Disposal of soil washing effluent (SWE) resulting from the surfactant-enhanced remediation of soil containing hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs)is complicated because of the presence of high levels of surfactants. The synthesized layered double hydroxides (LDHs), modified with sodium dodecyl sulfonate (SDS) in different loading amounts (organo-LDHs),were evaluated in this study as sorbents for the removal of two typical HOCs, phenanthrene (PHE) and pyrene (PYR),from a simulative SWE. The results showed that the organo-LDHs can effectively sorb PHE and PYR from the SWE within an equilibrium time of 2 h. All isotherms were linear and the sorption capabilities of the organo-LDHs increased almost linearly with the increase in the amount of SDS loaded on the LDHs. Besides, the surface areas of the organo-LDHs decreased sharply with the increase in SDS loading owing to the hindrance of the exposed surface of the LDHs by the incorporated SDS. These findings indicated that partitioning dominated the sorption process rather than adsorption, and the strong affinity of HOCs towards the organic phase in LDHs assisted in the effective removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the SWE. Furthermore, the sorption capabilities of organo-LDHs towards PHE and PYR at the higher loading amounts of SDS were much greater than that of commercial activated carbon at the higher concentration ranges of PAHs. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.