system 64, the mixture of fluid and debris is first treated by the solids filter 68 then by the secondary filter 72 while being pumped through the filtration system 64 by the pump 70. As such, the filtration system 64 separates the debris from the fluid in the mixture and passes out of the filtration system output 74 essentially debris-free fluid to be returned for use in washing the object via the washing attachment 10. It is expected that such a washing system 50 as diagrammed in FIG. 21 will be particularly useful in circumstances in which the washing attachment 10 is to be used to with paint thinner to wash a brush that was used with non-water-soluble paint.

The exemplary embodiments shown in the figures and described above illustrate, but do not limit, the invention. It should be understood that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed; rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims. For example, while the exemplary embodiments illustrate use of the washing attachment 10 in conjunction with a brush 1, the invention is not limited to use with paintbrushes, but is also useable to clean objects such as brooms, mops, hair, fur, or the like. While the invention is not limited to use to wash paint from a used paintbrush, it is expected that various embodiments of the invention will be particularly useful in such circumstances. Hence, the foregoing description should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined in the following claims.

Thus, while there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the washing attachment and system, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.

Claims

1. A washing attachment comprising:

a main body having a wall at least partially circumscribing and defining a main conduit;
a plurality of teeth, each of said teeth being supported by and extending from said wall from a base to a tip, each of at least some of said teeth defining an extending conduit passing from said base toward said tip, each of said extending conduits being in communication with said main conduit; and a plurality of teeth openings providing communication between said extending conduits and an external area;
a plurality of bristle extensions supported by and extending from said wall, said plurality of bristle extensions being aligned along said bases of said teeth; and
a hose attachment adapter supported by said wall of said main body, said hose attachment adapter being configured to accommodate connection of said washing attachment to a hose;
whereby, in use in connection with said hose, fluid flows from said hose, through said main conduit, through said extending conduits, and through said teeth openings to said external area.

2. The washing attachment of claim 1, further comprising a flow control valve configured for selectively adjusting fluid pressure of fluid passing through said teeth openings when said washing attachment is in use.

3. The washing attachment of claim 1, wherein said teeth are aligned in a first row along said wall of said main body.

4. The washing attachment of claim 2, wherein said bristle extensions are aligned in at least one second row proximate to said first row of said teeth.

5. The washing attachment of claim 1, wherein said teeth openings comprise back-angled notches defined along a front side of each of said teeth.

6. The washing attachment of claim 5, wherein said teeth openings are further aligned along said front side of each of said teeth in an area proximate to said base of said teeth.

7. The washing attachment of claim 1, wherein said plurality of teeth extends essentially perpendicularly from said wall.

8. The washing attachment of claim 1, wherein said teeth openings comprise slits defined along a front side of each of said teeth.

9. The washing attachment of claim 1, further comprising a selectively removable sleeve, said sleeve defining therein at least one cavity configured to receive therein at least one of said teeth, whereby placement of said sleeve over at least one of said teeth covers at least one of said teeth openings, thereby discouraging flow of fluid through said teeth openings covered by said sleeve when said washing attachment is in use.

10. The washing attachment of claim 9, wherein said sleeve comprises a plurality of cavities, each configured to snugly receive therein one of said teeth from said base to said tip.

11. The washing attachment of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bristle extensions are aligned along an area of said wall proximate to said teeth openings.

12. A washing attachment comprising:

a main body having a wall at least partially circumscribing and defining a main conduit;
a plurality of teeth arranged in a first row along said wall of said main body, each of said teeth being supported by and extending essentially perpendicularly from said wall from a base to a tip, each of at least some of said teeth defining an extending conduit passing from said base toward said tip, said extending conduits being in communication with said main conduit; and a plurality of teeth openings along a front side of each of at least some of said teeth, said plurality of teeth openings providing communication between said extending conduits and an external area;
a plurality of bristle extensions supported by and extending from said wall, said plurality of bristle extensions being aligned in at least one second row along said first row and said front sides of said teeth; and
a hose attachment adapter supported by said wall of said main body, said hose attachment adapter being configured to accommodate connection of said washing attachment to a hose;
whereby, in use in connection with said hose, fluid flows from said hose, through said main conduit, through said extending conduits, through said teeth openings toward said plurality of bristle extensions to said external area.

13. The washing attachment of claim 12, further comprising a flow control valve configured for selectively adjusting fluid pressure of fluid passing through said teeth openings when said washing attachment is in use.

14. The washing attachment of claim 12, wherein said teeth openings comprise back-angled notches.

15. The washing attachment of claim 12, wherein said teeth openings are further aligned along said teeth in an area proximate to said bases of said teeth.

16. The washing attachment of claim 12, further comprising a selectively removable sleeve, said sleeve defining therein at least one cavity configured to receive therein at least one of said teeth, whereby placement of said sleeve over at least one of said teeth covers at least one of said teeth openings, thereby discouraging flow of fluid through said teeth openings covered by said sleeve when said washing attachment is in use.

17. The washing attachment of claim 16, wherein said sleeve comprises a plurality of cavities, each configured to snugly receive therein one of said teeth from said base to said tip.

18. A washing system for washing a brush, said washing system comprising:

a washing attachment comprising: a main body having a wall at least partially circumscribing and defining a main conduit; a plurality of teeth, each of said teeth being supported by and extending from said wall from a base to a tip, each of at least some of said teeth defining an extending conduit passing from said base toward said tip, said extending conduits being in communication with said main conduit; and a plurality of teeth openings providing communication between said extending conduits and an external area; and a plurality of bristle extensions supported by and extending from said wall, said plurality of bristle extensions being aligned along said bases of said plurality of teeth;
a reservoir containing fluid; and
a hose connected to said washing attachment and to said reservoir, said hose being configured to communicate said fluid from said reservoir to said main conduit within said main body of said washing attachment;
said plurality of teeth being configured to be inserted amongst brush bristles of said brush to be washed and combed through said brush bristles;
whereby, in use to wash said brush, fluid flows from said reservoir, through said hose, into said main conduit of said washing attachment, then into said extending conduits, then through said teeth openings to said external area where said fluid contacts debris along said brush bristles of said brush; and
whereby said teeth; said fluid from said teeth openings; and said plurality of bristle extensions
come into contact with and encourage removal of debris along said brush bristles as said washing attachment is combed through said brush bristles.

19. The washing system of claim 18, further comprising:

a waste receptacle configured to receive a mixture of debris washed from said brush bristles and fluid exiting said teeth openings; and
a filtration system in operative connection with said waste receptacle and said reservoir;
said filtration system being configured to receive said mixture, to separate said debris from said fluid in said mixture, and thereafter to return said fluid to said reservoir.

20. The washing system of claim 18, wherein said fluid is paint thinner.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120230754
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 7, 2011
Publication Date: Sep 13, 2012
Inventor: David James Roberson (Carey, ID)
Application Number: 13/042,430

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Brush, Broom, Or Mop (401/268)
International Classification: A46B 11/00 (20060101);