We utilized electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HX) to detect unfolding of hen egg white lysozyme during salt-induced precipitation. Deuterated lysozyme was dissolved in protonated buffer at pH 2.16 and precipitated with ammonium sulfate, sodium chloride, and potassium thiocyanate. ESI-MS was used to detect mass differences in lysozyme due to the loss of deuterons for solvent protons, providing insight on the conformational history of the protein during the labeling experiment. Precipitation with ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride did not unfold lysozyme, consistent with the known stabilizing effects of kosmotropic salts. Potassium thiocyanate, an aggressive chaotrope, was an effective precipitant at 0.2 M, but also disrupted lysozyme structure and caused the formation of precipitate fractions that did not readily redissolve into aqueous solution without the use of a chemical denaturant. Precipitation with 1.0 M thiocyanate resulted in faster rates of unfolding and larger amounts of the insoluble precipitate. The unfolding kinetics were biphasic, exhibiting a slow phase after a few hours that presumably reflected a smaller propensity for lysozyme to unfold in the precipitated state. Bimodal mass distributions in the ESI-MS spectra for the thiocyanate precipitates indicate two states for lysozyme in this system, a native and a molten globule-like partially unfolded state. ESI-MS analysis of the insoluble precipitates indicated that they consisted primarily of protein molecules that had unfolded. Investigation of the HX behavior of lysozyme in a KSCN solution at low protein concentrations confirmed the destabilizing effect of the salt on the protein structure, even when there was almost no solid phase present. The HX/ESI-MS results provide insight into the mechanism combining precipitation and denaturation for such a system, both in terms of obtaining quantitative kinetic and stability information and the identification of the conformers present.