When Is It Bad Luck to Wash Clothes?

When Is It Bad Luck to Wash Clothes

Did you know that washing your clothes with detergent at certain times can bring bad luck? It may sound strange, but throughout history, people have held various superstitions surrounding laundry stains. From beliefs about bad karma to the quest for good fortune, these practices influenced cultures worldwide. Cultural and religious influences, including old wives’ tales and Chinese tradition, play a significant role in shaping these laundry superstitions. But what are the reasons behind this peculiar phenomenon? In this guide, we will explore the historical origins of laundry superstitions and delve into common beliefs and practices associated with washing clothes. So, if you’ve ever wondered why some consider it unlucky to wash clothes on certain days or during specific events, join us as we unravel the mysterious world of bad luck in washing clothes.

Laundry superstitions, also known as old wives’ tales, have been passed down through generations. These traditions have left a lasting impact on our daily routines when it comes to dealing with dirty clothes and stubborn stains. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of laundry superstitions and explore how they continue to influence our lives today, from choosing the right detergent to tackling those pesky stains.

Week Clothes Wash Routine
Monday Wash dark-colored clothes
Tuesday Wash white clothes
Wednesday Wash delicates
Thursday Wash towels and linens
Friday Wash jeans and heavy fabrics
Saturday Skip washing clothes
Sunday Wash bedding and blankets

Days of the Week Superstitions for Washing Clothes

Some people have superstitions about washing clothes. They believe in old wives’ tales about lucky or unlucky days to wash different types of clothes. These beliefs about stains and the sabbath have been passed down for generations, and many still adhere to them. For example, washing dark clothes on Mondays is believed to bring good luck, while washing white clothes on Tuesdays is said to purify them. Wednesdays are designated for washing delicates to extend their lifespan, while Thursdays are for washing towels and linens to maintain freshness. Fridays are reserved for washing jeans and heavy fabrics to remove bad luck. Saturdays are considered unlucky for laundry, while Sundays are dedicated to washing bedding and blankets for peaceful sleep. Despite lacking scientific proof, these superstitions continue to be followed by some people.

Superstitions: Avoiding Laundry on New Year’s Day

Belief that washing clothes on New Year’s Day brings bad luck for the rest of the year because of the sabbath. Cold water can damage fabric, so it’s best to avoid washing clothes on this day. If you accidentally spill something on your clothes, make sure to blot it instead of washing it.

Superstition is rooted in various cultures and traditions worldwide.

In many cultures around the world, there is a long-standing belief that washing clothes in cold water on New Year’s Day brings bad luck for the rest of the year. This superstition has been passed down through generations, with old wives’ tales warning against doing laundry on this particular day, especially if the fabric is stained. While it may seem like a peculiar notion to some, it is deeply ingrained in the traditions and customs of many communities, as they believe that certain foods can also attract bad luck when washed on this day.

The origin of this superstition can be traced back to ancient times, when people believed that water symbolized life and purity. They feared that by engaging in activities such as washing clothes on New Year’s Day, they would wash away their good fortune for the coming year. This belief transcended borders and became part of numerous cultural practices worldwide. These cultural practices included avoiding certain foods, stains, and fish, as well as being cautious with fabric.

Alternative ways to handle laundry on this particular day:

  1. Prioritize pre-New Year’s Day laundry: To avoid any temptation or risk of bad luck, consider completing all your dirty clothes tasks before New Year’s Eve. This way, you can start the new year with a fresh white cloth wardrobe without worrying about breaking any superstitious beliefs.

  2. Handwashing small fabric items, like underwear or socks, can be a quick solution if you need clean clothes urgently on New Year’s Day. Instead of using a washing machine, handwashing allows you to remove stains and have clean essentials while still respecting the superstition.

  3. Delayed laundering: Another option is to postpone your laundry until January 2nd or later if possible. This way, you can ensure that you are not inadvertently inviting bad luck into your life while still maintaining cleanliness and hygiene standards. Additionally, by waiting until the second day of the year, you can avoid any potential mishaps associated with an unlucky day. So, if you have any white cloth or fabric that needs washing, it might be worth holding off until January 2nd.

  4. Embrace alternative cleaning rituals: Instead of focusing solely on laundry, consider engaging in other cleaning rituals on Sunday. Many cultures have specific customs associated with cleaning the house or sweeping away stains to welcome a prosperous year ahead. By redirecting your attention to these practices, you can still participate in the spirit of renewal without risking any potential bad luck.

When is it bad luck to wash clothes?

