The custom of spring cleaning is much older than the arrival of modern cleaning supplies; the clean routine has roots around the world in religious customs that have existed for thousands of years.
In the days leading up to Passover, the spring holiday during which leavened food, or chametz, is strictly forbidden, Jews traditionally clean their homes as a way to rid their spaces of any leftover traces of chametz from the preceding months.
Then there’s the Ancient Persian festival of Nowruz, commemorating the Persian New Year that occurs on the vernal equinox, which is widely regarded as the first day of spring (usually on or around March 20). In the days leading up to Nowruz, ritual house cleaning called kooneh tekouni, or “shaking of the house” is practiced in preparation for the coming year.
Leading up to the Chinese New Year is a holiday called Ninyabaat, which typically falls on the 28th day of the 12th month of the Lunar calendar. According to the Cantonese saying, “Wash away the dirt on ninyabaat,” this day is designated for cleaning—a symbolic way to sweep away the bad luck of the previous year and prepare the home to receive the good luck of the coming New Year.