Hi Wave, great question!
As put by the wonderful Ruthie in our advice column
, "sperm are [...] very fragile little organisms. They can live nearly a week within the the reproductive system they're ejaculated into, but they die very quickly once they get dry in the air, are exposed to cleaning chemicals or change temperature too much
. That means that when the semen dries out, the sperm inside are probably dead. According to Dr. Harms of the Mayo Clinic, sperm in semen exposed to the open air will usually die within a few hours. You can also kill sperm on your hands, clothes, or bedding by washing them in soap and water. If you have semen on your body and need a quick clean up, you can simply wipe it up with baby wipe or tissue so that the remaining semen dries quickly. The rest will probably dry in the trash long before you take out the garbage."
Does all of that make sense? There are other resources linked in that article that may help your research.