At first glance, the AeroPress coffee maker tends not to seem like a premium device. And we’re here to tell you that that’s absolutely correct. It really isn’t.
It was designed to be awesome, and that’s exactly what it is. It just so happens that in addition to this awesomeness, it’s also an unbelievably durable device.
Don’t let that plastic body fool you (it’s BPA-free and FDA-approved, by the way).
The AeroPress is known almost as well for its resilience and portability as it is its versatility and delicious coffee.
How Long Does An AeroPress Last?
Realistically an AeroPress—properly cared for—can last for well over a decade.
There are things you can do (or not do) that will certainly shorten (or extend) that lifespan, but this unassuming little king of the coffee makers can hold up to just about anything.
The AeroPress plunger, chamber, and filter cap are all made from polypropylene plastic that was specifically chosen for its excellent durability.
In most cases, over many years and even through drops, slips, overly tight packing and more, the AeroPress will continue to brew a reliably delicious cup of coffee.
Does an AeroPress Wear Out?
The AeroPress coffee maker itself should not wear out over time, even with very frequent and/or rough use.
We recommend keeping the device out of direct sunlight most of the time, as UV rays can eventually cause the plastic to become somewhat more brittle, but it’s nonetheless unlikely that your AeroPress will ever shatter or crack on you.
All in all, there are many reasons why coffee lovers around the world consider the AeroPress to be one of their favorite coffee tools, and the fact that it stays strong and usable while being generally low maintenance is a big part of that.
Very few alternative coffee makers have the same level of reliability and longevity.
AeroPress filters (reusable metal filters notwithstanding) aren’t meant to last and be reused, so just factor in the cost of new filters (or a high quality reusable metal filter) with the cost of your other consumables like coffee beans or pre-ground coffee.
Replacing the AeroPress Seal
While the AeroPress coffee maker itself isn’t likely to die on you for at least a decade, the rubber seal that forms the barrier between the plunger and the AeroPress chamber does tend to wear out over time.
How Long Does the AeroPress Seal Last?
On average, the plunger seal is expected to last around a year, give or take 6 months or so.
Some people report never having to change their rubber seal even as they cross the 10-year mark with their AeroPress, while others find theirs has worn out rather quickly.
There are a few specific factors we’ve observed in particular that tend to play a significant role on the lifespan of an AeroPress seal.
Let’s break them down so you can avoid the pitfalls.
Why Does the Rubber Seal Fail Faster Than the AeroPress Itself?
As you repeatedly use the device to brew espresso, cold brew, whatever style of coffee you prefer, the rubber seal travels in and out of the AeroPress chamber, compressing and expanding slightly each time.
This is the way the AeroPress is able to capture air and use it to force the hot water through your coffee grounds and the AeroPress filter, to create that delicious coffee.
So inevitably, over time and as with pretty much anything forcibly squeezed over and over again, the plunger seal changes shape.
The finer grind of the coffee grounds recommended for use in the AeroPress exacerbates the process as well.
When that happens, it’s no longer able to create an air-tight seal for the coffee brewed inside, and the result is a noticeable change both in the quality of the final coffee and the experience of using the coffee maker.
How Can I Replace the Seal When Needed?
Fortunately, replacement parts for the AeroPress are readily available straight from the manufacturer at AeroPress.com, and a replacement rubber seal costs just $9.95 at the time of writing.
For $5 more you can get an entire new plunger, if for any reason you may have a need for one.
Replacing the Seal Step by Step
Start to pull the seal away from the plunger while simultaneously twisting it
The seal will pop off (no adhesive is used)
Line up your replacement seal with the end of the plunger
While pressing firmly, twist the seal onto the plunger until it fits snugly and makes a tight seal
What About the AeroPress Go?
We’re delighted to confirm that both the AeroPress Original and the AeroPress Go use exactly the same rubber seal part, so the single replacement item sold online can be used for either of the two coffee makers.
What Can I Do to Extend the Life of the Seal?
Fortunately, there are a handful of neat tricks you can try to keep your seal in tip-top shape, possibly extending its lifespan far beyond the manufacturer’s stated expected usefulness.
1. Store Your AeroPress Properly
A very common mistake for a coffee lover with a new AeroPress is storing the device fully assembled with the plunger pressed down into the chamber.
This is a big no-no. As the AeroPress dries after use, the seal will become naturally more rigid.
Because it’s inside the chamber, it’s constantly in a state of compression.
The combined pressure and dryness causes the rubber seal to harden and warp.
When it’s later pulled out of the chamber, the material scrapes along the tube, causing it to start to crumble and degrade.
If you want to keep your AeroPress in as compact an arrangement as possible, you can flip the plunger over so the rubber seal is facing up and stays outside of the chamber.
Take a look at our other recent article all about storing the AeroPress for travel.
2. Keep it Wet
Another important step during the actual use of the AeroPress is to keep the plunger and seal slightly wet with cool or warm water.
This lubricates the flat surface of the seal so that it doesn’t cause too much friction when forced through the chamber toward the coffee grounds and filter cap.
Reducing the friction prevents the seal from degrading as quickly and starting to crumble or warp.
3. Restore it with Mineral Oil
This is a great trick that hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.
We can’t verify the accuracy of the reasoning, but we can confirm that this little DIY hack seems to work wonders for restoring a worn-out rubber seal.
Essentially the thinking is that the material in the seal gets easily dried out, partly because of the coffee oils that separate from the coffee grounds when they’re saturated in hot water.
Those coffee oils are thought to inadvertently reduce the oils inside the seal, causing it to lose structural integrity and become more brittle over time.
By using some mineral oil, water and heat, several AeroPress users report great success getting their original plunger seal back in perfect working order.
Check out this video for a step-by-step on the process: