Can You Use a Shop Vac To Clean Your Hot Tub?

By Calvin | Last Updated: July 10, 2021 | Maintenance / Cleaning

The problem with most hot tub cleaning methods is they don’t get all the dirt or water out of the hot tub. So you might ask yourself, can I use a shop vac to clean my hot tub? Here is the answer to that.

You can use a shop vac to clean a hot tub as long as the shop vac can hold water. Using a shop vac in a hot tub is an effective way of getting all the water out of the hot tub. The shop vac can also help to suck out the dirt that is stuck in tight places in the hot tub.

But there is more to know about using a shop vac to clean your hot tub and this post digs right into the topic. So let’s dive in.

You can use the shop vac to clean a lot of things. But, can you use the shop vac to clean the hot tub? Yes, you can use a shop vac to clean the hot tub. You can also use the shop vac to drain the hot tub.

Can I Clean The Bottom Of My Hot Tub With A Shop Vac?

You can use a shop vac to clean the bottom of your hot tub if the shop vac can hold water. To clean the bottom of your hot tub, you need a wet/dry shop vac. These shop vacs are great for cleaning dry and wet surfaces.

The dust container of the shop vac is also waterproof meaning it can hold water from the hot tub while cleaning.  The bottom of your hot tub is one of the hardest parts of your hot tub to clean.

Regardless of the way you drain the water from your hot tub, you will still have a small body of water left at the bottom of the hot tub. This is because draining a hot tub never gets rid of all the water and this can make the bottom part of the hot tub a bit harder to clean. But not with a dry/wet shop vac.

A dry/wet shop vac can be used in dry and wet areas because the dust container can hold water. Shop vacs are very powerful vacuum cleaners that are used on construction sites. The shop vac has a very powerful suction unit that is powered by a high-capacity motor. It can suck in screws, bolts, sawdust, sticks, and other materials used in construction.

The shop vac can also suck the remaining water from the bottom of your hot tub. Not only that, but it can also help to get rid of dust and debris that are stuck in tight corners of your hot tub like the jets and filter unit. But you need to ensure you use a standard dry/wet shop vac in the hot tub if not you risk damaging the shop vac.

That being said, let’s check out how to clean a hot tub with a dry/clean shop vac.

Related Read: 6 Things You Can Use To Clean a Hot Tub?

How To Clean A Hot Tub With A Shop Vac

Cleaning a hot tub with a shop vac is done as follows:

  1. Turn off and unplug the hot tub to prevent accidents.
  2. Drain the hot tub
  3. Plug-in the shop vac and ensure the dust container is tightened
  4. Suck the water out of the hot tub
  5. Wash and rinse the hot tub
  6. Suck the water out again and let the hot tub dry.

Cleaning your hot tub with a shop vac is an effective way to get the hot tub clean but it’s also a method that involves different equipment, water, and electricity. So be careful. Now let’s get to work.

1. Turn Off And Unplug The Hot Tub

1. Turn Off And Unplug The Hot Tub

You should never try to clean the hot tub while it is still running because water and electricity don’t go together. You should turn off the hot tub using the control panel. You can also turn off the GFCI breaker to cut off all electricity to the hot tub temporarily.

2. Drain The Hot Tub

2. Drain The Hot Tub

The next thing to do is to empty the hot tub. Most hot tubs have a drain valve located at the base of the hot tub. You should connect a garden hose to the drain valve so you can drain the water away from the hot tub. The drain valve can be turned or opened to allow the water to escape. Ensure to drain all the water you can.

3. Plug-In The Shop-Vac

3. Plug-In The Shop-Vac

Like your hot tub, the shop vac also needs electricity to work. You should first attach the wet dust bag to the shop vac. Most wet/dry shop vacs have separate dust bags.

One for dry vacuuming and one for wet vacuuming. Some other wet/dry shop vacs have a bag that works for both wet and dry vacuuming. Ensure the wet dust bag is attached to the shop vac.

Then plug in the shop vac and turn it on. Once the shop vac is on and working fine, you are ready to use it in your hot tub.

4. Drain The Remaining Water Out Of The Hot Tub

4. Drain The Remaining Water Out Of The Hot Tub

After draining the water in the tub initially, you will still notice that there is water on the floor of the hot tub. You need to suck out the water using the shop vac.

