The paper presents results concerning the sustainability of laundering processes which were achieved by BMBF research projects of the wfk Cleaning Technology Research Institute on reduction of energy and detergent in professional laundries (01 RT 9973) and by the development of economical laundering processes with optimised water-, energy- and detergent consumption to achieve an appropriate particle content for operating theatre textiles (0330466). General reduction of water and energy consumption was reached by optimisation of mechanical agitation in tunnel washers (continuous batch washers). Investigations in laundries showed significant increase of soil removal by rotating drum in comparison to oscillation drum systems with consequence of reduced dosage of detergents. This is especially for soil which is mainly removed by mechanical action. At the same time no higher values of textile damage occurred. In addition, the total water consumption was reduced to 4 L/kg. In research project 0330466 economical washing processes were developed with appropriate particle release for surgical textiles (drapes, gowns, clean air suits). The investigations were carried out with respect to textile material and its making up, washing and rinsing technology, drying technology as well as detergents and laundry aids. By use of suitable textiles, optimisation of laundering and drying processing, application of suitable detergents and installation of an online-particle control system in the tumble dryer, the specific water consumption was reduced from about 40 L/kg to 20 L/kg. In addition, the detergent dosage was reduced to 60%.