In this paper we present a new method for obtaining the optical wavelength-dependent reddening function of planetary nebulae (PN), using the nebular and stellar continuum. The data used was a spectrum of NGC 6302 obtained using the Double Beam Spectrograph on the 2.3 m telescope at Siding Springs Observatory over three nights. This resulted in a spectrum covering a wavelength range 3300–8600 Å with a large dynamical range and a mean signal to noise of >102 Å−1 in the nebular continuum. With such a high S/N the continuum can be accurately compared with a theoretical model of nebular plus stellar continuum. The nebular electron temperature and density used in the model are determined using ratios of prominent emission lines. The reddening function can then be obtained from the ratio of the theoretical and the observed continuum. In the case of NGC 6302, it is known that much of the reddening arises from dust within or around the nebula, so that any differences between the measured reddening law and the 'standard' interstellar reddening law will reflect differences in the nebular grain size distribution or composition. We find that for NGC 6302, the visible to IR extinction law is indistinguishable from 'standard' interstellar reddening, but that the UV extinction curve is much steeper than normal, suggesting that more small dust grains had been ejected into the nebula by the PN central star. We have detected the continuum from the central star and determined its Zanstra temperature to be of order 150,000 K. Finally, using the extinction law that we have determined, we present a complete dereddened line list of nearly 600 emission lines, and report on the detection of the He(2–10) and He(2–8) Raman features at λ4331 Å and λ4852 Å, and the detection of Raman scattered O VI features at λ6830 Å and λ7087 Å. We believe this to be the first detection of this process in a PN.