Electrodialytic removal of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd from contaminated harbour sediment was made with the emphasis of testing the effectiveness of different desorbing agents: HCl, NaCl, citric acid, lactic acid, ammonium citrate and distilled water. Extraction experiments with the desorbing agents were made prior to the electrodialytic experiments. The extractions showed that HCl was most efficient for metal desorption, probably due to the low pH and complexation with chloride. The metals were not extracted by distilled water. However, in the electrodialytic experiments, the removal was high when using distilled water and the desorbing agents did generally not enhance the heavy metal removal compared to distilled water. The only exception was with lactic acid, where the Cu removal was 20% higher compared to the other desorbing agents. The removal was 48% Cu, 80% Zn, 96% Pb and 98% Cd, when using distilled water. Metal speciation with the different desorbing agents was simulated with the geochemical model Visual MINTEQ version 2.15. Variations in the Cl concentration were found to be of crucial importance since it influences the formation of metal chlorocomplexes, especially uncharged species. All the acidic desorbing agents were predicted to form mostly cationic species, which was in agreement with the removal direction in the electrodialytic remediation experiments.