The influence of Zn on the adsorption and desorption of Cry1Ab toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on palygorskite and montmorillonite was studied. The adsorption of the toxin gradually increased with increasing Zn concentration from 0 to 1.0 mmol L–1, and then decreased with further increase in Zn concentration. The adsorption isotherms of the toxin in the absence and presence of Zn were well described by the Langmuir equation (R2 > 0.9810–0.9991). The separation factor (RL) decreased with increase of Zn concentration, suggesting that the irreversibility of the adsorption increases. The XRD results showed that the treatment by Tris buffer or Zn(NO3)2 solution caused an expansion of the interlayer space of montmorillonite but did not affect palygorskite. The IR spectra suggest that Zn was likely to be combined with amino groups on the surface of the toxin. The presence of Zn during the adsorption of the toxin decreased desorption, suggesting that the residual risk of toxin would be exacerbated if soil is polluted by zinc.