While your shirt is a way more convenient tool for wiping your camera lens, a microfiber cloth is a better idea.
Here are a few other wise camera-cleaning substitutions, all of which can be found at your local camera shop.
WRONG: Canned Air or Air from Compressors
RIGHT: A Squeeze Bulb
Air compressors can drip oil on your lens, and freon-powered canned air can blast your lens and cause cracks. Something with a little less power that will still get rid of bits of dust is a squeeze bulb.
WRONG: A Coarse, Used Multi-Purpose Brush
RIGHT: A Clean, Soft-Bristled Lens Brush or Lens-Cleaning Pen
A coarse brush can scratch your lens. Opt instead for a brush with soft, fine bristles (like camel hair). Use it only for your camera lens, being very careful not to touch the virgin bristles with your oily hands.
WRONG: Your Shirt, A Tissue, Paper Towels
RIGHT: A Microfiber Cloth or One-Use Lens Tissues
Anything other than a camera-cleaning cloth or tissue is bound to leave behind fibers—making your lens possibly dirtier than before. Instead, grab a clean microfiber cloth (you can send it through the wash) and wipe your lens in concentric circles, starting from the center.
WRONG: Soapy Solutions
RIGHT: Alcohol-Based Lens Cleaner or A Huff of Your Breath
When you need a bit of moisture, don't turn to a soapy lens cleaner. It takes too long to dry, attracting even more dust in the process. Instead use a fast-drying alcohol-based cleaner (always applied first to a cloth and not directly to your lens). Or try the proven method many pro photogs stick with: Give it a good huff of breath across the lens.
MORE CAMERA LENS TRICKS & TIPS:
- DIY Tilt Shift Camera Hack
- Photography Lenses On The Cheap... If You're Risk Acceptant
- How to Breathe New Life Into an Old Telephoto Lens
- How to Remove Condensation from Inside Your Phone (or Camera Lens)