While there now appears to be evidence that the phenomenon is not limited to the HomePod and also occurs with the Sonos One speaker, Apple has made a new web page available via support.apple.com, which explains how users should “clean and take care of HomePod.”
Unsurprisingly, Apple reminds users not to use things like window cleaners or household cleaners in order to clean their new HomePod, but the most interesting part of the help article covers the issue whereby white rings may appear on some wooden surfaces. As Apple points out, this is nothing new and is a result of the anti-vibration silicone used in its base.
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-damping 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.
As Apple suggests, placing the HomePod on a different surface is one way to go, although placing it on some sort of coaster would be another. There are audio quality implications with this move, however, and we would be concerned about crippling the audio prowess of a speaker whose main selling point is its ability to fill a room with high quality sound.
Still, it might be better than making a mess of a desk!