Apple’s HomePod is an amazing speaker, but it comes at a price. Not just a dollar amount, but also the toll it could take on your finished wooden furniture. If you’ve discovered white rings appearing on your furniture (or have heard about this phenomenon and want to prevent it), here’s what you can do.
Wait, What’s the Problem?
Many HomePod owners have witnessed their new smart speakers leaving weird cloudy white ring marks on their wooden furniture—specifically, wooden furniture finished with some type of oil.
According to Apple’s support page, the company says it’s “not unusual” for the base of the HomePod to leave ring marks on some wooden surfaces, which is due to the oils in the finish diffusing when the silicone base of the HomePod sits on the surface for any length of time.
This issue can also happen with other objects, including other speakers, so it’s certainly not a specific problem with the HomePod—but rather how the wood finish reacts to silicone and other materials in general. In any case, you’re not completely out of luck and there are some ways to fix it.
How to Get Rid of the Rings
Apple says the ring marks “will often go away after several days” when you take the HomePod off of the surface, but if not, using a soft damp cloth to wipe away the marks might also work.
If the marks still won’t go away after a quick wipe, there are a few things you can try, most of which are the same tricks you’d use for water stains left behind by beverages (which is a common occurrence).
You can try using a clothing iron or a hair dryer to gently apply low heat to the area and draw out the stain. If you use an iron, be sure to set a towel or cloth on top of the surface first. Then check every 10 seconds or so to see if the ring is coming out.
You can also try other home remedies like wiping down some toothpaste, mayonnaise, or salt, but be sure not to go at it aggressively or you’ll likely damage the finished surface even more.
How to Prevent Rings from Forming
Unfortunately, wooden surfaces that are finished with any kind of oil must be treated with care. And while you wouldn’t think the HomePod would damage your furniture, it’s actually not too difficult to damage a wooden finish, HomePod or otherwise. However, here are some things you can do with your HomePod to prevent this from happening in the future.
Use an Oversized Coaster
Those cloudy white rings are precisely the reason why drink coasters exist. So if anything, your HomePod needs its own coaster as well if you plan on placing it on a finished wooden surface.
Luckily, oversized coasters are a thing, and you can get them in all different shapes and sizes to match your tastes. Ikea even sells some basic cork coasters for super cheap. Or you could just take the easy way out and use anything lying around your house, like the notepad pictured above.
Stick On Some Rubber Bumpers
If coasters aren’t your thing, you can go with something a bit more discreet in the form of small rubber bumpers that you can stick onto the bottom of the HomePod.
I have these all around the house for various purposes, so you can buy a big pack of them and use them on other things as well, like drawers and cabinets, as well as objects that you want to prevent from sliding around.
Mount Your HomePod to the Wall
If you want your HomePod off all surfaces to begin with, you can install a wall mount and stick your HomePod in it to have it in a place up high.
Of course, this does require a bit more work to accomplish, since you’ll have to bust out your tools and and get your hands a little dirty with some DIY work. But it’s easy enough if you don’t want your HomePod taking up any extra real estate on your end tables or countertops, and it looks nice to boot.