Woman with laundry basket crossing fingers

Is it Bad Luck to Wash Clothes on New Year’s Day?

New Year’s Day seems like as good a time as any to pop some clothes in the wash. After all, it’s a new year and you need fresh clothes for the coming week and beyond.

But legend, or maybe grandma, told you that you should never, ever do any sort of laundry on New Year’s Day! It’s said to be very bad luck to carry out such a task…

So, is it really bad luck to wash clothes on New Year’s Day?

The truth: It’s entirely up to you what you do, but here’s some food for thought…


Where Does This Tradition Come From?

It’s not entirely clear where this legend has come from, but it’s likely to have been a superstition that’s been passed down from one family member to another over many years!

This thinking also changes as you move from one country to another, with several variations of what’ll happen if you clean laundry on this day being mentioned.

So, what’ll actually happen if you do laundry on the 1st of January? Find out below…

bad luck to wash clothes on New Year’s Day


What’ll Happen if you Wash Clothes on New Year’s Day?

According to the superstition, if you wash clothes on New Year’s Day you may “wash a loved one away”. This is pretty bleak if you ask me, and it’s for this reason that many people avoid doing the laundry on this particular day.

Other people also claim that doing the washing on the first day of January means that you’ll be doing laundry for the entire year. This outcome isn’t too bad, because a lot of people wash clothes on most days of the year anyway – so this isn’t too big of a deal!

In addition to this, there are some individuals who believe that if you wash an average load of laundry on New Year’s Day, you’ll actually have larger and more frequent piles of washing to do throughout the coming year.

In another variation of this superstition, if you wash clothes on the first of January, you’ll be washing away all of your good luck for the next year! This outcome tends to hold a lot of people back from washing clothes too.

Of course, there are a number of people who believe that all of the above is completely untrue and continue to wash clothes on New Year’s Day!

Their reasons for doing this are, people believe that they wash clothes most days, so what’s one more day, some individuals just aren’t superstitious, maybe they own a launderette and others really need to wash clothes for work, for example.

That being said, if you don’t actually do any laundry or chores on New Year’s Day, you’ll have more time to do things you actually want to do, like spending time with the family, dining with friends and catching up with movies you’ve missed!

Not washing clothes on this one day isn’t really a bad thing – chill out and enjoy!


What Other Superstitions Should You Keep an Eye Out for on New Year’s Day?

In other cultures, individuals are told not to start decluttering or dusting their house because they will be getting rid of any good luck they have for the coming year.

In some countries people claim that whatever chore you decide to do on New Year’s Day will be the task you’ll do every day for the next year. 

Some individuals don’t even throw rubbish out on New Year’s Day for fear of having bad luck in the coming year! Keeping the rubbish inside the house means that all the good stays within the walls of the home.


Resolutions Instead of Superstitions

Perhaps the better way to flip this story is to look at ways of improving your laundry habits in the coming year. Here are a few new practises you can try out: