9 Ways to Get Sand Out of a Hot Tub




When you have a hot tub, particularly if it is outdoors in your yard, inevitably sand, sediment and other debris will be carried into the water either on people’s feet or blown in by the wind. It will then end up on the bottom and collect on the seats where it will settle.

So, how do you remove sand from a hot tub?

There are a number of ways hot tub owners can remove sand and dirt from the bottom of a hot tub or spa, ranging from quick to labor intensive, high tech to low tech and from the obvious to the surprising.

How to Get Sand Out of Hot Tub

How to get sand out of a hot tub

Sand is relatively dense, so even when the hot tub jets are running at full power, the sand does not normally move around in the water. Therefore, it doesn’t get trapped in the pool filter as smaller, lighter particles of dirt would. Instead, all the sand congregates on the bottom of the hot tub and in the low points of the seats and loungers.

These are my suggestions for the best ways to get sand out of hot tub water.

1. Drain and clean

Since you will need to drain, clean and refill your hot tub every now and again, if it has been a while since you have done a water change, then it may be an ideal time for draining it to remove sand from hot tub bottom once it is empty.

There are a number of methods to empty a hot tub, which are covered in my post – How to Drain a Hot Tub

2. Specialist hot tub vacuum/spa vacuum

There are a number of good and easy-to-use hand-held vacuums on the market that have been developed for the spa industry for use in hot tubs to remove debris using suction. These are my top picks of hot tub bottom cleaners available quite cheaply on Amazon:

Intex Rechargeable Spa Vacuum

The Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum is a highly-rated device for spa cleaning and comes with extension poles so you can easily reach the bottom of the hot tub to remove debris.

Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum, Grey


The Grit-Gitter Hot Tub and Spa Vacuum Cleaner for Spot Cleaning Sand and Dirt from Pool Blaster is purpose-built to remove sand and grit from a hot tub or spa.

POOL BLASTER Water Tech Grit-Gitter Hot Tub and Spa Vacuum Cleaner for Spot Cleaning Sand and Dirt

3. Siphon using a hose

Using a garden hose was the method I used most of the time with my first hot tub. It was also the way I drained it too.

How to siphon the sand out:

  • Put one end of the hose (or some other tube) into the hot tub water
  • The bottom of the hose may start to float, so I had a small metal weight I used to tie to that end to keep it down at the bottom of the footwell. You could also get someone to hold it at the bottom.
  • Run out the hose to a convenient area of the garden where the water can drain out or into a sewage input/drain. As you will not remove too much water, you can also use a bucket to catch the water. (Make sure the end of the hose is below the level of the other end in the tub; otherwise, the siphoning effect will not begin).
  • Suck on the hose to get the water flowing but make sure you do not raise it above the other end.
  • Move the end of the hose gently around where the debris has settled and it will be sucked up.
  • When you have removed it all, lift the hose out.

4. Spa wand

If you don’t feel like sucking on a hose to start the siphon (so you won’t get a mouthful of dirty water) then you can buy a self-starting siphon hose (spa wand) which, as well as being used to empty a hot tub, can also be used as a hot tub vacuum to remove dirt and other heavy debris.

The Shake-a-Vac Spa & Pool Water Vacuum & Self-Starting Siphon Drain for Hot Tubs shown below is available on Amazon.

Shake-a-Vac Spa & Pool Water Vacuum & Self-Starting Siphon Drain for Hot Tubs

5. Pool vacuum

If you have a swimming pool close to the hot tub, you may be able to use this method.

Fortunately, my hot tub is right next to my pool, so a few times, I have used the pool’s pump system to remove sand and also drain the hot tub (very quickly).

To do this:

  • connect your pool hose to the skimmer port (or dedicated vacuum port)
  • turn the multiport valve to waste (as you do not want the sand ending up in your pool)
  • switch on the pump with the other end of the hose in the hot tub
  • quickly move the hose around the bottom and the seats if there is sand on them too

Water will be removed very quickly so you will need to work fast. You will have to top up the water level, which will then need to heat up.

6. Shop vac

Some types of vacuum cleaners can be used to pump water. These are normally known as either a shop vac or a wet/dry vacuum.

You can use one of these to suck up the sand from the bottom. Just push the hose down into the hot tub and suck up the sediment as you would when vacuuming your home. Pump the water into a convenient drain if there is one nearby.

Tip: You should work quite quickly as the water level will drop quickly when cleaning this way.

7. Water blaster for kids

Many children will already own a pool toy like these, particularly if you own a swimming pool, as they provide kids with lots of fun. They can also be used to suck up sand and grit from a hot tub.

You immediately put the bottom of the water blaster over the sand and then quickly pull the handle up to draw in the water. The sand will get sucked up, too, so it can then be squirted out with the water outside the hot tub.

If your hot tub is indoors, you had better keep these away from your children, though, as the floor is likely to get soaked.

You can buy a 6-pack of these Max Liquidator Water Blaster from Amazon.

Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

8. Turkey baster

how to get sand out of a hot tub

Many people have a turkey baster in their kitchen, which they use at Thanksgiving to baste the turkey while it is cooking.

Since they can suck up oil and fat, they can also be used to do the same with water from a hot tub and any sand there may be with it.

9. Silly putty

This is probably the strangest method to remove sand, but it is low-cost and works.

Silly putty will work underwater, so borrow some from your children, push it onto the sand and then it will stick to the putty. Just rub the sand off and repeat until all of the sand and small pieces of dirt have gone. Easy!

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9 Ways to Get Sand Out of a Hot Tub 1

How to stop getting sand in hot tub

If you live in a windy, sandy area, then there is little you can do to prevent sand in hot tub except to keep the hot tub cover on as much as possible.

Probably the easiest way to prevent it from getting in on bathers’ feet is to have a bowl of water next to your hot tub and get bathers to stand in it before getting into the spa. This will get rid of any debris on their feet that will remain in the bowl.

How to get dirt out of hot tub

Getting dirt out of a hot tub can also be done through the various methods detailed above.

But if it is particularly fine dirt, I would suggest you do the following:

  1. Drain the tub completely.
  2. Use a soft brush or vacuum to remove loose dirt.
  3. Scrub the surface with a mild cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Clean the filter and sanitize the tub.
  5. Refill the hot tub and balance the chemicals.

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Have you ever wondered what the best way to move a hot tub is?

You may want to know how long hot tub covers last

Need to know how do you shock a hot tub? This is a full guide.

Have you ever asked why am I so itchy after hot tub? This is why.

Ever wondered do you leave hot tubs on all the time?

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