There has been considerable discussion on this topic, and I've tried a
number of different approaches. Most were mediocre at best.
Butyrate dope thinner works remarkably well. After scraping the labels
off (I use a dull hunting knife after soaking), a bit of the thinner on
a paper towel removes most of the remaining stuff in one pass!
A quart would do dozens if not hundreds of bottles. Available at
aviation maintenance shops that work on fabric covered aircraft.
I think my meathod works best. I now have hundreds of bottles so I just
toss the ones with bad glue. After you have washed hundreds of bottles you
learn which are worth salvaging. Just look down the road to when you have a
nice inventory of both full and empties and life is so much better!
I'm fairly new to this, but a friend who works at an upscale
restaurant has been bringing me about a dozen bottles every week or
two for the past few months. I start by rinsing and filling the
bottles with hot water. I stand them in the laundry sink, and then
fill it with hot water and let them soak. Some of the labels fall off
by themselves. Most, I can scrape off with my thumb nail, after
soaking for an hour or so, and some won't come off at all. For the
really stubborn labels, I use a razor scraper and peel it off in
strips. To remove the remaining glue, I lightly scrub the outside of
the bottle with an S.O.S. pad. This removes 99% of the glues used on
most bottles. For those that are really stubborn, I spray it with
citrus based Goo Gone. That stuff is awesome. I then scrub as before
using the steel wool S.O.S. pad, and the Goo Gone quickly disolves the
glue and it simply rinses away. This has been working very well for
me, and I now have about 125 empty bottles in the basement awaiting my
first creations to finish.
I use the dish washer.
Put the bottle in with a nornal wash load, be sure the label can 'see'
one of the sprayers.
The label will be on the bottom of the dish washer and all the glue is gone.
Found this be accident. Doesn't always work, but mostly.