Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Hudson Sisters and Liquid Soap

Who could resist picking up a copy of this book?

It will eventually be tucked into a baby gift bag or an Easter basket.  For now, it is providing me with great memories of childhood.

It has prompted me to tell you that one summer, long ago, my sisters and I invented liquid hand soap.  Now, my sisters might not remember how this came about in the same way I do.  That often happens when we are together and reminiscing.  As for me, I like to share the fame as well as the blame.  Here is how we developed this item.

J., B. and I were finding life a bit boring one summer's day.  It was a hot afternoon in the south.  Neighborhood ladies were languishing on front porches, sipping sweet iced tea and fanning themselves.  Our mother and grandmother had spent the last day or so putting up berry jams and jellies, leaving us mostly to our own devices.  Tired of playing hopscotch and double-dutch rope jumping, we looked around for another form of entertainment.  One of us came up with the idea of making soap jam.  We were off to the basement to collect empty baby food jars.  It was a wonder we had any since the youngest of us was at least five years old.  We then went about the house collecting bars of soap from various sinks.  When we couldn't find sufficient used bars, the linen cupboard rewarded us with unopened bars of Cashmere Bouquet.  We used case knives (dinner knives really) as we weren't allowed to play with sharp knives.  In truth, we weren't supposed to be playing with the silver either!  

We laboriously (never thinking to try the box grater) whittled away at the soap until we had a bowlful of soap slivers.  To this, we added enough water to form a jelly/jam consistency.  Then we carefully bottled the concoction.  When mother found our soap jelly larder, she was not amused.  However, being frugal, there was a period of time over the remainder of summer and part of fall, that those jars of soap were in the kitchen and the bathrooms.  No one thought to get a patent on the idea which would have probably made us wealthy by now.

We also made mud pies out of the red Virginia clay but that is another post.


  1. Oh the great ideas that got away from us! I call them "pet rocks" and still hope to find (and market) mine today:@) Cute story!

  2. Man ... I could say I am friends with the inventor of liquid soap.


  3. So lucky to have had partners in crime:-)
    At my market Sat..I saw a little contraption..remember
    The wire contraptions..that held soap shavings with the handle?:-)

  4. I was right with you step by step ... except for the sweet tea on the front porch as we lived up north. I'm sure your mom's frugality cemented the story even more in your mind!

  5. Well what do you was actually you and your sisters who invented liquid soap!!! Cashmere Bouquet soap reminds me of going across the states on vacation one summer. I remember those little hotel bars of soap, and they were Cashmere Bouquet. When I was a little girl, my Aunt Connie always let us carve up the bars of soap into slivers, and we would put them in our bubble bath!!!
    xo Kris

  6. I agree with Monique. It's so much fun to have a partner in crime. I had several neighborhood friends and it was crazy the things we did, including putting a dark color food coloring in lemonade and it turned our teeth black. Imagine when my friend's father, the dentist, saw us. It was not a good thing as Martha Stewart would say :)

  7. i loved making mudpies from KY red clay, and patting it out to make cookies to bake in the sun that turned to rocks. we played all the same things you did, but did not make the jam. but after i was married someone told me instead of throwing the slivers of soap away, to cut them and push them in a bottle with water and use it to clean our eye glasses. so i know about the slime your created and it does clean eye glasses very well.

  8. Oh, Bonnie, I LOVE this story! And in today's world, a fancy bow would be put around those jars and they would sell for big bucks as expensive handmade soap! You guys were quite inventive! Reminds me of the time I put perfume in the brown sugar and talcum powder in the flour, but wait that was BAD, very BAD! Your concoction was GOOD! What is that book about?

  9. Awww...too bad you didn't patent your idea back then! Many mud pies were made in my backyard as well. :)

  10. *smile*
    The Boughner sisters were my partners in crime. Oh my, what we got up to.

  11. Oh the things we did in our youth. Now I can say I know the inventor of liquid soap. :)


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