I have play sand in a small 10 G tank, Pool filter sand in a 55G and Eco-complete which has two sizes gravel on a 15G long, sahara Sand in a 30G long and regular pea gravel in six other tanks.
I don't find the sand harder to keep clean just different. With Gravel debris sinks down into the gravel and has to have the gravel vac pushed down into it to get the gunk out. With sand you just kind of wave the vac over it and the stuff floats up because all the stuff is laying on the surface.
The only problem with sand is you have to stir(as in poke your fingers or a straw down in the sand) the sand to keep it from forming anaerobic pockets of air . OR put Malayasian Trumpet Smails in the tank and they will keep it stirred for you. I don't have any problems with the sand getting into my filters. But I have heard that caution offered. Hope that helps.