Sodium carboxymethylcellulose/poly(methyl acrylate) (NaCMC/PMA) interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) were prepared by fractional step in 40 wt % ethanol solution with N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide as a crosslinker. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and differential scanning calorimeter were used to characterize the NaCMC/PMA IPN hydrogels and confirm the IPN structure as well. Simultaneously, adsorption of the obtained IPN hydrogels to methylene blue (MB) was also investigated. It was observed that the adsorption of MB onto the hydrogels was mainly dependent on the initial concentration of MB and the pH of the solution. Adsorption rate of MB was much higher in the first 9 h than that in the following period and saturated adsorption amount of MB was 2370 mg/g at the initial MB concentration of 100 mg/L. Moreover, the adsorption capacity of the IPN hydrogels at the neutral pH condition is much higher than those at acid or alkaline pH conditions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 41101.