This monograph provides a comprehensive survey of the parameters involved in textile washing, in particular the action of detergents. The authors describe the physical and chemical principles of the washing process, as well as the composition, production and action of household and industrial detergents. Furthermore, products and processes in use not only in Europe but also in Japan and the USA are surveyed. A special chapter is devoted to modern methods of detergent analysis. Throughout the book particular emphasis is laid on ecological and toxicological aspects. A discussion of the economic importance of detergents and relevant information about textile types and washing machines complete the book. This publication is not only intended for specialists in industry and academia, it will also give environmental consultants, journalists and other interested readers insight into the complex field of laundry detergents.