When Is It Bad Luck To Do The Laundry? (from superstitions)

If you’re superstitious you’ll probably already know about the bad luck associated with washing clothes on certain days. But for those of you who aren’t in the know, keep reading.

In this article we look at various washing related superstitions from around the world and try to explain how they originated.

When Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes?

We’re not superstitious (touch wood) but there are millions of people out there that believe that doing certain actions at certain times can influence their fortune. Having looked at customs and superstitions from all around the world, we have found many that are associated with washing clothes.

Let’s face it, we all have beliefs based on no more than someone else’s word for it, so why not use a superstition or 2 to have a day off from doing the laundry.

What Days Are Bad For Doing The Laundry?

laundry room with pile of clothes

If not doing the washing is your plan, we have some great superstitions you can use to get yourself the day off. These include;

New Year’s Eve

According to some cultures, cleaning the house including laundry on new year’s eve means that “you’re washing for the dead”. It is believed that if you do any cleaning at all on new year’s eve a loved one will die in the new year.

New Year’s Day

There’s a tradition that goes way back into the past that states that doing laundry on new year’s day means you’ll be washing your luck away. Even more chilling is the belief that doing laundry on new year’s day could mean washing a loved one away.

Whether that means they’ll die or just leave you isn’t clear, but you might not want to risk it either way.

There’s also another superstition tied in with new year’s day that says you shouldn’t remove anything from your home on this day either. It is believed that doing so would remove any chance of prosperity in the coming year.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese have a tradition that you should not wash your clothes on the first 2 days of the year. They believe that those days are dedicated to the water God as a celebration of the God’s birthday. Washing your clothes on these 2 days is a sign of disrespect.

The Chinese hold water to be closely linked to prosperity and wealth and further believe that pouring washing water away is like pouring money away.

It seems interesting that the tradition of not doing laundry on the first and second days of the Chinese new year because it’s considered unlucky is similar to the western tradition of it being unlucky to do laundry on new year’s day. 

Is this a case of cultural differences uniting to get those that do the laundry a day off?

Good Friday

In the Christian world, good Friday is the day when the crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated. Although the date of good friday is different every year, it always falls on a Friday.

Catholics believe that it’s bad luck to wash clothes on good Friday. But not only laundry, they also believe that doing any housework at all on good Friday will bring bad luck onto your household.

This also extends to the garden as well, it’s considered bad luck to do gardening on good Friday too.


If you come from Bosnia, it’s not just good Friday that’s a bad day for laundry, it’s every Friday. According to Bosnian tradition, washing clothes on a Friday opens a pathway to hell and can also bring bad luck.

Easter Sunday

In much the same way as the good Friday superstition, Easter Sunday is also considered to be a laundry no go. It is generally believed that Easter Sunday should be a day of rest and contemplation on the resurrection of the Christ and not a day for doing housework of any kind.


Two people putting clothes in a laundry basket from the washer

In many cultures, it’s not just Easter Sunday that doing laundry is considered bad luck, it’s every Sunday. In the Christian faith, Sunday is known as a day of rest and many people believe that this means no laundry.

It’s a day for reading the bible and contemplating on life and being at peace. A day when the cares of the world (including laundry) should be forgotten.


In the Hebrew tradition, the Sabbath or 7th day of the week (traditionally Saturday) is known as a day of rest. According to the bible the 7th day honours the first 7th day when God rested after creating everything.

Under Hebrew beliefs there are many things that cannot be done on the Sabbath including;

  • Wearing Leather Shoes
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Cleaning (including laundry)
  • Working
  • Washing


In Bosnia, Tuesday is just the same as Friday. Doing washing on a Tuesday in Bosnia is said to open a pathway to hell and can also bring bad luck.


According to Hindu tradition, using soap on Thursday will stop the blessings of Lord Vishnu who is believed to be the keeper and protector of the universe. This is also linked to Brihaspati Dev who is believed to be the God’s mentor as well as the master of sacred wisdom.

Hindus do not wash their clothes on Thursday because it involves using soap and is therefore considered to be unlucky.

At Night

Many people on the Indian subcontinent believe that it’s bad luck to do any cleaning including laundry at night. The tradition is that the person who is doing the cleaning is likely to become the victim of bad luck in the future. 

Hanging Clothes Out At Night

There is also a superstition that hanging washing out to dry at night could allow a wandering ghost to try them on. These ghosts could then enter your home wearing the clothes when you bring them back indoors.

So, When Can You Wash Your Clothes?

Well, if you believe in all of the superstitions above, the only days you can wash your clothes are Monday and Wednesday. That is of course as long as new year’s day doesn’t fall on one of those days.

Should we listen to superstition and tradition? Well that’s up to you. Let’s face it, pretty much everything we believe started from a story somewhere and there could well be some truth to it. 

What do you think? Will you be washing your clothes on Mondays and Wednesdays from now on? Let us know in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: How Often Should You Clean Your Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

What day is it bad luck to wash clothes?

Depending where you come from and what you believe, the only 2 days not considered unlucky to wash clothes are Monday and Wednesday (as long as neither of these happens to be new year’s eve, or new year’s day).

Why should we not wash clothes on Friday?

According to the Catholic tradition, washing clothes on Good Friday or doing any housework at all is unlucky. In Bosnia, doing washing on Friday (or Tuesday) is said to bring bad luck or open a pathway to hell.

Is it bad luck to wash clothes on the 31st?

According to some superstitions it is bad luck to wash clothes on the 31st of December, also known as new year’s eve. The tradition is that washing clothes on this day means that you’re washing for the dead. Meaning a loved one will die in the new year.

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