This is one mistake that DIYers are especially prone to committing. Latex or oil paint should never be poured straight down the drain. It can cling to the side of the disposal or sit in pipes, where it will begin to cure and harden into an intractable clog. Again, a little paint heavily diluted won’t be an issue as long as it’s heavily diluted. But brushes and rollers should be cleaned with some forethought, using an appropriate container, while bulk paint should be disposed of appropriately. Find out the things that should never, ever go in your dishwasher, too.
Husking corn creates a tremendous amount of waste, and as much as possible should go in the compost pile or trash, rather than the garbage disposal. The robust, fibrous husk and fine threads of corn silk create a dual threat for disposals. So whether your corn is store-bought or homegrown in a garden, it’s a good idea to husk straight into a bag, and not let it near the disposal at all.
Hard shells from seafood such as crab, lobster, shrimp, and oysters are a common garbage disposal problem. Many of these shells are far too dense to grind up properly, while the ones that might slip through (like shrimp) have a chance to catch in the drain. So skip the disposal and drop the shells in the trash, preferably a small trash bag so that you can take it out of the kitchen immediately. Next, find out some food parts you’ve always thrown away—but shouldn’t be.