I buy about 10 fluffy to 1 bristle. I use a fluffy cleaner after every smoke, which generally keeps the pipe pretty clean. I use a bristle cleaner with a bit of rum on it once in awhile just to kind of soak/scrape any tars building up.
I got a beater pipe from an antique place yesterday, and took about 30 bristle cleaners soaked in acetone to get the tar out of the shank. I don't think that pipe ever had a cleaning in its life. PUke....
Beware using fluffy cleaners on pipes with an average draw.
I did as most of the stem and shank of a certain pipe was big enough to accommodate a fruffy; but the bugaboo was the first 1/2" of the stem which was not big enough; I had to push hard to get the fluffy cleaner through, the result of which was that fluff balls accumulated in the stem and I had to resort to all manner of tools to get them out.
Trying to smoke the pipe before that condition was fixed was an exercise in acute frustration.
Nothing but fluff here. I use them as needed during a smoke, let one wet with iso sit in the pipe for about 30 minutes following each smoke, and then run a final one through to remove any iso/tar slime still in there.