Rooney opened his account against relegation-threatened Hull after just seven minutes.
But he had to wait until a similar period from full time before he really cut loose, scoring on three more occasions to become the first United player to hit four in a game since Ruud van Nistelrooy did it in a Champions League encounter with Sparta Prague in November 2004.
"It is the first time I have scored four times in a professional football match and it is a great feeling," said Rooney. "I am really proud of the achievement. It is something special."
On current form, it appears only a matter of time before Rooney gets the five goals required to exceed his previous best seasonal tally of 23.
"I'm confident of beating my best season at United," he said.
"I will be disappointed if I don't because I've still got hopefully another 20 games to play. I won't be happy if I don't get more than 23.
"The difference this season is that I've consciously been getting in the box more and trying to put myself in goalscoring situations."