I have a refridgerator/freezer that is kept outside in a shed for summer use. My husband unfortunately (understatement) did not clean it out but unplugged it (yes he is still alive but barely LOL). I cleaned it out (Hepa mask, gloves and all)using Clorox cleanup they are both clean but the smell is still noticeable. We placed 2 boxes of baking soda in the fridge and in the freezer but the smell is still there
You are obviously a very compassionate woman for sparing his life.
Your initial instinct was correct. For a fridge that has maybe a day or two of odors, this will work, however since the plastic has been absorbing this fragrantÂ odor for several months, you have to be more aggressive.
The clean up you did is the first step, although it would have seemed more appropriate if your husband were forced to do it sans the respirator and gloves.
Try a shallow pan of active charcoal, which you can find at your local pet store or aquarium supplier. Let this sit for a few days and see if it helps enough to make it tolerable. Another great hint is to fill a shallow pan with fresh ground up coffee. This smell is more powerful, and it too will be absorbed by the plastic. This is more masking the problem than removing the odors, but it is likely better to smell coffee, than, well whatever it smelled like. (And I thank you for not describing that part to me)
If this still does not work to your satisfaction, we have one final idea. Empty the fridge and be sure it is ON, crumple up some old newspaper, and mist the paper with water. Stuff the fridge full of these big balls until it is entirely filled. Replace the old newspaper, with new, fresh moistened newspaper balls every other day. Try using the sports section before your husband reads it, to remind him that it was his mistake. Repeat this four or five times (yes this will take a week to 10 days!), at which time it should be OK to breath when you open the door. It is possible the fridge will require defrosting once you have done this, if all the moisture has migrated up the freezer.
Even when you are done this, the baking soda, and/or ground coffee won’t hurt, although the coffee may flavor unsealed food as well.
Failing all of the above, put your husband in the fridge, dump them in a landfill, and go get yourself a new model of each.