ACLs are hard to preserve when they've been buried, I think the recommendation is generally to leave them to dry out for a couple of months before cleaning. Then when you do clean them wash the label gently, personally I use nothing but warm water and my finger, and maybe some dish soap if the label seems stable enough. Not sure if there's a better way than that or not.
I wouldn't beat myself up too much over this. If warm water alone wrecks it, it wasn't likely to survive long anyway. Kinda darwinism for bottles if you know what I mean. I wish you continued success out there.
Bought my first straight side Coca-Cola and it is from Canada. Is there any way to approximately date this piece? I read somewhere the best assumption is 1908-1915? It is a nice sapphire blue color,...