Chlorine bleach is a chemical cleaning product that should be avoided or used very minimally. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to having carcinogenic fumes, it's also very damaging to both organisms and wildlife living on soil and in water. But when you do need bleach, be sure to measure carefully and use only what you need. Read the bottle's instructions carefully and use a measuring cup to add it to your washing machine. Too much bleach can actually break down your washing machine over time. The bleach speeds up the deterioration of the plastic seal around and inside the washing machine, which is vital for machine to work properly.