One of the many things I love about homebrewing is reusing glass bottles that would otherwise be landfilled (or, least-worst-case, recycled with a great expenditure of energy).
Wine bottles are easy to come by, but cleaning them is a chore. I've tried lots of ways to remove the labels, and settled on this method: utility knife, WD-40 and steel wool, soap and water. Works fast, and works on every bottle, regardless what type paper or what type glue. It's a winner.
Well your spouse must really love you to let you spray WD40 in the kitchen.
Your method can't be denied, it sure is quick.
I would venture a guess that sticking the bottle in a bucket with water would loosen the label with time, it works to loosen a bunch of grunge.
As for adhesives left behind afterwards, maybe rubbing alcohol and your steel wool. *Note: Do not use steel wool to clean a filthy microwave,
my wife did that and then put a cup of water in to try it out, BIG ol' fireball. Who knew steel wool leaves a residue?
I bet some of those labels would look neat in a picture frame.
I use the same principles to remove labels but without the icky WD40.
First I soak the paper part off the label in my dish water, taking it off easily with a butter knife.
Next I put a few of drops of olive oil or whatever I have on the counter to cook with on a non-stick scratch pad and scrub. That removes the gummy residue.
And lastly I wash with soap to take off any left behind oil.
Truth is I'd cut myself good using a utility knife on glass, the only question is how many seconds before bloodshed.... You've mastered that skill very well
Orange oil as found in products like " Goof Off" really tears up the glue and leaves the bottle pretty clean. It's pretty easy to work with and smells much nicer than other solvents made for such tasks. I soak the bottle in warm soapy water over night to get the paper off and then dab on the orange oil once the bottle is dry. Let it sit for a half hour and then wipe the glue and oil off. Soap and water to rinse and you're good to go.
i've had really good luck with hot water and oxy clean and let them sit overnight, some of the labels are floating in the morning, some need a bit of scrubbing, i'm sure it depends on the type of glue that was used