How clean does deck have to be?

My subject line says it all. My Son and I are trying to get our cedar deck clean for staining. In some areas after using deck cleaner and our powerwasher the boards still are not back to the original "bare wood" finish. How clean must we get the deck before staining? Doe the wood have to completely clean? I mean we are applying so mush pressure that we are almost cutting into the wood. We used Olympic oil base tinted last time. It sure seems like it is very difficlut to get out. Thanks for any help.
Brian in MI
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