To solve the disposal problem of cyanide wastewater, removal of cyanide from wastewater using a water-in-oil emulsion type of emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was studied in this work. Specifically, the effects of surfactant Span-80, carrier trioctylamine (TOA), stripping agent NaOH solution and the emulsion-to-external-phase-volume ratio on removal of cyanide were investigated. Removal of total cyanide was determined using the silver nitrate titration method. Regression analysis and optimization of the conditions were conducted using the Design-Expert software and response surface methodology (RSM). The actual cyanide removals and the removals predicted using RSM analysis were in close agreement, and the optimal conditions were determined to be as follows: the volume fraction of Span-80, 4% (v/v); the volume fraction of TOA, 4% (v/v); the concentration of NaOH, 1% (w/v); and the emulsion-to-external-phase volume ratio, 1:7. Under the optimum conditions, the removal of total cyanide was 95.07%, and the RSM predicted removal was 94.90%, with a small exception. The treatment of cyanide wastewater using an ELM is an effective technique for application in industry.