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How to Prolong the Life of Your AeroPress Coffee Maker Plunger Seal

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I like finding easier ways of doing old things. If there is a novel way of getting something done, I'll try that too.

make-the-plunger-seal-of-your-aeropress-last-longer

Why Coffee?

Is that even a question? In my opinion, coffee may well be the best beverage ever discovered in history. For me, drinking coffee one of the best parts of my day.

Rather than the speed and convenience afforded by instant coffee, I enjoy brewing my coffee. I've used a Breville machine, French press, Moka pot (percolator) and the AeroPress.

make-the-plunger-seal-of-your-aeropress-last-longer

Why the AeroPress?

The AeroPress is a compact, easily portable coffee maker that needs no electricity. Just add coffee powder, hot water, brew and press!

The brew produced is nearly as good as those produced by espresso coffee machines (the pump machines) and the cost is significantly less. It's easy to clean and store, too.

It is also very versatile and flexible. Watch the video at the end of this article on different ways you can brew with this appliance.

Before we get distracted, let's get back to the part that this article is going to focus on: the AeroPress plunger seal.

make-the-plunger-seal-of-your-aeropress-last-longer

The Aeropress Plunger

One of the parts that will require replacement in your AeroPress is the rubber seal (also called the plunger). The newer ones are actually made of silicone. When taken care of properly, this part should last two to three years.

From the AeroPress official website:

What material do you use for the seal?

The seal is made of silicone. Silicones are rubber like materials that are primarily made of silicon and oxygen. They are frequently used in the manufacture of kitchen implements including those used for baking because of their non-toxicity and excellent durability including resistance to heat. Up until October of 2018 the AeroPress seal was made of a thermoplastic elastomer. Both the silicone and the thermoplastic elastomer are made in the USA and are FDA and EU approved for use in contact with food.

To prevent premature wear and tear of the plunger, follow these tips:

This is the AeroPress plunger seal. Take good care of this part in order to prolong its life.

This is the AeroPress plunger seal. Take good care of this part in order to prolong its life.

How to Prolong the Life of Your AeroPress Plunger Seal

  1. Expel the puck after you’re done: The puck is acidic and has coffee oils, etc. Although they don’t damage the silicone immediately, prolonged exposure can cause it to degrade faster.
  2. Disassemble the AeroPress after use and store it disassembled: When the plunger is in the AeroPress body, it is under pressure at the rims. Either push the plunger all the way it to ensure the seal is outside the cylindrical body or keep the plunger and body separate. Constant pressure slowly deforms the seal edges and can cause it to become compressed and leaky. If this happens you can try dipping the seal in hot water for a while and then pressing the seal on a flat surface steadily for a few minutes to get it back in shape.
  3. Avoid cleaning it in the dishwasher: The silicone parts tend to stiffen and crack faster if repeatedly washed in the dishwasher. These are not immediate changes and may be observed only after several months. The AeroPress FAQs mentions that you can put it in a dishwasher once in a while.
  4. Completely dry it if possible: Hard water stains on the edges can cause problems in the long run. Blot it dry rather than rubbing it dry to prevent scratching.
  5. Avoid scrubbing with anything that could be abrasive: Tiny scratches can result in a lot of problems. Use your fingers to rub it when cleaning with soap and water.
  6. Ensure the plunger is fitted well when preparing your coffee: This ensures that fine coffee grinds do not seep past the edges of the plunger which will cause scratches and may even cause distortion of the edges.
  7. Remove the plunger and clean once in a while: This ensures the plunger is completely clean and does not smell due to accumulated dirt or oils. I’m not sure if this will lengthen the life of the plunger, though.
Aeropress seal

Aeropress seal

How to Replace a Damaged AeroPress Plunger Seal

Buying a new plunger seal is easy in many countries. In the U.S. it costs $3-4 USD, and you can find it online on the official store website, Amazon or most online stores. They are also available in brick-and-mortar stores.

Replacing the plunger seal is child's play. The old plunger can be removed easily with a little twist and turn and the new plunger can be snapped into place. It's a 10-second job!

Do You Have any Tips?

If you have any tips, please share them in the comments section and I will add it to the article with due credit to you.

Share Your AeroPress Experience

Do you have an AeroPress story to share? Put it in the comments. Tell us why you love it or hate it. Let us know some tips and tricks to get a better shot of coffee. Be interactive!

AeroPress Demo

I'll wind up with a little video that shows different ways of making coffee with the AeroPress. Enjoy!