From Diablo Wiki
Salvaging is breaking down equipment into materials via the Blacksmith or Mystic. All magic, rare, set, and legendary items can be salvaged, but not superior, normal, or inferior items. Every item is associated with one of the four difficulty levels, based on its item level, and yields materials based on that and its rarity.
There are nine materials in total. Each difficulty level has its own magic material and its own rare material. Inferno alone has a legendary material. An item always yields materials of the difficulty level its item level corresponds to: item levels 1–30 are Normal, 31–50 are Nightmare, 51–59 are Hell, and 60–63 are Inferno.
- Magic items have a 100% chance to yield a magic material and a 15% chance to also yield a rare material.
- Rare items have a 100% chance to yield both a magic material and a rare material.
- Legendary and set items have a 100% chance to yield three rare materials. On Inferno, one of these Iridescent Tears is swapped for a Fiery Brimstone.
Materials cannot be converted or upgraded.
- A list of all materials can be seen on the Materials article.
The salvaging interface is very easy to use. Characters need merely speak with the Blacksmith, select the Salvaging tab, then click the salvage icon. This transforms the cursor into a special salvaging pointer, with which any eligible item clicked is instantly salvaged (rare, set, and legendary items ask for confirmation before salvaging).
Players can salvage multiple items in rapid succession by clicking quickly, and this system is identical to the item sale mechanism in the game.
Salvaged items cannot be recovered; unlike the buyback option for sold items, once an item is salvaged, it is gone forever.
If a socketed item with a gem is salvaged, the gem will be returned to the inventory once the item is destroyed. This is often much cheaper than unsocketing a gem from an item, and the player also gets a small material return for crafting.
Salvaging is free.