It is considered bad luck to wash clothes on New Year’s Day, especially if they have fabric stains. According to superstitions, doing laundry on this day can wash away good luck and prosperity for the coming year. To avoid this, it is recommended to prioritize pre-New Year’s Day laundry and make sure all necessary items are clean before the start of the new year. For small items that need washing, handwashing is a suitable alternative. If possible, it is best to delay any laundry until January 2nd or later. Alternatively, some people embrace alternative cleaning rituals on New Year’s Day, such as sweeping and dusting, to avoid washing clothes and dealing with stubborn fabric stains.

Beliefs: Significance of Good Friday in Relation to Laundry

The religious significance attached to Good Friday, also known as Easter Sunday, has had a profound impact on various aspects of daily life, including laundry practices involving fabric. For many people, this day holds immense importance, and observing certain customs is believed to be essential. One such belief revolves around the idea that washing clothes made of fabric on Good Friday may bring misfortune or disrupt spiritual observances.

The association between Good Friday and avoiding fabric laundry has deep historical roots. It stems from the reverence given to this day as it marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, leading up to his resurrection on Easter Sunday. As believers commemorate this significant event in Christianity, they adhere to specific traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations.

One prevailing belief linked to Good Friday is the notion that engaging in mundane tasks like washing clothes, such as fabric, may be considered disrespectful or inappropriate during this solemn Sunday period. Many individuals hold the perception that any form of housework or chores, including fabric-related tasks, should be avoided on this day as a sign of respect for Jesus’ sacrifice and out of reverence for his suffering.

The avoidance of laundry, specifically on Good Friday and Sunday, can be seen as an act of devotion and acknowledgment of the significance attributed to these particular days in Christian faith. By refraining from such activities, believers aim to create an environment conducive to prayer, reflection, and spiritual contemplation on Sunday.

It is important to note that not all Christians or followers of other religious traditions share these opinions. The decision whether or not to engage in laundry on Good Friday ultimately depends on personal convictions and cultural practices. While some individuals strictly adhere to these customs, others may choose not to observe them at all, even on a Sunday.

Despite variations in individual beliefs and practices, it is interesting how certain rituals, like avoiding laundry on Good Friday, become intertwined with cultural norms over time. The association between this practice and the enduring influence of religion on daily life is fascinating. It is a tradition that many people still follow to this day, especially on Sundays.

Cultural Superstitions: Chinese New Year and Laundry

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a time of great celebration and significance for the Chinese community around the world. Steeped in ancient traditions and customs, this festive period comes with its fair share of superstitions. One such belief revolves around the act of washing clothes during Chinese New Year, as it is believed to bring bad luck. This superstition is especially strong on the first day and second day of the lunar calendar, which are considered unlucky days. Additionally, many Chinese people avoid doing laundry on the Sabbath day, as it is believed to be inauspicious.

Traditional Chinese belief says that doing laundry during Chinese New Year can wash away good fortune

According to traditional Chinese beliefs, avoiding laundry on Sunday and during the Chinese New Year can wash away good fortune accumulated in the previous year. This superstition stems from the notion that water symbolizes wealth and prosperity. By not doing laundry, people hope to retain their good luck and ensure a prosperous year ahead.

Symbolism associated with cleanliness during this festive period

Cleanliness holds significant symbolism during the Chinese New Year, especially on Sunday. It is customary to thoroughly clean homes before the arrival of the new year as a way to remove any lingering negative energy or bad luck from the past. However, once the festivities begin, cleaning activities are put on hold, including laundry.

The emphasis on cleanliness signifies a fresh start and an opportunity to welcome positive energies into one’s life. By refraining from washing clothes during this time, individuals believe they are preserving their good fortune and allowing positive energies to flow freely.

Customs followed by many Chinese households regarding laundry during this time

To adhere to these cultural superstitions surrounding laundry during Chinese New Year, many households adopt certain customs:

  1. Preparing Sufficient Clothing: Prior to the start of celebrations, families make sure they have enough clean clothing for everyone throughout the duration of Chinese New Year so that there is no need for last-minute laundry.

  2. Washing Clothes Before or After: Some families opt to wash their clothes either before or after the designated period of avoiding laundry during Chinese New Year. This allows them to maintain cleanliness without violating any superstitious beliefs.

  3. Reducing Laundry Load: To minimize the need for laundry during this time, individuals may wear clothes multiple times or be more cautious to prevent stains or excessive dirt.

  4. Seeking Alternative Solutions: Dry cleaning services or professional laundry facilities are sometimes utilized to handle any urgent laundry needs that may arise during Chinese New Year without violating the superstition.

Chinese traditions and customs are deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and superstitions. While some may dismiss them as mere folklore, many Chinese households continue to abide by these practices during Chinese New Year. By refraining from washing clothes, they hope to preserve their good fortune and ensure a prosperous year ahead.

