(Now remember this is only for silver plate, not sterling.)
Take your plated piece and cover it lightly with toothpaste, use a heavy layer if the piece is very tarnished. Take a Brillo pad..yes I said a Brillo pad or any generic version of a soapy steel wool pad. Squirt it with dish soap, turn on the faucet using cold water, keeping the piece under the running water, lightly rub your silver plate. I like to use light circular motion. If it is tarnished you will need to 'reload' with toothpaste and soap several times. When you are happy with the patina, rinse well, dip in rubbing alcohol and blow dry with your hairdryer on cool. That's it!