The AeroPress is a simple contraption that makes brewing a delicious cup of coffee easy.
But it won’t last forever.
If you are noticing leakage, here is what you need to know.
Signs the AeroPress Rubber Seal Needs to Be Replaced
The AeroPress is a sturdy coffee maker, but it does not last forever. The first to go is usually the rubber/silicone seal on the plunger. How do you know it needs to be replaced?
- It starts feeling wobbly and loose when you press down on it.
- If you notice that the plunger does not seal properly.
- The plastic plunger deformed over time, which makes a tight seal impossible.
- The shape of the rubber seal is different, compressed, or lopsided.
- Unremovable coffee oil has accumulated on the seal.
Out of all of these, the most likely reason you have trouble sealing is the rubber seal is becoming compressed.
How Long Does AeroPress Plunger Seal Last?
The new versions of the AeroPress seals are silicone, ensuring they last approximately 2-3 years.
Silicone is non-toxic and it can withstand the hot water that brewing coffee requires without breaking down.
Prior to 2018, the seal was made from a thermoplastic elastomer.
Leaking AeroPress? The Reason Might NOT Be the Seal
A faulty seal might not be why your AeroPress is dripping using the standard brewing method, with the plunger already inserted.
- You should check the filter basket and ensure it sits well, and the screw-on thread is intact.
- Consider the size of the beans you are using, especially if you changed the preferred size recently. Finer coffee grounds might cause leakages, especially if you are plunging the AeroPress down too quickly. It can cause ground coffee to slip past the rubber seal and look like a leak.
Pushing the plunger down slowly and evenly is advisable to prevent any leakages.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Seal
Here are some tips that will help keep your Aeropress performing like new for years.
- Avoid cleaning the seal in a dishwasher after each use. A dishwasher tends to cause the silicone to stiffen and crack. It does not cause immediate damage; however, after several months, you will notice the damage.
With that said, cleaning the Aeropress in the dishwasher is not completely out of bounds. You can use it once in a while.
- After cleaning the seal, you should dry it completely. Not drying can cause hard water stains, which cause corrosion in the long term.
- It is best to blot the seal dry with a paper towel rather than wipe it to prevent scratches.
- Don’t use abrasive materials to clean the seal. Using fingers, dish soap, and warm water to clean it right after use is perfect.
- Removing the puck after you complete brewing is advisable. The puck contains acids and oils, slowly damaging your coffee maker.
- It is good to disassemble the AeroPress after use. If you don’t, the chamber exerts pressure on the seal, which can damage and deform it.
- Store it on a flat surface with the plunger seal upward.
- Taking care of the plunger is also part of taking care of the seal. When brewing your coffee, ensure that the plunger fits tightly to ensure that the coffee does not pass through its edges, causing scratches and distortion.
- Furthermore, remove the plunger and clean it regularly. It ensures the plunger is not smelly due to accumulated oils and dirt.
How to Replace the AeroPress Seal
If you encounter a damaged rubber seal, the most logical option is to buy another one. You can get it on amazon or even in brick-and-mortar stores.
Replacing the rubber seal is straightforward; you need to remove the faulty one with a twist and pop, then replace the new one by snapping it in place.
It will take approximately 10 seconds to replace a broken AeroPress rubber seal.
When to Replace the Entire AeroPress vs. the Seal
An AeroPress can last up to 5 years because the designers ensure the coffee brewing process is not heavy on the machine itself. If you use cold water to brew coffee, your AeroPress can last even longer.
Some parts of the AeroPress will fail occasionally; however, these are easily replaceable.
However, it is time to replace the entire Aeropress when:
- It’s served you for more than 5 years (unless you have the 1st edition because that will be a collector’s item someday)
- If the chamber or plunger is damaged, has a crack, gets scratched up on the inside from abrasive cleaning, etc.
The AeroPress is a relatively durable kitchen apparatus; however, when it isn’t working correctly, it might cause major frustrations.
The seal is the part that is most likely to fail; therefore, when you notice it is leaking, it might be time to replace it.