Shop vacs have a long suction hose that is connected to the dust container. The hose should be long enough to reach the floor of the hot tub while the shop vac is outside the hot tub. If the hose isn’t long enough, you can place the shop vac inside the hot tub.

With everything in place, press the vacuum button and let the shop vac work its magic. The shop vac hose would vibrate while being used to hold it firmly. You should also move the hose around the jets and filter areas of the hot tub so it can suck out the water and any dirt inside the filters and jets.

As an expert tip, ensure the shop vac you are using can be used with water to prevent damages to the shop vac. Not all shop vacs have a wet/dry function.

Related Read: Can You Pressure Wash a Hot Tub?

5. Wash And Rinse The Hot Tub

5. Wash And Rinse The Hot Tub

After sucking all the water out, you need to wash the hot tub. You shouldn’t use dish soap or detergent in your hot tub because they can cause foaming in the water.

You should use a hot tub cleaner to wash the hot tub. After washing the hot tub, you should rinse it thoroughly with clean water to get rid of the hot tub cleaner.

6. Drain The Water out Again

6. Drain The Water out Again

After washing and rinsing the hot tub, use the shop vac to suck out the water in the hot tub. Washing and rinsing a hot tub will use a lot of water. So you need to suck out the water again after cleaning so the hot tub can be dry.

When the water is out of the hot tub, leave the hot tub so it can get dry. You can also use this opportunity to add a line flush to the plumbing lines of your hot tub. The line flush will clear out the debris and biofilm in the plumbing lines of the hot tub. You should also clean the filters and the headrests so the hot tub is entirely clean.

When you are done, you should empty the dust container of the shop vac and clean it too. That’s how you clean your hot tub with a shop vac.

Since shop vacs are powerful vacuums, can you drain the hot tub with a shop vac? Let’s take a closer look.

Can You Drain A Hot Tub With A Shop Vac?

You can drain an average-sized hot tub with a shop vac but it wouldn’t be a quick procedure. Shop vacs are more suited to sucking out the remaining water out of your hot tub after draining.

Shop vacs are powerful enough to drain an average size hot tub. To do this, you will need a large diameter shop vac hose. A larger hose means the shop vac can suck more water and get the hot tub drained quicker. You will need to drop one end of the large hose in the bottom of the hot tub and then turn on the shop vac to drain the hot tub.

For this procedure, you wouldn’t need a shop vac dustbag because it will get filled pretty quickly since hot tubs contain many gallons of water. Though shop vacs can drain a hot tub, it’s not a method I would advise you to try out for many reasons.

For starters, it would take some time to empty the hot tub especially if you are draining a large 6-8 person hot tub. Larger hot tubs contain over 600 gallons of water. It would take your shop vac a while to drain this large amount of water from a hot tub. More time equals more electricity used. Draining your hot tub with a shop vac will spike up your electricity bill.

It’s also not safe for the shop vac. As powerful as shop vacs are, they weren’t designed to suck over 600 gallons of water from a hot tub. The amount of pressure that draining a hot tub will put on the shop vac can damage the shop vac’s motor. Since using a shop vac to drain your hot tub isn’t the best idea, what can you use to drain the hot tub?

Related Read: How To Clean a Hot Tub With Vinegar?

What Can I Use To Drain My Hot Tub?

You can use a submersible pump to drain a hot tub. A portable submersible water pump unlike a shop vac is designed to suck large amounts of water from a hot tub, pond, and swimming pool. A good submersible pump is powerful enough to suck out 2000 gallons of water an hour.

This is more than enough to drain even the largest hot tub in a few minutes. But submersible pumps don’t get all the water out of your hot tub.

There will still be some water left at the bottom of the hot tub after draining with a submersible pump. This is where your shop vac vacuum can come in handy. The shop vac can be used to suck the remaining water out of the hot tub after using a submersible pump.

Final Words

Overall, a shop vac is a great device to have. Asides from sucking the remaining water out of your hot tub after draining, the shop can also get rid of dust and debris that are stuck inside the hot tub. So give it a go and you’ll be surprised to see how well it works.

So there you have it. If you liked this post, ensure to check out others like it on this website. Have a nice day.

Hi, I'm Calvin Hall, the owner of Hot Tub Wiki. I worked at a local Spa Service for a few years before creating this website. I have owned several hot tubs and fixed a thousand of them. So, I know a thing or two about hot tubs.