My dear ol' mother was a Navy wife for a long time, though my father was mustered out by the time I was born so I didn't have to live a "military brat" lifestyle.
Now one of the odd things about a military service that relies heavily on diesel and heavy oil driven machinery is the adoption of dress white uniforms.
On a ship the size of a carrier and especially a conventionally powered one, it is very difficult to walk (below decks) from the stern to the bow in your dress whites and still remain in "inspection grade" condition. Diesel boats are inherantly dirty, relative to white clothes, from the soot. Even with constant cleaning.
Whenever we had a formal formation at sea we usually changed into our inspection uniforms as close to the formation site as practical.
Now prior to me going home on leave and getting eduacated by my Mom we would lament the fact that diesel and motor oil ruined white clothes because you could never get them inspection grade clean again. There would always be a shadow of the stain, at the minimum.
Then Mom showed me something that she learned from older Navy wives from back in the day.
Crisco shortening. Pretty much 100% hydrogenated vegetable oil. A little rubbed onto the oil stain until it forms a light grey smudge and the motor oil stain then washes out completely in the laundry.
Won't even resettle on other clothes in the wash.
Does somebody have a good explanation for this?