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I am about to try this, but thought I'd share it meanwhile. From what I've read here, I think I'll try dipping a laundry softener sheet into 1/3 rubbing alcohol and 2/3 water mixture. This will be thin enough to wear a while, but will also carry the stuff mentioned in other recipes here. Maybe I'm on to something?
Not a good idea. There are many toxic chemicals in laundry softener sheets, a/k/a dryer sheets, and by adding alcohol and water you will make a carrier that will help those chemicals be absorbed into your skin, whether you wear the shoes at the same time, or later. Please look up toxic chemicals and dryer sheets - I'm constantly posting on Thrifty Fun against using those things, especially on one's skin, child's skin, pets' faces or fur, behind fans, etc.
Here's a link to my post from Jan 2013 about this:
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How do I make shoe stretcher spray?
By Joe from NY
I worked in the shoe business for over 30 years. You can make shoe stretch by combining equal parts rubbing alcohol and water, BUT the most important thing is the stretcher itself. You have to soak the leather until thoroughly wet then use a form inside of the wet leather to stretch where needed. We used an old wooden shoe form that would spread apart as we turned a screw. It had attachments for bunions areas and etc. Unless you have a good mechanical stretcher, no liquid will work. I've heard of people spraying the shoe and then trying to wear it to make it stretch- it will not work! It'll actually compress the leather (and your foot) and make the shoe smaller! (And hard to get off!) Hope this helps.
You might want to position the stretcher at 90 degrees from the normal position, in the instep, and try opening the stretcher.
We used to use this method on boots purchased by customers who had a high insteps. We also would use a stretching solution, when doing this. Allow the boots to sit overnight, at least. If need be, do multiple times.
Also, make sure your leather has dried, before removing the stretcher, or the leather will want to shrink back to its original shape, and size!
Use body lotion. I have had good luck using body lotion or hand lotion to rub into the inside of the shoe where it needs to be stretched, then wearing it. Wearing thicker socks also helps. I have a two way shoe stretcher which works well for length and width but if the shoe is tight in the vamp/instep, the shoe stretcher doesn't work there. So I just work a liberal amount of lotion inside the shoe all around the whole area that is tight. The shoe stretcher does not widen the toe or raise the toe either, so I dampen a wad of tissue, wedge it in just right, and then force it with the shoe stretcher for a day or two to dry.
Do these homemade solutions work on non-leather shoes? I bought a pair for a wedding that have a satin finish on the outside and man-made material inside.
By Rita A.
70% rubbing alcohol 1/4 cup
glycerine 1 tbsp
liquid softener 1cap full
water 2 cups warm
* mix all ingredients in a spray bottle while waters still warm stay problem areas on shoe while wearing or stuff shoe with a white sock and spray. let dry, repeat as needed til you achieve comfort.
How do I make shoe stretching spray?
This may sound a little bizarre! Soak and then wring out, a pair of socks, with rubbing alcohol. Put these socks on your feet. Then put on the too tight shoes, and wear the shoes for at least an hour. This should stretch your shoes!
How do I make homemade liquid shoe stretch?
By Carrie D.
What can be used to stretch out fabric/non-leather tennis shoes without staining them?
By KB from Indianapolis, IN
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How do you make your own shoe stretch liquid?
By SandiDQ from Southern CA
Try pouring alcohol in the inside of shoes or wet your feet with alcohol. It will stretch while wearing them till the alcohol dries. When dry, your shoes will conform to your foot. Good luck.
What kind of alcohol do you use to stretch leather shoes?
Try using scented body spray from the dollar store. The first ingredient listed is alcohol, and it really does work. Just spray both inside and outside of the shoe, and wear until it dries. Repeat if needed.
If the shoe has a suede type finish, spray only the inside. This is cheap (only $1), and smells better than Shoe stretch or plain alcohol. Since it is meant to be sprayed on skin, it doesn't seem to irritate the skin on your feet while you are wearing the shoes waiting for them to dry. (02/16/2009)
You can use cheap dollar store cologne to stretch shoes, as it is almost all alcohol anyway! I spray the tight spot both inside and out and then wear the shoe to stretch the leather out. You may have to spray several times. It works best with shoes that are not lined or have leather linings - although I have also tried it with some success on fabric shoes, too. (02/16/2009)
I only know a very old way to stretch shoes and it has always worked for me. Put a plastic bag inside the shoes needing stretched, making sure the bags do not leak. Fill the bags with water, tie off tightly and put the shoes in the freezer. When the water freezes it will expand and stretch the shoes. Hope this is helpful. (12/08/2005)
Try pouring alcohol in the inside of shoes to be stretched and wearing them till the alcohol dries. When dry, your shoes will conform to your foot. (12/08/2005)
At a shoe store, I was told by a highly trained fitter to rub some shoe moisturizing leather cream onto the exterior of the shoe to prevent cracking of the finish when stretching. (08/19/2006)
Thanks sewingmama. Your idea works great. Might I add, to wrap feet in plastic so the socks won't stain and skin won't get irritated from the alcohol. (10/11/2007)
I got this formula from a Thom McCann shoe salesman long ago. In a spray bottle, combine 3 parts water with 1 part alcohol. Shake to mix. Depending on if you want an overall stretch or just spot stretching, apply where needed and let dry in a shoe stretcher or while wearing (preferably not while walking around too much). This mixture will not harm your leather, but a stronger alcohol mix may.