When Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes? (According To Superstitions)

When Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes? (According To Superstitions)

Are you a superstitious person? Do you avoid black cats, walking under ladders, never spill salt, and take care not to break mirrors? If you want to ensure the odds are always in your favour, keeping luck on your side is a must.

While most people know about the common superstitions, here's one you may not have considered. It is bad luck to wash your clothes on certain days. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly!

When is it bad luck to wash clothes?

While some may cast it off as an old wives' tale, there are certain days when it's considered unlucky to wash your clothes. Before you grab your washing basket and do your laundry, you will want to know when they are. Whether you're using your machine or hand washing, when is it bad luck to wash your clothes, and why? 

There are many days it is considered bad luck to do your laundry. However, as you might imagine, no objective evidence suggests that you should not wash your clothes on certain days. This guide will cover some of the main traditions and common superstitions you need to know about. Whether you follow them is entirely up to you.

The days you should avoid doing laundry  

If you're looking for an excuse not to do housework today, you might be in luck. There are plenty of so-called "unlucky days" when you shouldn't do your laundry. Let's look at some of the key days you should avoid doing this household chore.

1. New Year's Day

Age-old wisdom suggests you shouldn't do your laundry on New Year's Day. The superstition says that if you choose this — the first day of the year — to do your washing, you will be washing away good luck or washing away a loved one. Either way, it's something that you might want to avoid. The superstition doesn't simply extend to clothing, either. Ideally, it suggests that you should avoid doing any type of washing on this day.

As if that weren't enough to worry about, you should also avoid removing things from your home on New Year's Day. The reason behind this odd superstition is that people believe you will remove any chance at prosperity. It's probably best to save the decluttering for another day! Put simply, if you want to ensure that the coming year is good and fortunate, you should avoid doing anything. 

2. Good Friday

In Christianity, Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It doesn't land on the same day each year, but — as the name suggests — it's always a Friday. You might want to give it a miss if you're thinking about doing some laundry on this holy day. That's because some Catholics believe it's bad luck to wash your clothes on Good Friday.

This isn't just a laundry tip, though. It's considered unlucky to do any housework on this particular day of the year. The underlying belief is that you will bring misfortune to your family if you choose to do housework at this time. You should also avoid doing any gardening when this day comes around. While not everyone believes this superstition, it's better to be safe than sorry.

3. Chinese New Year

According to Chinese tradition, you should not wash your clothes on the first two days of the year. That is because these days are dedicated to the Water God — a celebration of the god's birthday. If you wash your clothes on these days, it is a sign of disrespect.

Since it is believed that water is tied closely to wealth in Chinese tradition, you don't want to anger the Water God. The ancient myth goes that pouring away the water (after you have done your washing) is the same as pouring your money down the drain.

4. At night

Over in India, some people believe it is bad luck to clean clothes (or anything, for that matter!) at night. The tradition has been passed down through generations, with many people following it without knowing the reason for the superstition.

The general idea is that cleaning at night brings bad luck to the person who does it. Speaking of night time chores, check out these things that organised people do before bed

5. Easter Sunday

Much like Good Friday, some people think that it is bad luck to clean their clothes on Easter Sunday. While it's unclear where and when this tradition started, the general idea is that Easter Sunday should be a day of rest. Christians should attend mass on this day rather than doing housework or completing household chores, such as the laundry.

It's important to note that nothing in the Christian religion states that doing laundry on Easter Sunday is a sin. It is most likely that this particular tradition originated as an old wives' tale and has been passed around through word of mouth.

6. Thursdays

Washing your clothes on a Thursday may be an unlucky move. While it is difficult to find out where this tradition came from, some people believe this to be an unlucky day. According to one answer on Quora, this myth may date back to when doing the laundry was a long and painstaking task. We're talking before laundry symbols were a thing! Completing this on a Thursday may have been a bad idea as it would take a long time — seeing you through until Friday.

Since Fridays were usually set aside for cooking before the weekend, that would spell bad news. It may be that this was an old wives' tale that served a purpose at the time. However, there is no way to know where this original myth originated. If you are superstitious and worried about getting bad luck, you can also avoid this particular day.

According to one blog post, if you wash your laundry on a Thursday, you could be in for some serious problems. The writer says that in Bosnia, people believe that washing your clothes on this day will open the portal to hell. Yes, rather than this simply being an unlucky day, it is a day that could shatter the veil between reality and the afterlife.

Of course, there is no way of knowing whether this myth is believed in Bosnia or where it originated. However, if you want to avoid hell opening up below your feet, it may be wise to wait until Friday to do your washing. After all, it's not worth the risk.

7. Sundays

Traditionally seen as a day of rest in some religions (including Christianity), Sundays are generally quiet. It should come as no surprise that some people think it is bad luck to do your laundry on a Sunday. That is likely because you are supposed to be relaxing and contemplating things rather than doing these chores.

Who knew that washing your clothes could be such a risky business? In this guide, we looked at the days when you shouldn't wash your clothes. The next time you need to do your laundry, grab your diary and check that you're not hitting any of these days. While these are simply myths, there's no point in chancing it when it comes to luck. 

If you were just looking for an excuse to put off your chores, take a look at our tips on how to make cleaning fun


Want to know more about these laundry-based superstitions? Okay, we've got you covered. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about this subject:

Can you do washing on Boxing Day?

Yes! If you want to wash your clothes on Boxing Day, we don't know of any reason that you shouldn't do so. Using that quiet time between Christmas and New Year to get on top of some housework will always be a good move.

Can you wash clothes on Good Friday?

Technically, the answer is yes. If you are not Catholic or superstitious, there is no reason that you should avoid doing your laundry on this day. However, as we have mentioned, some Catholics believe that it is bad luck to wash your clothes on Good Friday.

Is it unlucky to do washing on New Year's Day?

Many people believe doing your laundry on New Year's Day is unlucky. If you want to play it safe, it may be worth waiting until 2nd January to do your next load. Equally, in Chinese tradition, washing your clothes on the first two days of the Chinese New Year is unlucky. This move could anger the Water God and bring you bad luck.

Do you know any other strange superstitions? Let us know in the comments below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author susan bowden on January 14, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    I have a black cat and I never do a wash at night or if I'm going out because I don't leave the machine unattended (same with the dishwasher). Otherwise I do washing when it needs it and I have a full load!

    1. Author Joanne A on April 15, 2024 at 11:20 am

      It sounds like you have a routine that works well for you! It's always good to be cautious with appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher.

  2. Author Margaret on January 16, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    For all people even the superstitious, if clothes or anything else needs washing on whatever day, WASH IT, is my motto, who remembers all these silly excuses for not doing anything, most people need the exercise.

    1. Author Joanne A on April 15, 2024 at 11:17 am

      That's a refreshing motto! Sometimes, we indeed get caught up in superstitions or rules about certain days for tasks, but getting things done when needed is often the most practical approach. Plus, it's an excellent way to stay active and productive!


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