Prohibition Days: Labor Day and Washing Clothes

Labor Day is not only a celebration of hard work, but it is also a day to relax and rejuvenate. As part of this tradition, many people refrain from doing household chores, including laundry, on this special day. The historical background of Labor Day and cultural norms surrounding the avoidance of certain activities contribute to the belief that washing clothes on Labor Day brings bad luck.

Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday in September, originated as a tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was established as a federal holiday in 1894 to honor their hard work and dedication. However, over time, it has evolved into more than just a commemoration; it has become an opportunity for people to take a break from their busy lives.

Throughout history, various cultures have observed certain days as holy or sacred where specific activities were prohibited. This concept is similar to Labor Day’s association with refraining from doing laundry. Just like how Sundays are considered Sabbath days in some religions where work is avoided, Labor Day has taken on similar connotations.

The idea behind avoiding laundry on Labor Day stems from the desire to have a day off from all forms of labor-intensive tasks. People can take advantage of the opportunity to rest and spend time with their loved ones without worrying about household duties. By abstaining from washing clothes on this day, people can focus on relaxation rather than engaging in mundane tasks.

Cultural norms play a significant role in shaping our behaviors and beliefs surrounding holidays like Labor Day. Many families pass down traditions through generations that involve refraining from certain activities during specific times or events. Avoiding laundry on Labor Day might be one such tradition that has been ingrained within families over time.

Imagine enjoying delicious food outdoors with loved ones while wearing comfortable clothes made of soft fabrics instead of worrying about stains or wrinkles caused by doing laundry. This simple act of avoiding laundry on Labor Day allows people to fully embrace the spirit of the holiday and appreciate life’s pleasures without unnecessary stress.

So, when Labor Day rolls around, give yourself a break from the weekly grind. Embrace the tradition of refraining from doing laundry and focus on enjoying the day with loved ones. Whether it’s spending time outdoors, indulging in delicious food, or simply relaxing at home, let this special day be a reminder that hard work deserves recognition and rest. After all, who needs to worry about washing clothes when there are grapes to be savored and memories to be made?

Superstitious Days: Tuesdays and Fridays for Laundry

Tuesday and Friday, two seemingly ordinary days of the week, hold special significance. Steeped in superstition, these days it is believed to bring bad luck if one dares to wash their clothes. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this intriguing belief.

Tuesday: The Unlucky Day

According to astrology, Tuesday is associated with Mars, the planet known for its fiery and aggressive energy. This connection has led many people to believe that washing clothes on a Tuesday can invite misfortune. It is believed that by engaging in such an activity on this particular day, individuals may inadvertently attract conflict or anger into their lives. As a result, they prefer to avoid any laundry-related tasks on Tuesdays.

Friday: A Day of Caution

Friday holds its own share of superstitions. Some people believe that embarking on activities like laundry on a Friday can lead to unfavorable outcomes. This belief stems from the idea that beginning something new on this day may disrupt the natural flow of life or hinder progress. Thus, individuals adhere to cautionary measures and abstain from doing laundry on Fridays.

Cultural influences play a significant role in shaping beliefs about certain days being auspicious or ill-fated for specific activities like household chores. In some cultures, Thursdays are considered ideal for cleaning and tidying up homes in preparation for the weekend ahead. Conversely, Fridays are seen as a time for relaxation and avoiding strenuous work.

It’s fascinating how these beliefs vary across different regions and communities worldwide. For instance, Sunday holds importance in some cultures due to religious reasons; hence, it might not be considered an appropriate day for performing mundane tasks like laundry.

The notion of associating specific days with good or bad luck extends beyond just laundry chores. People also pay attention to other aspects of their lives, such as the foods they consume. Some cultures believe that certain foods should not be consumed on particular days of the week to avoid invoking the wrath of gods or inviting misfortune.

While these superstitions may seem irrational to some, they have been passed down through generations and continue to influence people’s choices and behaviors. Whether it is based on astrological beliefs, cultural traditions, or a combination of both, individuals find comfort in adhering to these practices.

Other Unlucky Occasions for Washing Clothes

Superstitions related to eclipses discouraging people from doing laundry during these celestial events

There are certain occasions that are believed to bring bad luck. One such instance is during a celestial event like an eclipse. According to superstitions, washing clothes during an eclipse can invite misfortune or even evil spirits into one’s life.

Eclipses have long been associated with supernatural occurrences and have been regarded as inauspicious in many cultures. People believe that the alignment of the sun, moon, and earth during an eclipse disrupts the natural order of things and creates powerful energy that can affect daily activities. As a result, doing laundry during this time is considered ill-advised.

