You have a few different options when trying to remove odors from your refrigerator. The key is finding the source of the foul odor, whenever possible. Try the following approaches when faced with an off-putting odor coming from your fridge:
Get rid of it.
The first thing that you want to do is try to find the source of the smell. If something got pushed in the back, or got stuck behind one of your drawers, remove it.
Clean it up.
Give the fridge a good, all-over scrubbing. Clean with toxic-free cleaners, such as white vinegar and baking soda. Be sure to rinse well to avoid a film on the appliance surface.
You can try to get the smell out by using something to absorb the odor. Some things that you may use include a box of baking soda, a stack of newspaper, or a shallow dish of cat litter.
Air it out.
If the odor is stubborn, you may need to empty out your refrigerator, unplug it, and air it out for a few days. This will involve propping open the door and is an excellent opportunity to defrost your freezer, if applicable.
Cover it up.
You may try to camouflage the odors with something pleasantly scented, such as essential oils or extracts. You can dip a couple cotton balls in almond extract and place on a paper plate or napkin in the fridge. The strong smell may help to neutralize the odor.
Move it out.
You may need to face the fact that you can't get rid of the odor. Perhaps there is something wrong with the refrigerator itself that is causing the smell, which you might not be able to resolve. In these situations, you may need to simply cut your losses and go refrigerator shopping.
Try these tactics to get rid of a foul smell in your fridge, and talk with appliance retailers about upgrading to a new refrigerator when all else fails. The modern conveniences and innovations make many new models virtually odor-free, which also makes it easy to maintain.