Clay Extruder - Gasket/washer Problem

Decorating By michelle574 Updated 16 Nov 2010 , 2:35pm by michelle574

michelle574 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 6:48pm
post #1 of 12

So a few weeks ago I bought a Walnut Hollow clay extruder set. I started using it to extrude strings to cover a ball shaped cake to make a ball of yarn. Not too long after I started using it I noticed some gray staining on the fondant that was coming out. I took the extruder apart and it appeared that the black gasket or washer that is on the plunger of the tool was "bleeding" onto the fondant. Needless to say it was very frustrating because I had to clean the darn thing after every refill, otherwise there were streaks of gray on my pink fondant. Even after cleaning the last bit of fondant to come out of the extruder was so stained it was completely unusable. My husband said he bets it's because the rubber started to break down. The two possibilities we came up with were reactions with the small amount of shortening I had used to coat the fondant or with something in the marshmallows used to make the fondant. I have to figure this can't be food-safe. Has anyone else had this problem? I would really like to replace the gasket with a food-safe one, but I don't even know where to start looking for a replacement.

11 replies
cakeflake80 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 7:15pm
post #2 of 12

I have this same extruder (got it at Michael's) and have the same exact problem. I hate this extruder...and for the price it should be really nice!! I take the black gasket off and have stopped using it. Mine came with a few extras, but they seem to break down pretty quickly so I don't use them at all. It makes it harder to clean afterwards, but you don't have to deal with the gray streaking.

ThePurpleButterfly Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 7:32pm
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by naultlover

I have this same extruder (got it at Michael's) and have the same exact problem. I hate this extruder...and for the price it should be really nice!! I take the black gasket off and have stopped using it. Mine came with a few extras, but they seem to break down pretty quickly so I don't use them at all. It makes it harder to clean afterwards, but you don't have to deal with the gray streaking.




I hate it too. I quit using it because of that. I was getting like grease stains on my fondant. icon_mad.gif Does it work well without the gaskets?

Loucinda Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 10:31pm
post #4 of 12

Take it to a hardware store and get a replacement gasket. I have the Merkins' extruder and don't have a problem but I have an extra gasket just in case. (clean it before using it)

michelle574 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 6:54pm
post #5 of 12

I tried using it without the gasket and it didn't work well at all. The fondant just squished past the plunger, so only about half of it came out of the extruder end.

Loucinda, I was thinking about getting a new gasket at either the hardware or an auto parts store. From what I can find from my internet research, silicon may be the better way to go instead of rubber. I just wasn't sure if there are different types of silicon and if they're all food-safe.

playingwithsugar Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:05pm
post #6 of 12

I've heard of this extruder, but have not seen it yet. Is it made of steel or aluminum? If it is made of aluminum, could there be some acid in the fondant that is causing the aluminum barrel to react?

If you're handy, get a food-safe silicone mat (they sell cheap ones at WM) and cut one, using the current gasket as a template.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:07pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Take it to a hardware store and get a replacement gasket. I have the Merkins' extruder and don't have a problem but I have an extra gasket just in case. (clean it before using it)




Loucinda, I hope you mean you have a Makins. If you're easily offended you don't want to google what merkins are. icon_surprised.gif

Loucinda Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:08pm
post #8 of 12

I was able to match the exact gasket - you could also get ahold of the company and ask if they could send you a replacement too - those are so tiny it wouldn't cost anything more than an envelope to mail it.

trishvanhoozer Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:11pm
post #9 of 12

I have the same problem, no matter if the gaskets are new or not. I am using the same extruder. Will take to Ace Hardware and see if I can find a silicone one. I think that will solve the problem. I did by the green Makins extruder too, but haven't used it yet. I really like the way the black one works, just hate the streaking.

mom2twogrlz Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:25pm
post #10 of 12

I have a problem with my gaskets getting stretched out really quick, like after one or two uses. Then it folds back over the shaft and the fondant goes up the tube. UUGGGG!!!! Now I only use it when I need super small strings, other than that I hand roll.

michelle574 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:28pm
post #11 of 12

playingwithsugar - I don't think it's the metal portion of the extruder that is the problem, although I could be wrong. I think the gasket is probably made out of rubber and either the marshmallows or shortening are reacting with it and causing it to break down. The extruder is meant to be used with regualr modeling clay, so they probably use the cheapest gasket available. Unfortunately for those of us that bought it to use with fondant, the gasket doesn't appear to be food-safe.

Loucinda - Getting replacement gaskets from the manufacturer isn't going to solve the streaking problem. The extruder actually came with 3 gaskets, so I do have replacements. I tried two different ones just in case there was some type of issue with the first one and they both had the same problem.

I think I'm going to bring the extruder to work with me tomorrow and stop at a hardware or auto parts store to see if I can find a replacement gasket in silicon. I'll let you all know if I have any luck. It may take a while before I can test it out though - I'm a hobby baker and I don't have a batch of fondant made up. I could probably whip up a mini-batch in the name of science though. icon_smile.gif

michelle574 Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 2:35pm
post #12 of 12

I stopped by Home Depot and an auto parts store yesterday, and neither one had silicone o-rings. However, I did a little web searching when I got home and found a seller on E-Bay that had what they called "FDA Silicone O-rings." I ordered some, so hopefully they'll get here by the weekend and I'll be able to try them out. There were 75 in the package, so if they do work I could probably share a few with my fellow cakers. icon_smile.gif

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