Care and Cleaning of Your Tungsten Carbide Jewelry
Why Carbide Is A Popular Choice
Tungsten Carbide recyclers are seeing more demand for tungsten carbide scrap as tungsten carbide becomes increasingly more popular to be worn as jewelry in recent years. Itsproperties include incredible scratch resistance, a hardness second only to diamonds, and natural beauty that never dulls when polished correctly. It is impossible to bend carbide jewelry and to break it, you would have to almost intentionally throw your jewelry at a hard surface or crush it in a pressurized environment to make it no longer wearable. Carbide recyclers like Carbide USA are seeing more demand for tungsten scrap that can be used to create intricate pieces of high end jewelry.
Knowing Carbide’s Limitations
While tungsten carbide makes for a great choice for incredibly strong yet beautiful jewelry, the material is not completely invincible. Remember that carbide is an alloy created from bonding tungsten and carbon together, but because it is forged, the material can be chemically damaged in ways that will not affect other metals; even from common chemicals typically used in the jewelry cleaning process.
Not only will conventional jewelry cleaners fail to remove both dirt and tarnish from carbide jewelry where they would make gold or silver sparkle like new, but they can actually disrupt the molecular structure of the alloy itself and make your jewelry brittle and weak. Because of its chemical sensitivity, you must take great care in the methodology that you use in cleaning carbide jewelry when it gets dirty and tarnished.
Cleaning Dirty Jewelry
If your tungsten carbide jewelry is just dirty, then the best way to clean it is with good old fashioned soap and water. However, you must be careful even here because many stronger soaps and detergents have chemical enhancers that will react unfavorably with your jewelry. To get around this, create a solution using a few drops of mild hand soap or dish liquid (preferably unscented) in a bowl of warm water and soak your dirty jewelry in it for several minutes. In most cases, all the dirt will be lifted off while the jewelry is immersed. If any dirt persists, use a buffing cloth to gently rub it out and then, dry your jewelry off.
Cleaning Tarnished Jewelry
In cases where your carbide jewelry is actually tarnished, soap and water will not be enough to clean things up. Instead, you will need to purchase a specialty tarnish remover formulated specifically for tungsten carbide. Use the applicator that comes with your tarnish remover to saturate your jewelry. Once this is done, take a buffing cloth and gently buff the entire surface of the jewelry until the tarnish has disappeared. Then, dip it in mild soapy water and rinse it one final time under a stream of warm water. After you are certain that the tarnish has been completely removed, take a clean buffing cloth and dry it off.
Removing False Scratches
Diamond is the only material your carbide jewelry is likely to come in contact with that can actually scratch it. This means when you have what looks like scratches on your tungsten carbide jewelry, you should not be concerned about permanent damage because these “scratches” are more than likely just material residue from something that has come in contact with it. Moreover, this material residue is actually just sitting on top of the surface which makes it easily removable. If your carbide jewelry has only a mild abrasion on it, try rubbing it out with a dry buffing cloth. If this does not work, apply some mild hand soap or dish liquid to the problem area and scrub it gently with a soft toothbrush until the foreign material has been completely removed. Once the jewelry is clean, rinse it under flowing warm water and dry it with a buffing cloth.
Recycling Unwanted Jewelry
As long as you clean your tungsten carbide jewelry regularly and are careful about the chemicals that it comes in contact with, your pieces will last you forever and look as new as the day you bought them. However, if you decide that you do not want any of your jewelry anymore, you should send it to a tungsten carbide recycler rather than throw it away. The tungsten carbide recycling industry is integral because the United States has almost no natural stores of Tungsten within its borders. This means that the more tungsten carbide scrap that is recycled domestically, the less Americans have to rely on foreign supplies of the material. The customer service department at Carbide USA is available to answer all your tungsten carbide recycling questions.