Detoxification treatments such as toxin-targeted anti-virulence therapy offer ways to cleanse the body of virulence factors that are caused by bacterial infections, venomous injuries and biological weaponry. Because existing detoxification platforms such as antisera, monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors and molecularly imprinted polymers act by targeting the molecular structures of toxins, customized treatments are required for different diseases. Here, we show a biomimetic toxin nanosponge that functions as a toxin decoy in vivo. The nanosponge, which consists of a polymeric nanoparticle core surrounded by red blood cell membranes, absorbs membrane-damaging toxins and diverts them away from their cellular targets. In a mouse model, the nanosponges markedly reduce the toxicity of staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin (α-toxin) and thus improve the survival rate of toxin-challenged mice. This biologically inspired toxin nanosponge presents a detoxification treatment that can potentially treat a variety of injuries and diseases caused by pore-forming toxins.