Maleimides are often used for biomolecular conjugation with thiols. An underappreciated aspect of the imido group in a maleimide conjugate is its susceptibility to spontaneous hydrolysis, resulting in undesirable heterogeneity. Here, a chromophoric maleimide is used to demonstrate that both molybdate and chromate catalyze the hydrolysis of an imido group near neutral pH. Tungstate and 4-(dimethylamino)pyridine are less effective as catalysts. This work reveals a new mode of chemical reactivity for molybdate and chromate, and provides a strategy for decreasing the heterogeneity of bioconjugates derived from maleimides.