De-tert-butylation of 2-tert-butylphenol was carried out over thermally-treated and acid-treated Jordanian bentonite clay samples. This reaction was found to follow first-order kinetics for all clay samples with different pretreatment procedures. The apparent rate constant, k, was also determined, and found to depend on the pretreatment. Thermal pretreatment at temperatures up to 250°C has an enhancing effect on surface acid sites. The total surface acidity (Ho <4.8) and the concentration of strong acid sites peaked at 250°C. Also, as a result, the maximum catalyst activity was obtained with samples treated at this temperature. Acid pretreatment with 0.10 M HCl, 1.0 M H2SO4 or 1.0 M H3PO4, followed by thermal treatment at 250°C produced the best enhancement effect on the surface acidity and catalytic activity.