Guide to disposing hot tub covers – Breaking down to Reuse or Recycle

You’ve just received your brand new, beautiful hot tub cover from The Cover Guy… but what to do with the old one? The old cover is big, heavy, stinky, and full of mildew and mold. So the first thing you want to do is put on some gloves! Then you have to decide whether you are going to take a trip to the dump and just recycle, or find a place to reuse some or all of the hot tub cover materials around your home. This short guide will give you ideas for disposing hot tub covers.

waterlogged hot tub coverDisposing hot tub covers:

We don’t all have a truck at our disposal so this guide will help many to take apart the old spa cover so you can fit it in your car. By following this guide you can also split the cover into different parts to Recycle . Also, instead of disposing hot tub covers as a whole into a landfill, follow our easy step-by-step guide on how to dispose of your cover in the most environmentally-friendly way and even Reuse some of the materials:

  1.  Use a knife or box cutter to cut and split the middle seem of the cover into two halves.
  2.  Locate the zipper on each half and unzip.
  3.  Remove the hot tub cover foam inserts. Be mindful that some of the foam will be broken and it may also be very heavy from accumulated moisture.
  4. Cut the vinyl into smaller strips if necessary and throw away unless your local recycling center or landfill accepts vinyl. Alternatively, reuse the vinyl (see below for ideas).
  5. Remove the protective plastic vapor wrap, if necessary, and throw away. (This wrap may not be present).
  6. Remove the metal or aluminum channel from the foam inserts. Place these items into the metal recycling bin at your nearest landfill or recycling center so they can be broken down for another use. Alternatively, reuse the metal at home (see below for ideas).
  7. Cut the foam into more manageable pieces and take it to your nearest landfill and place it in the foam recycling.

Hot Tub Cover Material Reuse:

  • Use the metal for tomato plant stakes.
  • The foam can be used as filler under ice rinks in the winter.
  • Use the vinyl as a cover for your grill and other outdoor furnishings.
Do you have any additional ideas on how we can reuse the vinyl or metal channels?
Please leave a comment!  


  1. danwat1234 April 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

    In my case I took apart the hot tub cover and put the metal strips in the recycling bin and cleaned and bagged the styrofoam making up the insulation of the cover. It is damp and waterlogged so I will bring the bags out of the garage in the hotter days of summer to dry it out. Then I’ll take it to a recycling place that recycles styrofoam.

  2. Randy September 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

    my old hot tub cover was severely damaged from a hail storm, the hail had punched holes right thru the vinyl cover…after installing my new cover from you folks (a perfect fit by the way) I didn’t want to see the same thing happen with the new cover.
    I removed the damaged vinyl cover and the plastic vapour barrier and have the foam pieces close to the hot tub, if the shy looks threatening or if a hailstorm is forecast, I put the 2 pieces of foam from the old cover on top of the new cover…so far it has saved the new cover from 3/4 inch size hail.
    After the sorm passes I remove the old foam pieces and store
    Thank Again Keep the info and deals coming

  3. Dave Wilson August 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Great advice. Pretty much what I did when I got my new cover last year.

    My foam was very waterlogged and I wanted to see the look on the garbage man’s face when he picked it up, even though I had sawn it into several pieces. But the strappimg young lad just heaved it into the back of the garbage truck like it was, well, styrofoam…


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