Desert sands are great for reptiles that come from dry arid areas. Most commonly used with bearded dragons, leopard geckos, sand skinks and desert dwelling species of snake.
Sand is easy to keep clean if it is regularly spot cleaned as and when your pet reptile goes to the toilet, it can be kept fresh by giving it a weekly sift with a sand scooper and a full substrate change should only be required on a monthly basis to provent bad odours inside the vivarium building up.
But I read online that sand is bad and can kill reptiles?... ok welcome to the world of reptile keeping, online forums, overnight experts and people passing on advice without any real logic behind it..
so whats the problem?. When people are saying sand is bad they are referring to the risk from impaction, this is where an animal eats so much of an indigestible item it literally blocks their intenstines and stomach and the animal dies.
Why would they do that you ask, well lots of animals are hard wired to know when they are lacking certain minerals so they will supplement themselves from the natural environment.
Soils and clays are mineral rich so if a reptile is lacking it's essential levels of calcium it will eat its substrate in an attempt to gain the calcium and other minerals it requires. This is easily prevented in captivity by supplementation of the diet with calcium powder.
If any reptile sand is accidently ingested when your pet reptile is feeding then it will simply pass through the body as undigested matter. Fine particle Indigestible matter will only accumulate inside the reptile if there is a problem with the environment I.e the vivarium does not have a sufficiently hot basking area to allow proper food metabolism to take place.