New Year's Cleaning Superstitions

The coming of the New Year is a time of reflection. It’s a time when we can wipe the slate clean and start over. Yet it’s also a time of tradition and celebration.

Many cultures from around the world have a different spin on New Year’s Day and sometimes this means cleaning superstitions get thrown into the mix. That’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Wash your clothes before New Year’s Day

A few of the cleaning superstitions we’ll talk about today have to do with laundry. For example, in Portugal, people make sure all laundry baskets are empty before the year ends.

Dirty clothes, the belief goes, bring bad luck, whereas starting the New Year with a clean, fresh set of sheets brings good fortune. But what happens if you do your laundry on New Year’s Day?

Doing laundry on New Year’s Day

Many cultures believe doing laundry on New Year’s day brings bad luck. This is a common enough cleaning superstition that most of us have heard, although there are variations.

Some believe doing laundry on the first day of the New Year means you will have more than usual for the whole year. While this doesn’t sound pleasant, it’s certainly benign compared to the belief that you might wash away your good luck (or even a loved one) in the process. Yikes!

However, in some countries like Brazil, people wash their clothes on New Year’s Day to keep evil spirits away. This must be tough after an all-night’s celebration.

Don’t sweep away your good luck

Sweeping on the first day of the New Year is a big “no-no” in many countries, especially China. The idea is that by doing so, you will sweep away all your good luck.

Since this is one of the oldest cleaning superstitions we know of, vacuuming hasn’t been mentioned but I’m pretty sure it’s disallowed on principle.

This doesn’t give you a free pass from cleaning, though. Your house needs to be clean before the coming of the New Year according to Chinese culture. However, no one has mentioned you have to do the cleaning yourself.

Wearing white for peace and prosperity

Going back to Brazil, wearing white on New Year’s day is considered to bring peace and prosperity. The white clothes are combined with colourful underwear for good luck. Everyone wearing white for a whole day? What could possibly go wrong?

Throw away the clutter

Throwing away the clutter from your home is an excellent way to start the New Year with a clean slate. “Out with the old, in with the new,” as it were.

People have a unique approach to this practice in South Africa, though. They throw away the clutter through their windows. And while we do not recommend this practice in London, we do have a few tips about decluttering.


Different cultures have different cleaning superstitions about the first day of the New Year. Some would rather do it, while others prefer to stay away from it. However you decide to spend New Year’s Day, we wish you a fortunate, plentiful, and happy New Year!

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.