Detergents are necessarily used for different extraction protocols of proteins from biological cells or tissues. After the extraction, elimination of detergent is necessary for the better performance of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Elimination of detergents is laborious and time-consuming, and also sample loss may be unavoidable. Probe electrospray ionization (PESI) developed in our laboratory has been found to be tolerant to the presence of salts and buffers in sample solutions. In this report, it was examined whether PESI is applicable to the sample solutions that contain high-concentration of detergents. It was found that PESI is highly tolerant to the presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate, cetyl trimethylamminium bromide, Triton X100 and 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl) dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate compared with conventional ESI and nanoESI. Therefore, PESI can be a potential analytical tool for direct analysis of protein extracts and digests containing high-concentration detergents. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.