The fear of bad luck during eclipses extends to washing clothes due to the belief that the process involves cleansing away impurities. It is thought that any negative energy present during an eclipse might contaminate the clean clothes and transfer its ill effects onto those who wear them. To avoid this potential harm, many individuals choose not to wash their dirty laundry on such occasions.

Belief that washing clothes after sunset invites bad luck or evil spirits

In addition to avoiding laundry during eclipses, there are also beliefs surrounding specific times when it is deemed unlucky to wash clothes. One such time is after sunset. According to popular superstition, washing clothes after dark attracts bad luck or even evil spirits.

The reasoning behind this belief lies in the association between darkness and unseen forces. After sunset, when visibility diminishes, it becomes easier for negative energies or malevolent entities to go unnoticed. By engaging in activities like washing clothes at this time, people fear they may unknowingly invite these undesirable influences into their lives.

To counteract this supposed bad luck, some individuals prefer to complete their laundry chores before dusk sets in. This way, they can ensure their clothes are clean without risking any potential negative consequences.

Various cultural and regional beliefs associate specific days, such as anniversaries of loved ones’ deaths, with avoiding laundry

Apart from celestial events and specific times of the day, there are cultural and regional beliefs that connect certain days with bad luck. For instance, in some cultures, it is considered unlucky to do laundry on the anniversary of a loved one’s death.

This belief stems from the notion that washing clothes on such a significant day may disturb or disrespect the spirits of the departed. It is believed that by avoiding laundry during these occasions, individuals show reverence for their deceased loved ones and prevent any potential harm or misfortune from befalling them.

Similarly, different cultures have their own set of superstitious beliefs regarding certain days or events that should be avoided when doing laundry. These can range from religious holidays to specific dates associated with historical events or folklore. By adhering to these customs, people hope to ward off bad luck and maintain harmony in their lives.


In conclusion, understanding and exploring laundry superstitions can shed light on when it is considered bad luck to wash clothes. Superstitions surrounding laundry are prevalent in various cultures and traditions, often dictating specific days or occasions to avoid doing laundry.

We have discussed several key points related to these laundry superstitions. Many people hold the common belief that avoiding laundry on New Year’s Day will prevent washing away good fortune for the coming year. Similarly, Good Friday holds significance in relation to laundry, with some believing that washing clothes on this day may bring bad luck.

Cultural superstitions also play a role in determining when it is deemed unlucky to wash clothes. Chinese New Year, for example, is a time when many refrain from doing laundry as it is believed that cleaning clothes during this period may sweep away good fortune.

Certain prohibition days, such as Labor Day, are also associated with avoiding the act of washing clothes. These days are seen as an opportunity to take a break from household chores and enjoy leisure time instead.

Furthermore, specific weekdays like Tuesdays and Fridays are considered superstitious days for doing laundry. Many believe that washing clothes on these particular days may bring about negative energy or unfortunate events.

Lastly, there are various other unlucky occasions where washing clothes is discouraged according to certain beliefs and customs.

To make informed decisions regarding your own laundry practices, consider these cultural and superstitious factors that surround the act of washing clothes. While some may dismiss them as mere folklore or old wives’ tales, they hold significance for many individuals around the world.

Remember that ultimately the choice of whether or not to follow these superstitions lies with you. If you find comfort or enjoyment in adhering to them, feel free to do so. However, if you prefer not to be bound by such beliefs and wish to approach laundry without any concerns about luck or fortune, that is entirely up to you as well.

In the end, what matters most is finding a laundry routine that suits your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. So go ahead and wash your clothes when it feels right for you!


Q: Are there any specific days of the week considered unlucky for washing clothes?

A: Yes, according to superstitions, Tuesdays and Fridays are often regarded as unlucky days for doing laundry due to beliefs surrounding negative energy or potential misfortune.

Q: Why do people avoid washing clothes on New Year’s Day?

A: Washing clothes on New Year’s Day is avoided in many cultures as it is believed to wash away good luck for the year ahead.

Q: Is there any scientific evidence supporting these laundry superstitions?

A: Laundry superstitions are primarily rooted in cultural beliefs and traditions rather than scientific evidence. They hold significance for those who adhere to them based on personal or cultural reasons.

Q: Can I choose not to follow these laundry superstitions?

A: Absolutely! The decision of whether or not to follow these superstitions is entirely up to you. You have the freedom to create your own laundry routine based on what works best for you.

Q: Do all cultures have specific laundry-related superstitions?

A: While many cultures do have their own unique beliefs and customs regarding laundry, not all cultures necessarily adhere to such superstitions. It varies from culture to culture and individual belief systems.