Nonionic surfactant Tween 80 is effective in alleviating the adsorption of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes onto lignin. However, the impacts of lignin structural characteristics on this mitigation effect of Tween 80 were still not clear. Herein, effects of Tween 80 on cellulase and xylanase adsorption on different enzymatic residual lignins (ERLs) and poplar samples were investigated. Besides, effects of Tween 80 on desorption of the two enzyme preparations from different ERLs and poplar samples were also evaluated. By adding Tween 80, the inhibition of ERLs to cellulase hydrolysis was offset and the positive role of Tween 80 in Avicel hydrolysis with presence of ERLs was more effective. Binding strength of cellulase with ERLs was alleviated from 236.0 − 410.9 to 43.9 − 116.6 mL/g after adding 0.5 mg/mL Tween 80. When ERLs was more hydrophobic and had more condensed phenolic OH, the alleviation effect of Tween 80 on cellulase adsorption on ERLs was intensified but its positive effect on enhancing cellulase desorption was weakened. Tween 80 was effective in increasing xylanase activity and preventing xylanase deactivation. With the increase of lignin content and phenolic OH in pretreated poplar, the effect of Tween 80 in alleviating xylanase adsorption on poplar samples was intensified but the effect in enhancing xylanase desorption from poplar samples was weakened. The results provided distinct findings to understand the interaction between Tween 80 and cellulase/xylanase in enzymatic saccharification of lignocelluloses.