How to Get Rid of a Hot Tub

Whether you’re purchasing a new hot tub or just need to dispose of an old model that’s seen better days, here are your options.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Published Jan 31, 2024 8:11 AM

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An aging hot tub sitting on the stone patio in a sunny backyard.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Q: I finally bit the bullet and bought a new hot tub to replace the one I’ve had for nearly 20 years. It’s being delivered next week, but I don’t know how to get the old hot tub out of here before the new one arrives. How do you get rid of a hot tub?

A: Hot tubs offer a warm and tranquil oasis, allowing you to escape from the daily grind. However, they don’t last forever. And as big and bulky as they are, moving a hot tub is certainly not as simple as picking it up and carrying it away. Fortunately, there are several removal options available to you, at least one of which is sure to fit your timeline, budget, and ability. Here’s how to get rid of a hot tub you no longer need.

RELATED: The Best Inflatable Hot Tubs for Your Backyard Oasis

Donate a gently used hot tub.

Hot tub demolition doesn’t have to be the first plan of attack when getting rid of an old model. Instead, consider donating a lightly used hot tub that still functions to keep it out of a landfill.

One possibility includes reaching out to local charitable organizations to see if they have a need for a hot tub. Some may be able to pick it up from your home, while others may require you to organize transportation. It’s just as likely that a friend, family member, or neighbor may be interested in taking a working hot tub off your hands. Just be sure to ask if they have a spot on their property for the tub and whether or not they’ll help you move it or are willing to handle pickup themselves.

Regardless of who takes your old tub, remember to drain the hot tub a few days before removal. This will give it time to fully dry and make transport easier.

A woman holding the shower nozzle of an empty indoor hot tub.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Sell an old hot tub that still works.

Before looking into hot tub disposal options, you could also try to sell a working hot tub. As Nick Valentino, Vice President of Market Operations of moving company Bellhop, explains, “You can usually get someone to give you some money for a hot tub that’s in fair condition or has a single known, repairable issue.”

There are several websites and apps that don’t charge any fees for listing an item for sale. Some that you can look into include Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, OfferUp, and Craigslist. Before listing a hot tub for sale, do some research to see what similar models are going for in your area. Also consider whether you will be moving the tub, if you expect the buyer to move it, or whether you will include removal by a professional company in the price you charge.

RELATED: How Much Does an Inground Hot Tub Cost?

Trade it in when buying a new hot tub.

Everyone knows that they can trade in their current vehicle when they buy a new car, but did you know that you can also trade in an old hot tub when purchasing a new one? While exploring hot tub brands and dealers for a replacement, ask salespeople if they have a trade-in program. If you find a dealer that does, you can let them worry about how to remove the hot tub from your property.

The trade-in value will vary depending on the condition of the tub. Dealers can sometimes make money by taking old hot tubs apart and selling or repurposing the parts. If not, they will take care of dismantling and recycling them.

A bubbling hot tub on a home deck with a scenic landscape view in the background.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Get creative and repurpose it.

You don’t have to dispose of a hot tub at all. Instead, you could clean the hot tub and find a way to repurpose it, saving yourself the hassle of trying to get rid of it and the potential need to pay a professional. You’re really only limited by your creativity, so think outside of the box (or the tub, as it were) to come up with an exciting new use.

A few ideas to consider include:

  • Converting it into a gardening bed
  • Creating a water feature for the backyard
  • Making a ball pit for your kids
  • Adding some cushions for lounging and relaxing
  • Flipping it upside down and cutting out a door to transform it into a dog house

Call a junk removal service to get rid of a hot tub.

You can also consider hiring a professional to assist with removing a hot tub. Junk removal companies make it easy to get rid of large and bulky items, such as hot tubs, without requiring you to do more than lift a finger to make a phone call or send an email. Hot tub removal costs vary, but you’ll likely pay a few hundred dollars. Depending on your skill level and the amount of time you’d have available to dedicate to dismantling and disposing of the hot tub yourself, you may decide that it is well worth the cost.

As you’re deciding which company to hire, prioritize choosing one that will dismantle the hot tub to recycle as many components as possible. The city of Burbank, California, notes that hot tubs contain several recyclable components, as well electrical panels that are considered e-waste. A responsible junk removal company should take care of separating these materials and treating the electronic components according to EPA guidelines.

Dismantle it yourself and recycle the parts.

If you don’t want to pay for hot tub removal, and have the time and effort to dedicate to the project, you can consider taking the hot tub apart yourself. Valentino says, “If you’re going to dismantle and recycle your hot tub, one of the most important parts is extracting any metal or electronic parts. These will be more valuable for recyclers, and may require special disposal.” Don’t forget that certain electronic components are considered e-waste, so be sure to take them to an approved collection facility in your area.

Underwater hot tub jets shooting out water and bubbles.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Final Thoughts

Hot tub recycling and removal doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. There are several different options available to accommodate each individual’s budget, available time and effort, and skill set. While you can always dismantle the hot tub yourself, you could also opt to hire a hot tub removal service to simplify the task for you. A functional hot tub could even be sold or donated to someone else.

Just remember: If the hot tub is going to be trashed, make sure you or the junk collection company dismantle it and recycle the components to avoid contributing more waste to our already strained landfills.