Apple on Wednesday issued a statement confirming reports that the HomePod can leave visible marks on select wooden surfaces. In early reviews, Wirecutter and other publications noted that when placing the HomePod on treated wooden surfaces, a ring-shaped mark develops beneath the speaker within as little as 20 minutes.
Here’s the blurb about the marks from Wirecutter’s review:
The HomePod can damage wood furniture: An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and owners have reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has confirmed.
And here’s Apple’s official response to the publication:
Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”
Apple also adds that it’s not unusual for speakers with a silicon base to leave small marks when placed on certain oiled or waxed surfaces—it has something to do with a chemical reaction to treated wood. Still, for a product that is touted for its beautiful design, this is not a good look. Especially given all of the criticism it’s been taking in other areas.
Update: Apple has posted a new support document entitled “Cleaning and Taking Care of HomePod,” with a section called Where to Place HomePod.
HomePod is designed for indoor use only. When using HomePod, make sure to place it on a solid surface. Place the power cord so that it won’t be walked on or pinched.
It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.