The effect of pH on the removal of Co(II) by kaolinite both in the absence and presence of phosphate, citrate, oxalate and EDTA anions, and cationic and anionic surfactants have been investigated and the results obtained are compared with the precipitate formation curve of Co(II) calculated theoretically from published hydrolysis data of the metal ion. In general, the results indicate that the percent adsoprtion of Co(II) increases with the pH and that kaolinite has little affinity for anionic metal complexes. Both strong cationic and anionic surfactants decrease the percent removal of Co(II) by kaolinite but the reasons are different. On the other hand, the weakly ionized anionic surfactant, potassium stearate, enhances the adsorption of Co(II) by kaolinite. The results are discussed in terms of the hydrolysis of Co(II), the properties of kaolinite, and the possible interaction between the ligands tested and both Co(II) and the clay mineral.